OLR Research Report


December 5, 2008

 

2008-R-0642

LANDSCAPE ARCHITECT LICENSURE

By: Kristin Sullivan, Associate Analyst

You asked for landscape architect licensure requirements and permissible areas of practice in Connecticut and other states.

SUMMARY

The requirements for landscape architect licensure in Connecticut, as well as the services these professionals may offer, are consistent with those in other states. State laws generally describe “landscape architecture” as the rendering of professional services by a licensed landscape architect, including consultation, investigation, research, planning, design preparation, and responsible supervision to preserve, enhance, or determine proper land uses, natural features, plantings, settings and approaches to structures, and settings for grades and drainages and the determination of environmental problems such as erosion. Connecticut law specifically exempts from its definition the physical implementation of services, including, but not limited to, the actual on-site performance of grading, drainage, soil and erosion controls and planting work normally performed by builders, general contractors, and subcontractors. Other states, such as Delaware and Ohio, exempt certain types of design work normally done by engineers or architects.

According to the American Society of Landscape Architects (ASLA), the national professional industry association, every state, other than Vermont, licenses landscape architects. They do so under are two different types of licensure laws: practice acts and title acts. Practice acts require individuals to have a license to practice landscape architecture. Title acts allow anyone to practice landscape architecture, regardless of their qualifications, but only individuals with a license may use the title “landscape architect” or advertise for “landscape architectural” services. Each state sets its own licensure requirements, but all require candidates to take the Landscape Architect Registration Examination (LARE), which the Council of Landscape Architectural Registration Boards (CLARB) administers.

Forty two states, including Connecticut, operate under a practice act. Table 1 provides details on the laws in practice act states. Seven states (Illinois, Maine, Massachusetts, Michigan, Virginia, and Washington, and Wisconsin) operate under a title act. (For more information on these laws, see ASLA's website.) Applicants for licensure in Connecticut and most states must hold a degree from an accredited undergraduate program, have related experience obtained under the supervision of a licensed landscape architect, and pass the LARE. They may often substitute experience for education. Some states require landscape architects to obtain continuing education credits to maintain their licensure. Connecticut is one such state.

LICENSURE REQUIREMENTS AND PROFESSIONAL SERVICE AREAS

States establish their own licensure laws, but there are considerable similarities among (1) the requirements they impose on applicants and; (2) their definitions of “landscape architecture” and hence, the scope of services licensees may offer. According to ASLA, for example, every state requires candidates to take the LARE. They usually require applicants to have a relevant degree and a minimum number of years of experience.

Within the definition of “landscape architecture,” most states specify a broad scope of services that a landscape architect may provide if he or she obtains a license. Generally, licensed landscape architects may consult, evaluate, plan, design, and administer contracts relative to projects principally directed at the functional and aesthetic use and preservation of land.

Connecticut

In Connecticut, applicants apply to the Department of Consumer Protection for licensure and the State Board of Landscape Architects determines whether standards have been met and authorizes the commissioner to issue the licenses. To receive a license, applicants must:

1. hold a professional degree in landscape architecture from a college or university accredited by the Landscape Architectural Accreditation Board (LAAB),

2. have at least two years of diversified experience in landscape architecture under the direct supervision of a licensed landscape architect,

3. have successfully completed the LARE, and

4. not have been disciplined by any other licensing board or have any pending disciplinary action or unresolved complaint before any other licensing board.

Applicants may seek to substitute eight years of diversified experience under the direct supervision of a licensed landscape architect for the degree. The state board may consider allowing the substitution if the applicant demonstrates that it includes sufficient elements of landscape architecture included in the LARE (Conn. Agencies Regs., 20-368-8a). To renew one's license to practice, a landscape architect must take 24 continuing education hours every two years (Conn. Agencies Regs., 20-368-15a).

By law, the “practice of landscape architecture” means rendering or offering to render site planning services, which may involve the (1) design or management of land; (2) arrangement of natural and artificial elements, including grading and incidental drainage, soil and erosion control, and planting plans; and (3) determination and consideration of inherent problems of the land relating to natural and artificial forces with concern for resource conservation in accordance with accepted professional standards of public health, safety, and welfare. Licensees may render services to clients through consultation, investigation, reconnaissance, research, planning, specification, design, or periodic observation.

