Work experience and education are both needed for you to become an irrigation specialist. Previous irrigation repair people and sprinkler apprentices can use their hands-on experience to become an irrigation specialist. Alternatively, two year college degrees in a related field to irrigation can easily help an applicant become successful in the sprinkler industry.
An irrigation specialist must be versatile to perform the many duties necessary, from designing a new sprinkler system to repairing old copper pipes. Real life experiences are essential to this career; many repair technicians work for a number of years to gain the expertise needed to apply for a specialist position. Some employers like to promote from within to prevent a costly hiring process that can fail to find the correct person.
Aspiring specialists working as repair technicians should try to interact with every facet of the sprinkler system, from soldering pipes together to programming the electronic controls. Supervisors will often notice this on-the-job motivation for future promotion possibilities. It may also be a good idea to ask questions about an unfamiliar process to display your attention to detail and interest level.
Workers without any irrigation experience can work with an established specialist as an apprentice. The apprentice will learn about each part of the irrigation process and apply the knowledge during installations and repairs. It is important that you follow directions correctly and ask questions if there is any confusion; large and costly mistakes can occur from miscommunication which can affect your future as a specialist.
Another route to become an irrigation specialist is through a two year college degree. Many trade schools and community colleges offer degrees related to irrigation, including landscape design and turf management. These degrees cover irrigation, as well as associated subjects, like land contours and crop care. This degree will give the applicant an advantage over other prospective employees looking to become an irrigation specialist.
Many businesses work at various job sites to service customers' irrigation systems, especially for rural or farming applications. As a result, you must often have a current driver's license to perform this work. Customers requiring immediate assistance will expect the specialist and his or her repair crew to respond rapidly; good driving skills must be applied for safe traveling in a company vehicle.
The United States does not require any special licenses or certificates to work as an irrigation specialist. It is possible that a county or community may require a certificate stating that the specialist is aware of local water laws to preserve supplies. An aspiring specialist should contact the local government to verify the community laws before beginning a project.