Career prospects

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The career prospects after studying landscape architecture and landscape planning are wide-ranging. Currently, graduates with a bachelor's and a master's degree are in high demand on the job market.

Image: Anika Fleige

Planning offices

Depending on the orientation and size of the office, there are different areas of focus, such as designs for public and private open spaces, participation and communication concepts, plans and strategies for dealing with nature and the landscape, or ecological reports, for example for protected areas or for interventions by infrastructure projects. To be admitted to the chamber after a few years of professional experience, one has to prove that one has a master's degree.

Image: Stefanie Hennecke


Students who enjoy research during their studies can earn a master's degree and then work at universities or other research institutions to gain new insights in applied or basic science fields.

Image: Heidi Trapp

Gardening / Landscaping

Activities in implementing companies of gardening and landscaping are also eligible.

Authorities, municipalities, associations

There are also currently very good prospects in the area of public administration. Here, the range extends from nature conservation authorities to other specialized authorities (for example, regional development, rural development/village renewal or water management) to cities and municipalities with their environmental, urban planning and green space offices. In addition, there are institutions that perform planning tasks for larger areas and prepare landscape plans, landscape framework plans, land use plans or regional spatial development plans.

Opportunities beyond one's own 'plate edge' as well

Finally, there are many other career prospects, for example with international organizations and consulting firms, in environmental education institutions and nature conservation centers, with environmental associations and foundations, in ministries with responsibility for nature conservation and environmental issues. So-called large-scale protected areas with their administrative offices, i.e. national parks, biosphere reserves and nature parks, also offer a wide range of opportunities.

ASL Alumni I What does...?

Image: Christina Grebe

Dr. -Ing. Christina Grebe
Zweckverband Raum Kassel

Christina Grebe studied at the University of Kassel in the field of landscape architecture and landscape planning with a specialization in environmental management and today works for the Zweckverband Raum Kassel.

Between 2002 and 2007 I completed my diploma studies in landscape architecture and landscape planning at the University of Kassel. I deepened my studies with a subsequent master's degree in 2009 in environmental management, also at the University of Kassel. After graduation, I was initially part of several research projects at the University of Kassel. There I also gained first teaching experience through lectureships and finally received my PhD in 2017.

The University of Kassel was my first choice because it encourages and demands personal project study. Self-selected topics that extend over a semester are the rule, not the exception - this enables a more intensive and in-depth examination of questions and problems. Added to this is the high value placed on team projects. They not only promote the ability to work in a team, but also provide initial insights into project and organizational management. These are skills that are often not taught much in non-business-oriented degree programs, but which are highly valued in professional life. The result of this team orientation: openness and curiosity for new things. Be it people, groups or topics. Today, I appreciate these skills in my job. Teamwork means mastering complex tasks as a whole in a division of labor. This also includes graphic processing. A task that accompanies me throughout my studies as well as in my current professional work. Practical relevance, teamwork, and the focus on topics over a longer period of time are, as mentioned, cornerstones of research and teaching at the University of Kassel. In the subjects of landscape architecture, landscape planning and environmental management, this practice naturally hardly takes place in the laboratory, but much more outside, in nature, outdoors, on construction sites or already completed infrastructure projects. Excursions and study trips are therefore formative for my time studying in Kassel. The experience on the object, whether in the Kassel area itself or throughout Europe, was therefore a constant companion. The shell of the Gotthard Base Tunnel in Switzerland, Sylt or even a small watercourse in Witzenhausen, they have broadened the field of vision.

For graduates of scientific disciplines that do not provide a clear job description, entering the working world often means a new and different focus for the field of work. For me, this means that, for example, Landscape ecology is now only of secondary importance. Areas such as landscape planning and communication, on the other hand, continue to play a major role in my professional practice. Keyword lateral thinking: How do public spaces or landscapes and their socially experienced components affect different groups of people, how does our landscape change and how does our image of landscape change in connection with that? These are the questions that are driving me today. Fresh air corridors may serve as an example and how they have a concrete and tangible effect on the urban climate and the people in the city.

