The Differences Between a Landscape Architect vs Landscape Designer

Functional Outdoor Living Design

When it comes to planning and designing outdoor spaces, the terms “landscape architect” and “landscape designer” are often used interchangeably. But there are a few distinct differences between the two professions that are important to understand — especially if you’re planning an outdoor living project.

Here’s what you need to know.


Education is one of the key distinctions between a landscape architect and a landscape designer.

The landscape architects at BPI hold professional degrees in landscape architecture and maintain licensure by the state. By contrast, landscape designers may have a degree in horticulture, gardening, or a related field, but are not required to be licensed.


Another important distinction is the scope of professional responsibilities between landscape architects and landscape designers.

Landscape architects are responsible for the design, planning, and management of complex projects. They are also involved in the management and protection of natural resources their designs and projects may impact. On the other hand, a landscape designer typically has a narrower focus, such as residential gardens and backyard landscapes.

3D rendering of project


The type of projects that landscape architects and landscape designers work on also differs.

Landscape architects often work on large-scale projects with a range of complex features. Along with design, they’re also involved in master planning, site analysis, design development, and construction documentation. Landscape designers work on smaller-scale residential projects, and may not stay involved once the project moves past the design phase.

While both landscape architects and landscape designers play an important role in creating beautiful and functional outdoor spaces, they differ in some significant ways. Understanding these distinctions can help you choose the right professional for your needs.

Do you have questions about who you should hire for your project? We’re here for you. Schedule a design consultation to meet with our landscape architects and discuss your ideas.

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Get started on your outdoor transformation  today. Connect with one of our designers.

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Free Checklist for hiring Landscape Architects.

You have a vision for your outdoor space. All you need now is the right outdoor living partner to help you transform those ideas into the perfect space for family and friends to gather. Before you get started, find the landscape architects that check all the right boxes.

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