The Benefits of Becoming a Certified Irrigation Contractor


FAQ: Why should I get certified as a CIC (Certified Irrigation Contractor) when none of my customers knows that certification exists, and everyone wants a low price for automatic sprinkler system installation?

Answer: According to Christopher Pine, a CIC, “However, there are also many people that recognize the value of certification. I would be willing to bet many of us know people that have letters after their name and do not know what they represent.”

“There’s a sizeable market that is looking for the best value with the money they spend in addition to a reasonable price,” Pine continues to explain in The Value of Certification: I Am A Believer in Lifelong Learning and Testing or Certification to Verify What Has Been Learned.

What about you? Are you looking to add irrigation installation and service to your landscaping business?

If so, a CIC would add credibility to your irrigation services.

In this blog post, you’ll learn the following:

  • Evaluating the demand for irrigation services
  • Steps for becoming a certified irrigation contractor
  • How to market your irrigation services.

Evaluating the Demand for Irrigation Services

Before adding irrigation services to your website, you need to analyze the demand in your local area. has an article called Market Demand: How to Identify and Calculate It, and the author lists the following tips for identifying market demand:

  1. Use keywords to find the market demand

SEO tools, such as Keywords Everywhere and Google Trends, are two low-cost tools for keyword searches to find the market’s demand for in-ground sprinkler systems.

  • Employ social listening tools

You’re listening to your social media followers to get more details about your audience’s desire for irrigation services.

Read more: Upselling Your Lawn and Landscaping Services to Residential and Commercial Customers

There are tools you can use to listen to your customers’ conversations around sprinkler systems. Still, you’ll be better served by hiring a digital marketing company to provide social listening data.

A digital marketing agency can find the data you need to make the best decision regarding irrigation services. Indeed, you’ll need to invest some money, but it shaves time off of trying to find the information on your own.

  • Observe market trends in your area

While social listening is cumbersome, you can still observe market trends in your region through a Google search.

For example, you can plug in “How many people buy an in-ground sprinkler system for their lawns,” you’ll find results from Reddit,, and alternative questions that people use when searching Google.

Also, Reddit can help you find market trends for irrigation services as well. According to SEMRush, you can find landscaping and sprinkler systems topics by reading threads and subreddits’ topics.

These Reddit threads and topics will help you know where to advertise, provide content creation, and provide you with audience outreach ideas.

  • Estimate your market’s demand for irrigation services

Do homeowners and property managers want irrigation services? You can ask your customers to see their reaction. As hot, dry summers continue, people may be interested in irrigation services to keep their lawns and landscapes alive.

Steps for Becoming a Certified Irrigation Contractor

If you’ve completed your market research, it’s time to become a CIC. The Irrigation Association (IA) makes getting your certification accessible.

You may wonder, “Why must I be a CIC?”

According to IA, here’s the short answer: “The purpose of the certified irrigation contractor program is to certify that a U.S. or international candidate has met an advanced level of competency in executing contracts or subcontracts to install, repair, and maintain irrigation systems.”

The average homeowner and property manager may need to learn what a CIC is. Still, you can explain on your website, blog posts, and social media what a CIC is and why partnering with only those who took the time to become certified is essential.

Learn more: Upselling Lawn Services for Enhanced Landscaping Business

You’re adding value to your irrigation services, and you can educate your customers on the benefits of hiring a CIC over someone who has had very little training.

IA also breaks down the steps for becoming a CIC:

  1. Sign up for the exam

IA recommends that you have three years of irrigation-related field experience before signing up for the exam.

  • Complete the irrigation contractor exam

The exam takes 3 ½ hours to complete with 150 multiple-choice questions that cover the following

  • Irrigation design
  • Irrigation installation
  • Irrigation scheduling
  • Water management and conservation
  • Maintenance and repair
  • Federal laws and codes
  • General business management.
  • Follow the code of ethics

You must agree to uphold the code of ethics that the IA has designed before getting your CIC. You can learn more about these codes of ethics on IA’s website.

  • Maintain good standing

To become a CIC, you must complete 20 continuing education units every two years.

How To Market Your Irrigation Services

Like all your other landscaping services, you can market different ways to introduce your customer base and sales prospects to your new irrigation services.

Integrate traditional marketing with digital to reach a broad audience. Here are some ideas for obtaining leads for irrigation services:

  1. Create blogs and landing pages with local SEO.
  • Include irrigation services with your Google Business Profile.
  • Use Facebook lead ads.
  • Invest in Pay-Per-Click advertising.
  • Put your irrigation services in Google’s local service ads (LSA).
  • Utilize referral marketing where your irrigation services’ customers are so happy with your work that they refer you to their friends, family, and neighbors.
  • Lead magnets, where you create an ebook or report that people can download for free; you now have their email to send them promotional materials about your irrigation services.
  • Get involved with your local community by sponsoring the Little League and Lions Clubs International and volunteering at local non-profits.
  • Provide free irrigation inspections to draw more people to your business.
  1. Hand out door knockers and send reminders about your new irrigation services in your newsletter and invoices.

You may want to hire a digital marketing company to help you with online advertising. Look for a company that can build your website, provide you with blog content, and handle all of the Google advertising for irrigation services.

Summing Up

Working toward your Certified Irrigation Contractor certification will add value to your customers’ lawns and landscapes. While they may not know what CIC is, you can educate them that this certification means you’ve taken the time and invested the money to become an expert.

Your customers will trust you more with those three letters behind your name, and you can use your CIC to grow your irrigation services.

Don’t forget to use all the marketing tools available to inform your audience and sales prospects of your new service addition. Incorporate print and digital marketing, advertising, and a referral incentive for customers who share your irrigation services with their friends, family, and neighbors.

How Spyker Spreaders Help You Succeed in Business

While we don’t provide CIC training, we are committed to helping you grow your landscaping business by adding irrigation services.

At Spyker, we have spreaders, lawn rollers, and sprayers to help you create healthy lawns and landscapes.

You can find our Spyker lawn sprayers and other landscaping products at your local dealer, online, or at the Spyker store.

Spyker Customer Service: For warranty, service parts, or help at any time, contact our team by filling out our contact form. Replacement parts can also be ordered online at Spyker’s website.

Sources:, Landscape Certifications: Certified Irrigation Contractor., The Value of Certification: I Am a Believer in Lifelong Learning and Testing or Certification to Verify What Has Been Learned., Trend Analytics for Reddit., How to Get Irrigation Leads: 11 Tested Ways [2024]., Market Demand: How to Identify and Calculate It.