For the past two years, I have been working for the Zweckverband Raum Kassel, a public corporation. It has been in existence for over 45 years, currently has 22 employees and is responsible for land use and development planning for the city of Kassel and surrounding communities. One of my strategic tasks in the Energy and Climate department is to find answers to the question of how we in the North Hesse region can counter climate change and implement the energy transition. Specifically, these answers must be formulated in a politically and socially acceptable planning context. What is necessary to develop a new industrial park, how must energy standards be set that fit the goals of the energy transition, or how is acceptance among the population realized? In short, as the Energy and Climate staff unit, I also act as an interface to land use and landscape planning. My job is to take an overall look at the individual areas from a climatic and energy perspective.

What does a day like working in an interface function look like? There is actually no typical one. I'm always moving between the different areas of the administration, and I'm also involved in the content of voluntary committees. The connection to the old scientific work is a confirmation of the work 

My everyday work today has little to do with landscape architecture such as concrete object planning. It can rather be assigned to landscape planning, even if I do not actively do this planning, but it is the basis.  The knowledge of planning processes is elementary - requirements of the building code, for example, may sound dry. However, it is not possible without it. My job is conceptual in nature and suitable for people who like to talk, appreciate contact with other people, can network. And, most importantly, are interested in the environment and climate.

Image: Anika Fleige

M. Sc. Anika Fleige
Bruun & Möllers GmbH & Co. KG.

Anika Fleige studied landscape architecture and landscape planning with a specialization in urban planning at the University of Kassel and currently works as a landscape architect at the landscape architecture firm Bruun & Möllers in Hamburg.

From 2012 to 2019 I studied landscape architecture and landscape planning at the University of Kassel, first in the Bachelor and later in the Master. After 2 internships in private planning offices in Hamburg and in Zurich, I decided to specialize in urban planning in the master's program.

In retrospect, in addition to the numerous excursions, the project work in small groups was formative during the studies. The development of complex topics in a team strengthens the communicative skills, which come close to today's working methods in a planning office. In addition to the social aspects, the study program tests the student's own organizational skills, time management, ability to work under pressure and stamina. Smaller and larger presentations also prepare students for their professional life as landscape architects, landscape planners or open space planners. In addition, the course teaches students how to use (Adobe) programs such as InDesign, Photoshop and Illustrator, as well as CAD programs such as Vectorworks, which will later accompany planners in their day-to-day work.

Since 2019 I work in the Hamburg landscape architecture office Bruun & Möllers GmbH & Co. KG. Since 1999, the private planning office has employed approximately 18 people who work on competitions as well as projects in the service phases 1 (basic evaluation), 2 (preliminary design), 3 (draft) and 4 (approval) according to the Fee Structure for Architects and Engineers (HOAI). Bruun & Möllers' commissions range from public squares and urban spaces to parks and gardens, commercial and administrative buildings, and educational and cultural facilities. Landscape architecture is increasingly taking on an important role in the planning of the aforementioned typologies in light of climate change. Topics such as rainwater storage, retention and evaporation, cooling, shading, planting, and green roofs and facades accompany us in our everyday work.

Typical tasks in my day-to-day work include preparing and revising (preliminary) design site plans, sections and details in CAD, communicating with planning and project participants, and preparing and following up on project-related presentations. Brochures are also designed on topics such as surfaces and surfacing, equipment and furnishings, vegetation and lighting. In addition to the planning and design of outdoor facilities, I am responsible for our outdoor presentation together with a colleague: As part of the PR work, I manage and update Bruun & Möllers' website as well as their Competitionline and Landscape Architecture Today presence.

I usually work on several projects at the same time. Currently I am working on a project that resulted from a winning competition: the green and play area in Albert-Schweitzer-Weg in Kiel. Since this project involves a former paddling pool that is about 5 meters lower than other areas of the facility, both the handling of the existing structure and the height planning play a central role.

Recently, a workshop was held on this project with the client and playground planners. The project participants discussed different concepts and design approaches on the plan. The planners exchanged views on the special nature of the site and its integration into the environment, on the different needs of users, on specific play and movement elements, and on the original design approach in the competition draft.

I particularly enjoy designing (preliminary) design brochures for projects using Adobe InDesign. This type of design includes the development, editing and layout of graphics, illustrations, maps, pictograms, images, patterns, structures, colors and texts.

