What Is Certification?

Courtesy of the Irrigation Association

The Irrigation Association began its certification programs to help homeowners and businesses identify qualified and competent irrigation contractors and designers.

When you hire a professional certified by the IA, you are hiring someone who is experienced, trained and working to meet irrigation industry standards. Certified irrigation specialists must first have a certain level of experience and/or training. They must then pass a comprehensive exam covering general irrigation subjects as well as specialty areas and agree to follow a code of ethics. To maintain active certification, specialists must take continuing education classes.

You may verify that an irrigation professional is currently certified (or find an IA certified professional) by visiting Certified Professionals. Or call the IA office at 703-536-7080 (Mon-Fri ET), if you have questions concerning the status of a prospective contractor.

How to Recognize and Locate a Certified Professional
IA certified individuals identify themselves with initials signifying their certifications after their name. For example, John Doe, CIC, CID is a Certified Irrigation Contractor and a Certified Irrigation Designer.

Companies are not certified, but individual owners and employees can hold a variety of certifications. If you’re not certain, ask the contractor or designer who provided his certification and what was required to receive the certification.

To locate or confirm active IA certified individuals, visit Certified Professionals.

Certification is a valuable tool when evaluating the person that will do your work. Below are descriptions of certifications offered by the IA to help you hire an irrigation professional that will best meet your needs.


Certification Descriptions

Below are descriptions of IA certifications and what they stand for to help you make sense of the alphabet soup you may find when you are searching for a qualified irrigation professional.

Irrigation Specialists

  • Certified Irrigation Contractor
    The Certified Irrigation Contractor is an irrigation professional whose primary business is the execution of contracts or subcontracts to install, repair and maintain irrigation systems. The CIC must meet the specifications and requirements of the project contract.
  • Certified Irrigation Designer
    The Certified Irrigation Designer engages in the preparation of professional irrigation designs. The CID evaluates site conditions and determines net irrigation requirements based on the needs of the project. The designer is then responsible for the selection of the most effective irrigation equipment and design methods. The objective of a CID is to establish specifications and design drawings for the construction of an irrigation project.
  • Certified Landscape Irrigation Manager
    The Certified Landscape Irrigation Manager is an irrigation professional familiar with all areas of turf irrigation design and construction management. A CLIM must be certified as a CIC, CID (in all Landscape/Turf specialty areas), and either as a CLIA or CGIA. Certified Landscape Irrigation Managers have extensive experience in design, construction, construction management and auditing of turf irrigation systems.

Irrigation Technicians

  • Certified Agricultural Irrigation Specialist
    The Certified Agricultural Irrigation Specialist is involved in the management and operation of on-farm irrigation systems. These systems include surface irrigation methods, as well as pressurized systems like micro-irrigation and sprinklers.
  • Certified Golf Irrigation Auditor
    A Certified Golf Irrigation Auditor is involved in the analysis of turf irrigation water use tailored to the unique conditions found on golf courses. Golf Auditors collect site data, make maintenance recommendations and perform water audits on golf courses. Through their analytical work at the site, these irrigation professionals develop base schedules for greens/tees, fairways and roughs.
  • Certified Landscape Irrigation Auditor
    The Certified Landscape Irrigation Auditor is involved in the analysis of landscape irrigation water use. Auditors collect site data, make maintenance recommendations and perform water audits. Through their analytical work at the site, these irrigation professionals develop irrigation base schedules.