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Classification & Qualifications General Schedule Qualification Standards

Landscape Architecture Series, 0807

Individual Occupational Requirements

Basic Requirements:

  1. Degree: landscape architecture or landscape design.
    Note:Successful completion of a 5-year program of study of at least 160 semester hours leading to a bachelor's degree in landscape architecture in an accredited college or university is qualifying for GS-7.

    OR

  2. Combination of education and experience -- for each year short of graduation, the applicant must have had 1 year of experience under professional leadership and guidance of such character and diversity as to be a satisfactory substitute for the required education. This experience must have included original landscape design.

Experience Equivalent to a Degree in Landscape Architecture: A degree in landscape architecture indicates that an applicant has the basic background to perform professional landscape architectural work at the beginning levels, and has the potential to develop the skills and abilities required at the higher levels. Experience may be substituted for education to the extent that it provided the equivalent back-ground. However, because an education provides some knowledge that cannot be measured in terms of course content, but rather is part of general knowledge and cultural background gained as a result of interrelationships among courses, careful judgment must be used in evaluating experience substituted for education as provided for in paragraph B of the basic requirements.

The objective of providing for the substitution of experience for education is to avoid excluding proven professional landscape architects from the Federal service. However, relatively few applicants will qualify on the basis of experience alone. The time required in the case of an individual applicant to acquire the required experience may take substantially more than 4 years. In view of the breadth and depth of training required, it is rare that a person will qualify without some course work in addition to experience.

Applicants who apply on the basis of experience in lieu of education are required to show how their background is equivalent to a degree. In order to qualify at the entrance level, non-degree applicants typically must have experience or study that included site planning; layout of circulation patterns; grading and drainage plans; planting plans; collaboration with architects and/or engineers; and the supervision or review of landscape construction.

Evaluation of Experience: The following kinds of experience are not acceptable as professional landscape architectural experience: routine drafting or developing of plans where original investigations or designs are not involved; laying out or executing illustrations in black-and-white or in color; nursery work involving the propagation of trees, shrubs, vines, etc.; experimental, horticultural, or landscape gardening; breeding, testing, propagation, culture, and production of plants, flowers, trees, crops, etc.; forestry work involving the management of forest resources for the continuous production of timber, water, forage, and other forest values; architectural and engineering work limited to the design of structures; work in city and community planning that relates primarily to the broad social and economic growth of cities and communities and the organization of community services and facilities.

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