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Landscape Design School Training: Landscape Design Contractor University Programs and Courses

Professional landscape architects work with specialized landscape design software and technologies to create blueprints for different garden and landscape designs. If you are interested in a career as a landscape architect, you can enroll in a professional landscape design training program that allows you to learn how to use the latest software programs and get started in your career. Many landscape design programs provide training for students who want to get their landscape contractor license and enter the workforce immediately after graduation. You can also find a landscape design program that includes an internship or externship component, which provides you with some experience before you apply for your first job in the field.

Elements of a Landscape Design Program

A landscape design program typically includes classroom, computer and hands-on training elements so that the student becomes comfortable designing, mapping and drawing different types of plans and blueprints. When you complete a landscape design program, you will know how to create deck plans, flow charts, floor plans, org charts and even 3D models to visualize various landscape ideas and designs.

A landscape design program typically provides training in the following areas:

  • Turning concept drawings into hard landscaping items
  • Solving site drainage problems
  • Producing concept plans from scratch
  • Creating eco-friendly and “green” landscape designs
  • Designing landscapes that include gardens, lawns and planted areas
  • Review of the contractor bidding process
  • Land re-contouring techniques
  • Understanding of the design development to installation process
  • Running a professional landscape design firm or business

Getting a Landscape Contractor License

All landscape contractors are required to have a license bonded by the Contractors State License Board. This ensures that the contractor complies with certain rules and regulations, and has enough trade experience to provide different types of services. Unlicensed contractors may not carry insurance and can put other people at risk for injuries and hazards.

In order to get a landscape contractor license, you will need to complete the required hours of training from an approved landscape design school or landscape architect university in your state, and then complete an application with the Contractors State License Board. The time it takes to get your license after you submit your application varies by state to state, and the time you submit the application. Once approved, you will receive your official contractor license number.

Types of Programs Available at a Landscape Design School

Both offline and online landscape design school programs provide comprehensive training in the areas of landscape design, garden design and safety techniques. Some of the different types of programs available at a landscape design school include:

  • Landscape Design Diploma
  • Landscape Design Bachelor's Degree
  • Master's Degree in Landscape Design
  • Certificate in Sustainable Landscapes
  • Landscape Design Graduate Certificate
  • Distance Learning Landscape Design Programs

Types of Landscape Courses

When you enroll in a landscape design training program, you will need to take a variety of specialized landscape courses and may be required to complete an internship as part of your program requirements. Some of the most common landscape courses available through a landscape design program include:

  • Introduction to Landscape Design
  • Landscape Plants for Each Season
  • Site Analysis Techniques
  • Planting Design Techniques
  • Tools for Sustainable Design
  • Native Plants
  • Environmental Design
  • Computer-Aided Design (CAD) for Landscape Architecture
  • Holistic Landscape Ecology

Applying for Landscape School

If you are interested in attending a landscape school or landscape architect universities, you may be required to take a certain number of credits from the School of Architecture or School of Landscape Architecture before you can be admitted to a landscape design program. When applying for a master's program or graduate studies at a landscape school, you will need to submit a formal application, GRE or TOEFL test scores, official transcripts and pay a fee. You may also b required to submit letters of reference, a professional resume and samples from a portfolio.

Attending a Landscape Architect University

If you want a more immersive experience and are prepared for intensive, hands-on classes, you can choose to attend one of the country's top landscape architecture universities. A landscape architect university trains students in all aspects of creative design and provides hands-on experience in the latest landscape design software programs, tools and technologies.

Landscape design and planning programs are typically a minor offered by the university's College of Design and require students to take a series of prerequisites and elective courses, ranging from landscape architecture history to regional landscape planning. Professional practice may take the form of an internship or an externship with a local landscape architecture firm or business.

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