Imagine this: you're a landscape architect fresh out of school or looking for your next gig. The green spaces of the world are your playground, but you're now facing a challenge that has nothing to do with planning or designing. It's time to find an employer, but not just any employer—the right employer.
So, what's the recipe for the perfect workplace? As we delve into this question, we'll examine some recent statistics and trends, making the journey a bit less like navigating a thorny maze and a bit more like a stroll in a well-planned park.
1. Room for Growth
The ideal company should be more like an expansive, lush garden than a stunted bonsai tree. In other words, it should offer room for growth. According to a report from the American Society of Landscape Architects (ASLA) in 2022, 78% of landscape architects said that opportunities for professional development were a critical factor in their job satisfaction1.
Think about it—would you rather work for a company that views you as a static topiary or one that nurtures you like a blossoming cherry tree? So, when you're interviewing with potential employers, ask them about the avenues for advancement and their commitment to employee development.
2. Sustainable and Green Practices
As a landscape architect, sustainability is probably not a foreign concept to you. But, in 2023, it's not just about designing eco-friendly spaces; it's about being part of an organization that walks the green walk too. A 2022 survey by Greenbiz showed that 74% of landscape architects preferred to work for companies that actively incorporated sustainability into their business practices2.
So, if you walk into an office and they're using single-use plastics for their coffee cups while printing reams of unnecessary paper, you might want to reconsider your options. But if the company has a 15-foot-tall green wall in their lobby, you could be on to a winner!
3. Engaging Projects
As creators, we love a good challenge—something that gets the creative juices flowing. This notion holds for landscape architects too. According to a 2023 ASLA report, over 80% of landscape architects consider the opportunity to work on diverse and engaging projects a key factor in their job satisfaction3.
So, if a potential employer offers you an endless array of cookie-cutter suburban developments to work on, you might start to feel like a production line worker rather than a creative professional. Look for a workplace that promises variety, and you're more likely to remain engaged and satisfied in your work.
4. Good Compensation
While our passion for landscape architecture might not be driven by money, we can't deny that a well-stuffed wallet can make the difference between enjoying a glass of fine wine or settling for boxed juice. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), the median pay for landscape architects in 2022 was $69,3604.
While money isn't everything, ensure that you're being fairly compensated for your skills and talent. Besides, the occasional sip of Châteauneuf-du-Pape wouldn't hurt, would it?
5. Positive Workplace Culture
Just like you wouldn't plant a cactus in a swamp, you wouldn't want to work in an environment that doesn't suit you. A 2023 report by the Design Intelligence found that 65% of landscape architects emphasized a company's culture as a major determinant in their job satisfaction5.
When you visit the potential employer's office, observe how colleagues interact with each other. Is there laughter and good-natured ribbing, or does it feel as stifling as a non-ventilated greenhouse on a sunny day? Make sure to find an environment that allows you to flourish.
When it comes to finding the right employer, it's all about the right fit. A job might have all the trappings of success but still not suit you. Remember that you're more than just a gardener for the urban world—you're a landscape architect, and you deserve an employer that helps you cultivate your best work. In the words of the famous garden designer Gertrude Jekyll, "The love of gardening is a seed once sown that never dies." Here's hoping that love extends to your place of work too!
After all, shouldn't the artistry you bring to your designs reflect the joy you find in your workplace? A landscape architect's job isn't just about creating beautiful spaces—it's about finding one for themselves too.
American Society of Landscape Architects (ASLA), 2022. Professional Development and Job Satisfaction Report. ↩
Greenbiz, 2022. Workplace Sustainability Survey. ↩
American Society of Landscape Architects (ASLA), 2023. Engaging Projects and Job Satisfaction Report. ↩
Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), 2022. Occupational Outlook Handbook: Landscape Architects. ↩
Design Intelligence, 2023. Workplace Culture and Job Satisfaction Report. ↩