Becoming certified in landscape irrigation is gaining a professional credential that allows consumers to have confidence in your skill. It isn't required by law, but it's a good idea if you're serious about pursuing landscape irrigation as a career or a side job.
The first step is deciding what level of certification you want or need. There are three levels:
- CID: Certified Irrigation Designer
- CIC: Certified Irrigation Contractor
- Certified Water Conservation Manager - Landscape (CWCM-L) [source: Irrigation Association]
International Irrigation Show
For more than you could ever imagine on the topic of landscape, turf or golf irrigation, consider a vacation that includes the International Irrigation Show. Each year during late fall, more than 350 exhibitors set up shop. In addition, the show offers technical sessions, a new product competition, and opportunities to network and attend seminars, education courses and exams [source: Irrigation Association].
Additional certification is available if you decide that your passion is for irrigating golf courses or becoming an auditor for landscape irrigation. Most of these positions require self-study or classes and passing a written exam. Between one and three years of experience or education is required before applying to take the exam. Classes are available for a fee from professional places like the Irrigation Association.
Registration for an exam must be done at least 30 days prior to the exam. Exams are given at trade shows regionally. Generally, it takes about a month to receive your exam results, but don't stress too much. You have three chances to pass before you must wait two years to begin the process again [source: Irrigation Association].
Certification must be renewed each year. A fee and a minimum of 10 Continuing Education Units (CEUs) are required to renew your certification. If going back to school makes you break out in a sweat, you can earn CEUs in other ways, such as by attending meetings, field days or trade shows. Seminars on the green industry or irrigation can also fill the requirement.
In addition to becoming certified, you may need to be licensed. Some states require you to pass licensing exams, often through a state bureau, such as a Department of Agriculture or Environment.