Training today for a better tomorrow
What’s so amazing about the landscaping and gardening field is that it has so much to offer. There are so many careers to choose from, some of these areas include landscape technician, interior plantscape technician, arborist, nurseryman, golf course, chemical applicators, and so on.
So when it comes to choosing a career in this field there are many opportunities. I have had many years of training in some of these areas besides attending classes and sitting exams.
In this section, we will be looking at the job of an irrigation technician and what is required to become a part of this exciting field.
The importance of an irrigation technician
There is nothing like having a garden that is flourishing and breathtaking whether it is a flower, fruit or herb garden, etc… But in order to keep our garden plants, healthy and performing at their best and to reap a good harvest one important element that is needed is water.
Without water, it would be impossible for plants to perform at their best even survive. What is the use of having a beautiful garden installed investing time and spending your hard-earned $$$$$$$ then decide that you will not water it but just leave it and let the plants go for themselves? What do you think will happen?
The reality is you will have a lot of sickly and dying plants, all that $$$$$$ and time wasted. So we see the importance of water in the life of a plant.
Careers in irrigation
Many years ago I worked as a landscape and interior plantscape technician. The place of my employment hired a group of us to design, install, and maintain their plants.
Many of my then co-workers were not that committed to taking care of these garden plants that were entrusted to their care. We would create such beautiful designs that were breathtaking and slowly I watched many of these plants that were under their care fall sick and in some cases even died because they would not give these plants the required water for their survival even though they knew it.
So what I did at times was to do my best in seeking to help them bounce back by giving them water and tender loving care.
Plants require water to help manufacture their foods. Garden lawns also require water for the seam reason. If plants or garden lawns is not getting any water or sufficient water eventually they will become weak, sickly and then fall susceptible to garden insect pest and if the corrective methods are not taken they will succumb to these pests.
So we see the importance of water, even plants that are hailed as drought tolerant still need small amounts of water in order to survive. This is why we need irrigation technicians to ensure that our garden lawns and plants are getting the right amount of water and water for that fact.
The job of an irrigation technician
An irrigation technician has many responsibilities which are.
1. Making daily checks to ensure that the automatic clocks are set for each zone or area of the landscape.
2. Checking each zone for leaks and broken pipes that can cause the system to lose pressure.
3. Checking for broken sprinkler heads.
4. Checking and cleaning filters as the need arises.
5. Making repairs to broken waterlines ( pipes).
6. Installing pipes.
7. Installing sprinkler heads as the need arises.
8. Setting irrigation clocks at the control panel if required to do so.
9. Check and changing Valves if needed.
10. Pump checks.
11. Installing pumps.
12 Installing clock timers.
The list can go on, this is just to give an idea of what is expected as an irrigation technician.
Careers in irrigation
The job of an irrigation technician can be challenging at times especially during the summer months when the weather gets really hot. There are times when leaks and breaks are buried in the ground where a little muscle is needed to fix these pipes by using shovels and pickaxes.
Then there are breaks that are buried so deeply that must be excavated and this is where having the skill to operate other equipment such as a backhoe is needed.
The life of an irrigation technician
The life of an irrigation technician is exciting because there is always work to be carried out as you work on the great outdoors connecting with people and nature.
Your job will allow you to move about freely whether on a large property or working on different sites. Also being physically fit is a plus because this is a physical job that requires bending, kneeling, lifting, and carrying some materials.
To perform at your best there are some tools you will have to become familiar with. Some of these tools will be used for the most part on a daily basis. Many of these tools are.
1. Knife blade.
2. Wire cutters.
3. Clamp meter.
5. Hex key.
6. Adjustment key.
Other benefits of becoming an irrigation technician
There are other benefits of becoming an irrigation technician which involves meeting people and working with different species of garden lawn and plant material.
There is nothing like working in a beautiful garden with different plant species in an array of colors. I have had many experiences over the years and to be honest with you it was truly wonderful.
Besides garden lawns and plants, there are many garden insects such as butterflies and bees that move about so freely in the open air or in their habitat. It is great to take a break every now and again and watch them, this is nature at its best.
The birds are also an added bonus as they move about without a care in the world resting, taking care of their young, or seeing what garden insect is on the menu for that day. Connecting with nature in this way does a whole lot of good.
Training that is required
Because irrigation is a skilled job, training is required if you are to become a technician. There is on the job training that will give you that practical or hands-on training but it does not stop there.
For those who are thinking seriously about making a career out of this, there are courses that can help with your certification. What will be required at the entry-level is a high school diploma, on a wider scale dealing with large properties, which may require a degree such as an associate or bachelor’s degree.
In addition to the above, a driver’s license is needed as you move about from site to site filling your work orders or picking up tools and equipment from the hardware stores.
This is the part that we are all interested in no matter the job description. What does the salary look like? Salary depends largely on your work experience, your level of training as far as certification is concerned, and your job performance.
Though salary differs from state to state and depending on which company you are employed with whether large or small you can expect to earn anywhere from $11-$16 per hour and in some cases even higher.
Remember the salary scale depends on the above mention. A good living can be made and there is always room for growth as the opportunity arises and you position yourself to move up higher.
There are online courses, attending technical schools and even some colleges carry these courses. Check with your government state department to see what is available.
Irrigation career job descriptions
Moving up the ranks in this field is so rewarding but there are also increased responsibilities. These job descriptions are.
1. Technician assistance
2. Irrigation technicians.
3. Irrigation supervisors
4. Irrigation managers.
5. Irrigation specialist.
There is an entry-level and from there it is up to you to advance. You can operate at any of these levels. All it takes is being committed and before you know it you will be on your way up the ladder.
The final word
Life in the field of irrigation is very rewarding. Making a living in this chosen field is great. There is so much room for growth, and what makes this work really awesome is connecting with people and nature.
Our garden plants and lawns are depending on these skills in order to stay healthy and happy, so if you love working with people and plants while getting a bit physical in the great outdoors then this is the job for you.
About the author
Norman loves being in the garden, both at home and for his job....
he is 'Natures Little helper' being outdoors, growing his vegetables and flowers from an early age.
Now having spent over 22 years in the profession he want to give some of his knowledge to others...
his vast array of hints and tips you will find scattered over this site will help you no end growing plants in your garden.