Landscape architecture does not include the physical implementation of services, including grading, drainage, soil and erosion controls, and planting work normally performed by builders, general contractors, and subcontractors.

Other States

Table 1 provides the licensure requirements in seven other states. All, like Connecticut, have practice acts. The table also includes continuing education requirements and lists the professional services licensees may offer.

Table 1: Landscape Architect Licensure Requirements

State

Education and Experience

Continuing Education

Services Licensees May Provide

Delaware

Del. Code Ann. Tit. 24 200 et seq.

Applicants must have (1) graduated from an approved landscape architecture program and two years of professional experience or (2) two years of education in such a program and four years of experience

Experience must be obtained under the supervision of a licensed landscape architect.

Applicants must take 20 hours every biennial renewal period

Services include consultation; investigation; research; planning; design; preparation of drawings, specifications and contract documents; and responsible supervision or construction management in connection with the development of land areas where the dominant purpose of the services is, among other things (1)the preservation, enhancement, or determination of proper land uses, wetlands, and environmentally sensitive plant and animal communities; (2) the determination of environmental problems relating to erosion, flooding, and blight; and (3) the setting of grades, determination of drainage and providing for storm drainage systems where such systems do not require structural system design components and landscape irrigation.

Maryland

Md. Code Ann., Bus. Occ. & Prof. 9-101 et seq.

Applicants must (1) graduate from a board-approved college or school of landscape architecture and have practical work experience that together total six years or (2) have at least eight years of Board-approved practical work.

None

Services include:

n consultation, research, analysis, assessment, selection, and allocation of land and natural resources;

n development of criteria to govern the planning and design of land development and construction programs, including:

- planning, design, and preparation of construction documents;

- construction, observation, administration, and project management;

- preparation of feasibility and site selection studies, environmental studies, and cost estimate reports; and

- design and analysis of grading and drainage, irrigation, erosion and sediment control systems, and pedestrian and vehicular circulation systems; and

n determining a grade and drainage in conjunction with site plan preparation, and preparing and designing stormwater drainage systems.

New Hampshire

N.H. Rev. Stat. Ann. 310-A:140 et seq.

Applicants must have (1) an accredited four-year landscape architecture degree, or its equivalent, and three years professional experience under the direct supervision of a licensed landscape architect or (2) a non-accredited four-year landscape architecture degree, or a four-year degree in a related field, and five years professional experience under the direct supervision of a licensed landscape architect. Completion of graduate- or doctoral-level education can be substituted for experience.

Applicants must take 30 hours every biennial renewal period.

Services include:

n the preservation, enhancement, or determination of proper land uses, natural land features, ground cover and planting, naturalistic and aesthetic values, the setting, approaches, or environment for structures of other improvements;

n natural drainage and the consideration and determination of inherent problems of the land relating to erosion, wear and tear, blight, or other hazards to the extent that the services protect public health and welfare;

n production of graphic and written material for use in the planning and design of land development programs including:

- preparation, review, and analysis of master plans and land development plans incidental to the practice of landscape architecture.

- reconnaissance, planning, construction documents and specifications, and construction supervision incidental to the practice of landscape architecture;

- providing professional services for feasibility studies and site selection incidental to the practice of landscape architecture

- providing professional advice on land preservation, restoration, conservation, reclamation, rehabilitation, management, and development incidental to the practice of landscape architecture; and

n consultation, research, stewardship, analysis, investigation, reconnaissance, and construction overview.

New Jersey

N.J. Stat. Ann. 45:3A-1 et seq.

Applicants must have (1) a bachelor's degree or higher in landscape architecture from a college or university with a LAAB-accredited or board-approved curriculum and (2) a combined total of eight years of education and work experience, at least two of which must be under the supervision of a licensed landscape architect, architect, professional planner, or professional engineer. An applicant who is a graduate of a school or program that is not LAAB-accredited must provide the committee transcripts and a course description for each landscape architecture course for which the applicant seeks credit.

Applicants must take 24 hours every biennial renewal period.

Any service in which the principles and methodology of landscape architecture are applied in consultation, evaluation, and planning, including the preparation and filing of sketches, drawings, plans, and specifications, and responsible administration of contracts relative to projects principally directed at the functional and aesthetic use of land.

