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For those who plan to start a business in landscaping: do you plan to install, repair, or maintain irrigation systems as part of your work? If the answer is yes, you will need an irrigation contractor’s license to do so.

Irrigation systems help water plants, flowers, and vegetables, and it’s of the utmost importance that you as a landscaping professional be fully trained to handle irrigation systems properly. To prove that you know what you’re doing, you should become certified as an irrigation contractor.

Becoming certified may not be required in your state, but it will boost your customers’ confidence in your skills, and open the door to new opportunities.

Getting Your Irrigation Contractor’s License

Each state will have slightly different requirements for getting this business license, so check with your state’s business licenses, permits & tax department to find out what you need to do. Typically you need to study for an exam on irrigation and landscaping before you will be approved for your irrigation contractor’s license.

In New Jersey, you must have three years’ experience working with landscaping irrigation systems before you can become a licensed irrigation landscape contractor. Additionally, you may need to show evidence that you have taken certain educational requirements.

The exam covers topics such as:

  • Planning irrigation projects based on specifications and requirements.
  • Preparing installation sites, including layout, staking, excavation, boring, trenching, grading, and back-filling.
  • Understanding the limitations of different piping systems.
  • Laying out and installing piping and water delivery components.
  • Troubleshooting and repairing irrigation components and systems.

If you don’t pass the test the first time, you may retake it for an additional fee. Once you have received your irrigation license, make sure to keep it up to date by renewing it.