Landscaping & Design/Interview


Dear Russel Ray,

I am working on a research paper about landscape architecture and am very interested in becoming a landscape architect.  If you would answer the following questions, that would be great.

1. Do you enjoy your job and the people that you interact with?

2.  If i went to a school that specified in Architecture, would my pay be more?

3. How long do you work per week? Are the work hours reasonable?

4. Do you often go over work hours, and is it stressful at all?

5. Which types of businesses seem to be the easiest to work with?


Jaden Hostetter

Hey, Jaden.

If I had it to do all over again, being a landscape architect would be much higher up on my list. As it is, I did everything through the school of hard knocks, and it was more a part-time hobby than a full-time profession. I did thoroughly enjoy everything about it, though.

I think that commercial landscape architecture is easier, and I think it also pays better than residential. Homeowners tend to change their minds after you finish for the day. They look at it, think about it, sleep on it, and when you show up the next day, they want to move this over there, put that here, etc. That's the part that I did not enjoy. With commercial, if you get the job, you get the job. Do it, get paid, move on. They don't think about anything after they award the contract.

Landscape architecture is a misnomer in my view. I don't think that going somewhere that has an architecture degree would make any difference per sé. Opt for a great "landscape architecture" program and be done with it.

Landscape architecture seems to be one of the few professions where you don't have to work more than 40 hours a week, don't have to work on Saturday and Sunday. You can, but you don't have to. After all, you can't do any work before the sun comes up or after it goes down. Additionally, if you wind up with a big company, everyone pretty much is hourly, and since most states require overtime pay for more than eight hours in a day, work is limited to eight hours, sometimes even 7˝ hours just to make sure that no one works overtime.

I think that answers your questions. Feel free to contact me again if you have more questions or want to get a little more detailed.


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Russel Ray


I can answer questions about water-wise landscaping, xeriscaping, and using native vegetation, cactus, and succulents to create a home paradise that won't increase your water bill.


My wise ol' grandmother got me started with cactus and succulents 42 years ago. The rest, as they say, is history.

National Association of Certified Home Inspectors, Better Business Bureau of San Diego

After graduating from Texas A&M University, I started a plant-sitting business in Houston to take care of the house plants when people went on vacation. That went on for five years before I moved back to College Station and started several businesses, one of which was a landscaping business specializing in "dry" landscaping.

Awards and Honors
The privilege of working with people.

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