Recently I have been working on the furniture and different furniture manufacturers for the project Deelböge, an office campus in the north of Hamburg. Specifically, this involves making decisions about the form, color, materiality, and functionality of, for example, a chair, a table, a parasol, and a picnic bench, in consultation and close exchange with the client or building owner.

From my point of view, in contrast to landscape planning, which focuses on ecology, nature conservation and rural areas, landscape architecture focuses on artistic design, object planning and the design of - predominantly urban - open spaces according to the HOAI. Other subject areas closely related to landscape architecture are traffic planning, architecture and urban planning.

Image: Christoph Pelka

M. Sc. Chris­toph Pel­ ka
Head of Planungsgemeinschaft Landschaft + Freiraum

Christoph Pelka studied landscape architecture and landscape planning with a specialization in landscape architecture and open space planning at the University of Kassel from 2017 to 2021 and now heads the landscape architecture firm Planungsgemeinschaft Landschaft + Freiraum together with his partner Robert Bischer.

After graduating from high school, I first trained as a landscape gardener and then completed a bachelor's degree in landscape architecture at the University of Applied Sciences in Weihenstephan-Triesdorf. Afterwards, I worked for some time in a planning office in Stuttgart before I completed a master's degree in landscape architecture and open space planning at the University of Kassel from 2017 to 2021.

What was particularly interesting and formative for me about the master's program at the University of Kassel was that it imparted a professional vision that, in retrospect, prepared me in a special way for my current professional life. This applies in particular to the high degree of interdisciplinarity, which is one of the principles of teaching at the Department of Architecture, Urban Planning and Landscape Planning. I also got to know and appreciate scientific work in Kassel. Although it is rarely used in my object-related work in the planning office today, it is nevertheless an important experience that prepared me well for the differentiated observation of complex contexts in everyday life as well. Last but not least, getting to know and closely exchanging ideas with other students, lecturers and planners was a particularly important aspect for me. At the University of Kassel, I also made contact with a former lecturer and research assistant, with whom I now jointly manage a landscape architecture office.

Image: Christoph Pelka

Our office, Planungsgemeinschaft Landschaft + Freiraum, was founded in 1981 by the four partners Ulrike Kirchner, Anne Rogall, Andreas Schmidt-Maas and Norbert Scholz. In the course of the upcoming generation change after 40 years, I, together with my office partner Robert Bischer, dared to take the step into independence in 2021 and replaced our predecessors in order to continue the office and to practice my profession independently.

We mainly work on contracts for open space planning in public areas. Our clients are usually cities and municipalities in North and Central Hesse, parts of North Rhine-Westphalia, Southern Lower Saxony and Thuringia. Our main focus is on the design of inner-city open spaces such as squares and streets as well as pedestrian zones, green areas and parks. We often work in the context of historic old towns. We cover all service phases according to the German Fee Structure for Architects and Engineers (HOAI) and thus accompany our clients from the basic evaluation through the various design stages to the tendering and execution of the construction measures. My daily work consists on the one hand of the planning work in the office, for example the elaboration of drafts by means of a CAD program (computer-aided design), building cost calculations or the work on tender texts. On the other hand, we also carry out numerous external appointments, such as consultations with clients and municipal committees, presentations to committees, or participation procedures for citizens. A third focus of my work is the construction management of our projects, where the construction progress is checked and controlled on site at weekly construction site meetings. Ultimately, it is precisely this variety of different activities that makes my job so appealing.

The variety of different activities brings with it a range of skills for which my studies, but also my training and practical activities, have prepared me. On the one hand, a good ability to organize complex contexts is a particularly important quality. The interdisciplinary project studies in Kassel were ideal for teaching me this competence. On the other hand, project work also requires a concrete technical understanding and combines this with design creativity. Last but not least, it also involves working with other people. This ranges from working within the office as part of a planning team to cooperating with external planners and exchanging ideas with clients and people without a technical background, such as local residents.

From my point of view, the great speciality of my profession is that we landscape architects influence the reality of people's everyday lives by designing open spaces. The open spaces we design must generate utility values for people and fulfill corresponding demands. Closely connected to this, every project with its implementation also influences the development and the effects of the currently acute climate change. As an open space planner, you should therefore not only have a technical understanding and design creativity, but above all be interested in how people live together, what demands they have on their living environment and how this can be designed in the best possible way.