New York

N.Y. Econ. Dev. Law 7320 et seq.

Applicants must have (1) a bachelor's degree or higher in landscape architecture and (2) experience satisfactory to the board in landscape architectural work. The combined college study and experience must total eight years.

In lieu of the degree and experience, applicants may substitute twelve years of practical experience provided each complete year of study be in lieu of two years of experience but not to exceed eight years toward the required total of twelve years.

Eligibility for licensure is based on a combination of education and experience and must total at least 12 units. The board specifies and awards credits. For example, a four-year ASLA-accredited undergraduate curriculum is worth eight units and a four-year ASLA-

accredited undergraduate curriculum plus a graduate degree in landscape architecture is worth nine units.

Applicants must take 36 hours every triennial renewal period.

Services in connection with the development of land areas where the dominant purpose of such services is the:

n preservation, enhancement, or determination of proper land uses, natural land features, ground cover and planting, naturalistic and aesthetic values;

n the settings, approaches, or environment for structures or other improvements;

n natural drainage; and

n the consideration and determination of inherent problems of the land relating to the erosion, wear and tear, blight or other hazards.

The practice includes the location and arrangement of tangible objects and features that are incidental and necessary to these purposes

Ohio

Ohio Rev. Code Ann. 4703.30

Applicants must have (1) a LAAB-accredited professional degree and (2) three years of practical experience under the direct supervision of a licensed landscape architect, or equivalent experience, as determined by the board, provided at least one year of experience must have been completed after completing the educational requirement.

An applicant may also satisfy the experience requirement by (1) completing a board-established internship program or (2) demonstrating that he or she has equivalent experience that is acceptable to the board. A graduate degree in landscape architecture, preceded by an accredited undergraduate landscape architecture degree, can substitute for one year of experience.

Applicants must take 24 hours every biennial renewal period.

Services include:

n preparation of master, site, and comprehensive development plans;

n preparation of feasibility and site selection studies;

n supervision of the execution of projects involving, among other things, the:

- preservation, enhancement, or determination of proper land and water uses, naturalistic and aesthetic values, and reforestation;

- determination of settings, grounds, and approaches for buildings and structures;

- determination of environmental problems relating to erosion and sediment control, flooding, blight and other hazards;

- determination of grades;

- determination of surface and ground water drainage and providing for drainage systems where such systems do not require structural design of system components or a hydraulic analysis of the receiving storm water conveyance system;

- development of roadways and parkways, equestrian, bicycle, and pedestrian circulation systems and other ancillary elements, for public and private use;

n preparation of construction documents, provided they are limited to and necessary for projects within the scope of landscape architecture;

n construction observation;

n project coordination and review of technical submissions, plans, and construction documents; and

n collaboration with architects and professional engineers in the design of streets, highways, bridges, buildings, and structures with respect to the functional and aesthetic requirements of the area in which facilities are placed.

Rhode Island

R.I. Gen. Laws 5-51-1

Applicants must have (1) a bachelor's degree or higher in landscape architecture from an approved college or school of landscape architecture and (2) at least two years of experience under the direct supervision of a landscape architect, or, one year of experience under the direct supervision of a landscape architect and one year of experience in related work under the direct supervision of an architect, engineer, or land surveyor.

In lieu of the education requirement, an applicant may substitute at least six years of satisfactory practical experience in landscape architectural work. The board may give credit for approved college education at its discretion.

No

Services include:

n consultation, research, analysis and assessment, selection, and allocation of land and water resources;

n formulating graphic and written criteria to govern the planning and design of land construction development programs including:

- preparation, review and analysis of master and site plans;

- reconnaissance, planning, design, preparation of drawings, construction documents and specifications, and responsible construction observation;

n design coordination and review of technical plans and construction documents prepared by other professionals working under the direction of the landscape architect;

n land preservation, restoration, conservation, reclamation, rehabilitation, management and development;

n feasibility studies and site selection for developments;

n integration, site analysis and determination of settings for grounds and locations of buildings, structures, transportation systems, and environmental systems;

n analysis and design of grading and drainage, storm water management, irrigation systems for erosion and sediment controls, planting plans, lighting, and ground cover; and

n feasibility studies, cost estimates and reports for development.

HYPERLINK

American Society of Landscape Architects http://www.asla.org/index.aspx.

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