landscaper and landscape designer comparison

Did you know a landscape architect tends to earn more than a landscape designer? A landscape architect’s yearly income can exceed $75,000. Meanwhile, a landscape designer’s earnings are usually above $49,000. This shows a big difference in what these two types of experts make. Knowing this can guide you in picking the best professional for your outdoor project.

Key Takeaways

  • Landscapers typically handle larger-scale commercial projects, while landscape designers focus on residential properties.
  • Landscape architects require a higher level of technical knowledge and training, including a Bachelor’s or Master’s degree in Landscape Architecture.
  • Landscape designers may be self-taught or have a Bachelor’s degree in a related field, but do not require the same level of licensing and certification as architects.
  • Landscape architects specialize in complex design elements like grading, drainage, and environmental impact, while designers focus more on aesthetics and plant selection.
  • Landscape architects generally charge more for their services compared to landscape designers.

Key Differences Between Landscapers and Landscape Designers

Deciding between a landscaper and a landscape designer is key when upgrading your outdoor area. These experts both work in the landscaping field but bring unique skills and experiences. It’s essential to know their differences in education, training, and types of projects they handle.

Education and Training

A landscaper needs to complete a bachelor’s degree, like a Bachelor of Landscape Architecture (BLA). This is after passing the Landscape Architecture Registration Examination (LARE). Their studies cover design, construction, art, history, and science for four or five years.

Landscape designers might not have a degree similar to landscapers. They could be self-taught or have a background in horticulture, soil science, or botany. Working with design and build firms helps them learn construction and project management. They are skilled at creating detailed plans for residential projects.

Project Scope

Landscapers are often seen in big projects like parks and commercial areas. They are the go-to for technical landscaping work. Their skills in site planning, grading, and complying with regulations are top-notch.

Landscape designers shine in smaller, residential projects. Think beautiful backyards and front lawns. They focus heavily on the looks of the design, making it pleasing to the eye. They handle the aesthetic side more than the technical work.

Landscapers Landscape Designers
Typically hold a Bachelor of Landscape Architecture (BLA) or a Bachelor of Science in Landscape Architecture (BSLA) May not have the same formal education and training, often self-taught or have studied horticulture, soil science, or botany
Licensed to work on large commercial projects, such as public parks, commercial buildings, and urban spaces Focus more on smaller-scale residential projects, such as backyard landscapes and front lawns
Have a higher level of technical expertise in areas like site planning, grading, water management, and local regulations Tend to concentrate more on the aesthetic aspects of the design, rather than the technical details involved in larger commercial projects

landscaper and landscape designer comparison

Both landscapers and landscape designers bring beauty to outdoor areas. But their backgrounds and skills match different types of projects. Knowing these differences is crucial for picking the best expert for your landscaping job.

landscaper and landscape designer comparison

Landscapers and landscape designers both do important work outdoors. Their skills and what they focus on are different. Landscapers are experts who make big outdoor areas look great. They use their knowledge to make big projects real.

Landscape designers, on the other hand, are all about making home landscapes pretty and useful. They’re great at putting together designs that look awesome. This includes things like making outdoor spaces and gardens that fit the style of the house.

Choosing who to hire depends on the project’s size and what needs to be done. For big jobs like huge parks or fancy business areas, landscapers are the way to go. They know a lot about all the hard and soft stuff in landscaping. Everything from setting up hardscape features to keeping it all looking nice falls under their expertise.

But if it’s your home you’re working on, then a landscape designer might be a better choice. They’re great at making outdoor areas for houses that look beautiful. Their focus is on designs that match the home’s architecture and the natural setting around it.

Landscaper Landscape Designer
Specializes in large-scale commercial projects Excels in residential outdoor design
Skilled in technical aspects of landscaping Focuses on creative design and aesthetics
Expertise in hardscaping, softscaping, and maintenance Specializes in garden design, lawn care, and outdoor living spaces
Usually charge lower hourly rates Often command higher hourly rates

The right choice between a landscaper and a landscape designer depends on many things. The project’s needs, how much you can spend, and how involved you want to be matter. Knowing what each pro does best helps property owners pick the right one. This ensures the project turns out well.

Sectors and Career Paths

The world of landscaping and landscape design is full of opportunities. It offers a broad range of career paths. One key role is that of the landscape architect.

These experts tackle diverse projects. They work on public parks, urban areas, and private properties. They play a key role in making spaces more beautiful and functional.

Landscape architects plan sites for the best use of land. They look at the land’s shape, property lines, and what’s already there. With these details, they create outdoor areas that work well and look good.

Working for design firms or on their own, they manage projects big and small. They oversee everything from the initial plans to the final touches.

Landscape Architects

In 2021, the median salary for landscape architects in the U.S. was about $68,000. The top 10% made over $115,000 a year. This shows that the field not only offers a chance to do meaningful work but also a good income.

Landscape architecture offers less job availability than architecture. This is due to fewer firms and lower demand. Yet, it provides specific rewards and challenges.

The unique nature of this work is fascinating. Landscape architects deal with nature’s unpredictability. They create designs that change and grow over time. This needs a lot of flexibility and creativity.

landscape architect

Despite its unique challenges, landscape architecture attracts many professionals. They are passionate about making our environment better. This career offers a chance to work on a wide range of projects. From small gardens to big community spaces.

Landscape architects find jobs not only in their field but also in engineering and architecture offices. They can work in city planning and garden centers too. This shows the many career paths within this exciting field.


In landscaping and outdoor design, both landscapers and landscape designers are important. They work together but have different jobs. Landscaping professionals work on making outdoor spaces look good and function well. But they have various skills and work on different kinds of projects.

Landscapers know a lot about plants and caring for the earth. They often work on big, public projects like parks and golf courses. They make sure these outdoor places are both pretty and good for the environment.

Landscape designers, on the other hand, focus mainly on making private gardens look beautiful. They are experts in choosing plants and talking with their clients to understand their needs. Their work is high-priced because of their skills and experience.

Deciding between a landscaper and a landscape designer depends on what you need. For big, commercial sites or making your home’s garden better, knowing what each does can help you choose wisely. This way, you can meet your landscaping goals effectively.


What are the key differences between landscapers and landscape designers?

Landscapers and landscape designers differ in their work and focus. Landscapers know more about technical parts and can work on big projects. They need certain education and licenses. On the other hand, landscape designers put their skills into making home gardens beautiful. They might not have the same education as landscapers, but they are good at creating plans for gardens. So, if you want a park designed, go to a landscaper. For making your home garden pretty, a landscape designer is your best bet.

What are the education and training requirements for landscapers and landscape designers?

To be a landscaper, you have to study a lot and pass a tough test. This test is called the LARE. Landscapers usually get a degree in Landscape Architecture. This degree takes about four or five years and includes things like design and science. It helps them know a lot about making spaces look and work well.Landscape designers might not have the same formal training as landscapers. Yet, they know a lot about making gardens. They might be self-taught or studied things like plants and earth. Many work with teams that design and build places. This helps them learn about making their designs real.

What types of projects do landscapers and landscape designers typically work on?

Landscapers often work on big projects like parks and big buildings. They need to know a lot about the space, water, and rules. On the other hand, landscape designers work on making homes’ outdoor areas pretty. Their focus is on the look of the design rather than the big technical details. So, if you dream of a beautiful home yard, a landscape designer is what you need. For a big public space, a landscaper is the expert to call.

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