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Pathway to
landscape design



Landscape designers design outdoor spaces! These outdoor spaces may be small or large, residential, commercial or industrial.

Landscape designers consult with the client to determine the client’s needs and make recommendations as to the options a client may have, considering their requirements and budget. They then prepare the plans, specifications and working documents that the landscape contractor uses to build the landscape.

The landscape designer must have a strong understanding of the principles of design, the design process, industry best practices, materials (such as paving, timbers, edging) to use, and plant selection and placement.

An integral part of the work a landscape designer does involve using computer-aided drawing programs. As many plans need to be submitted to local Council for approval, a high standard of detail and presentation is required. Landscape designers need to quote jobs accurately, so they need an up-to-date knowledge of the many aspects of the industry.

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MLSA Members are on the look out for their next new recruit.


Already a landscape professional?

Further your career by undertaking additional study or specialising.


Landcape Design Courses

While landscape design does form a small part of the elective elements under other landscaping qualifications, the Diploma of Landscape Design is the purpose-built course aimed explicitly at aspiring landscape designers.  

To find out what is in the qualification, visit the Australian Government Training website or contact TAFE SA to discuss what you need to do.

Whilst this is not a requirement to undertake the Diploma of Landscape Design, the Cert III in Landscape Construction provides a strong foundation of industry skills and knowledge relating to work health and safety, landscape and construction practices, project costing, drainage, plants and soils.

This qualification provides the skills and knowledge for entry level design job roles in the landscape design industry.

Individuals with this qualification perform tasks involving technical skills and problem solving to monitor and improve performance of landscape design projects.

The Diploma of Landscape Design is the purpose-built course specifically aimed at individuals wanting to become landscape designers.

You can enrol in this qualification without any previous studies to qualify as a Landscape Designer, or complete it after the Cert III in Landscape Construction or Cert IV in Landscape Design.

Becoming A Landscaper Designer: The First Step

Landscaping represents one of Australia’s fastest-growing industries, closely linked to the housing boom. This rewarding career path involves designing outdoor spaces like residential gardens, commercial outdoor spaces and public common areas.

Landscape Designers combine horticultural knowledge, technical abilities and design expertise to create functional, aesthetically pleasing outdoor spaces of various scale. They design layouts for residential gardens, public parks, playgrounds and many other commercial spaces.

A Landscape Designer creates technical drawings detailing the location and species of plants to be used, as well as other design elements such as water features, pathways, retaining walls, and paved areas. They select plant types based on climate, soil quality and other factors as well as choosing building materials and finishes to complement the overall feel of the space.

A Landscape Designer will liaise with contracted builders and other professionals employed to carry out construction, irrigation and other specialised tasks. They act as a project manager to ensure the successful execution of their design to the client’s satisfaction.

By starting a career in landscaping design you’ll be involved in:

  • Assessing potential sites to determine climate, soil type, sun exposure etc.
  • Creating functional, aesthetically pleasing designs.
  • Using CAD software to produce detailed garden designs.
  • Selecting appropriate plant species based on clients’ needs and site characteristics.
  • Choosing building materials and finishes to complement plants and landscape.
  • Liaising with contractors to ensure accurate and timely completion.
  • Project management.

Skills you will need:

  • Creativity and imagination.
  • Love and appreciation for nature.
  • Attention to detail.
  • Strong design skills.
  • Extensive knowledge of horticulture.
  • Good spatial perception.
  • Practical problem solving ability.
  • Great communication.

What Next?

If you decide that landscape design is your chosen career, the the best option is to find yourself a job with a landscape design company.

Have a look for employment opportunities on the MLSA Jobs Board, and submit your resume so we can contact you when something comes up.

Landscaping is a rich and rewarding career where no two days are the same, and you get to make the most of the beautiful outdoors.
And, let's be honest...
the grass will be GREENER on your side!

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