Roles and responsibilities: Landscape architects

General areas of responsibility

A practicing professional landscape architect:

  • Must hold a valid license issued by the state where they provide services
  • Provides consultations, investigations, reconnaissance, research, planning, design, construction document preparation, construction administration, or teaching supervision in connection with the development of land areas for the preservation, enhancement, or determination of proper land uses, natural land features, ground cover and planting, naturalistic and aesthetic values, the settings and approaches to structures or other improvements, or natural drainage and erosion control.
  • Determines the location, design, and arrangement of pools, walls, steps, trellises, canopies, and other features.
  • Designs and arranges land forms and develops outdoor spaces such as public parks, trails, playgrounds, cemeteries, home and school grounds, and industrial or recreational sites.

Subjects typically addressed by landscape architects

The following examples are general guidelines, and shouldn’t be considered all inclusive.

Design area Subjects addressed by landscape architects
  • Site analysis
  • Visual assessment
  • Environmental assessment
  • Recreation assessment
  • Vegetation management
  • Urban and town planning
  • Regional planning
  • Parks and recreational facilities
  • Land development
  • Historic preservation and reclamation
  • Site layout
  • Grading
  • Drainage
  • Planting
  • Irrigation
  • Circulation of pedestrians, bicycles, equestrians, and vehicles
  • Site furniture
  • Recreational facilities
  • Wetland and wildlife habitat mitigation and restoration
  • Soil stabilization
  • Bio-filtration
  • Site construction management and administration


Exempt services

State laws recognize that certain areas of expertise are common to professionals other than landscape architects. For a list of the exemptions, see RCW 18.96.220: Application — Professions and activities not affected.


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