Image: Fabian Hirschauer

M. Sc. Fabian Hirschauer
Self-employed Landscape Planner

Fabian Hirschauer completed his Master's degree at the University of Kassel, specializing in environmental planning and landscape management, and now works as a self-employed landscape planner specializing in outdoor ecology. 

After school, I first completed a voluntary ecological year at a biological station. One of my supervisors there told me that he had studied landscape planning. Since I really liked the work there, I decided to take this course of study. In Höxter, I first studied landscape architecture as a bachelor's degree and then decided to study for a master's degree at the University of Kassel, specializing in environmental planning and landscape management. I liked the course very much and was quickly sure that I would want to work in this direction in the future. This assessment proved to be true: Since April 2022, I have been working as an independent landscape planner with a focus on outdoor ecology.

A particularly positive aspect of my studies at the University of Kassel was the variety of topics in the modules. A comprehensive view, also for other disciplines, is of great importance as a landscape planner. The chosen specialization additionally enabled me to gain an even deeper understanding and expertise of, for example, interrelationships in the landscape, which made it easier for me to "read" the landscape.

My studies were overall very project-oriented and consisted less of lectures, which I find very important. Working on planning tasks independently, but also in groups, gave me confidence in dealing with planning situations, which I benefit from today. On the one hand, the structure of the project reports I wrote at that time was similar to the reports I now write as an independent landscape planner. On the other hand, I developed a confidence in dealing and communicating with other people, which is of great importance in the working world. My studies have thus prepared me very well for my professional life. It is a good feeling to be able to apply the knowledge and skills acquired through my studies in practice and to earn money with them.

I also really liked the extensive excursion program. Trips to Romania and other places and countries offered not only a lot of technical knowledge, but also a lot of fun with teachers and fellow students.

Student life in the city of Kassel was a great experience. While many friends went home on the weekends while studying in the small town of Höxter, it was different in Kassel. I think students are more likely to move their lives here than they were in Höxter. There is simply "more life" in a larger city, and that also applies to the campus. I spent many nice evenings there with my friends.

In my profession, I am mainly involved in practical rather than purely conceptual landscape planning. This means that my work consists largely of field work, including many breeding, resting and migratory bird mappings in the course of wind energy development. In my subsequent "office time" at my desk, I also work on various expert reports on nature conservation-related land optimization. Another focus of my work is a teaching assignment at the University of Kassel.

A typical working day in spring and early summer, i.e. during the main recording period of breeding birds, starts with getting up very early. At best, mapping starts before sunrise. Whereas in the past people used to work with a pen and a printed map, nowadays the mapping is done digitally with a tablet and recording apps. Fortunately, digitization has also found its way into practical field work.

I particularly enjoy expert reports on nature conservation, for which I work through all the main planning steps: from mapping the species of value that occur and determining target species, to formulating concepts and guiding principles, to planning concrete measures. What is particularly appealing to me about this work is that my own ideas and conceptions are turned into reality and that I can thus make a direct contribution to nature and species conservation. I have the feeling that this opportunity is often denied in professional life and that good ideas and plans can come to nothing. It gives me great pleasure to visit my own plans after a few years and to find animal and plant species that would not find a habitat there without my own work. This is the greatest motivation for my work.

My professional field is recommended to people who like to be outside. I think everyone likes to be outdoors, but whether you can really cope with getting up early and going outside, even if the sun isn't shining, is perhaps another question. For me, it also involves a lot of independent work and organizing, especially as a self-employed person. Nevertheless, you should like working in a team, because communication and exchange of experience is always part of it.

Ecological topics and knowledge of the requirements and characteristics of species are particularly important to me, while technical issues play a subordinate role. In my work there is no artistic creativity like in landscape architecture, but creativity is still part of my work. In the context of landscape planning and nature conservation planning, there are often a multitude of possibilities to formulate goals and to develop concepts and measures. Of course, nothing should be "taken out of the air", but must always be technically justified. Dealing with existing protected assets, conflicts of interest and stakeholders therefore requires both scientifically sound and creative thinking.

Prospective landscape planners have excellent career prospects. Above all, people with knowledge of species are in demand. So if you can imagine spending a lot of time with wild bees, birds, amphibians &, I can only recommend that you follow a career path similar to mine.