Training, Education and Certification for Irrigation Professionals

Within the past few years, the irrigation industry has seen an unprecedented amount of change. Water supplies are reaching record lows in areas of drought, the general public views irrigation as a water waster, and the number of water restrictions and regulations on irrigation are rapidly increasing.

The Irrigation Association (IA) views these challenges as opportunities, and has accepted the responsibility of shaping the future of the industry by increasing its educational efforts. IA is the go-to source for current information about Smart water practices and innovative technologies. Industry professionals can take advantage of all of IA’s training, education and certification programs at the Irrigation Show & Education Conference, online, in the classroom or at home.

Irrigation show education and certification

At the Irrigation Show in Phoenix, Nov. 17–21, attendees will find new offerings and opportunities to earn continuing education units; discover the latest industry research, technologies and practices; and become IA-certified.

Irrigation seminars

Discover practical techniques, best practices and “how-to’s” at the show’s irrigation seminars. Each one-hour session provides detailed coverage on a focused topic in landscape irrigation.

Irrigation seminars are open to all attendees with a full registration. Participants will earn one continuing education unit for each one-hour session.

Technical sessions

Included with a full registration, technical sessions provide a forum for sharing research findings, best practices and cutting-edge products and ideas that promote efficient irrigation.

More than 40 presentations will address innovations in agriculture, landscape and golf. Earn .33 CEUs for each 20-minute session.

Visit for more information.

Education classes

Get great ideas, learn new skills and earn CEUs with the industry’s best education for landscape and golf irrigation. IA education classes teach concepts and practical skills that both new and seasoned professionals can implement immediately.

IA classes include:

  • Real-world applications and irrigation case studies.
  • Current techniques, field-tested information and best practices.
  • Instructors with industry expertise and proven teaching experience.

Be sure to check out IA’s newest course: Soil-Plant-Air Continuum. Debuting on Wednesday, Nov. 19, at the show, the two-hour course will cover how plants use water for transpiration and photosynthesis, store energy from the sun for use by other living things, and use and emit carbon and oxygen in a continuous cycle that is essential to life. An online version of the course will be available later this year.

Education classes are priced separately and are not included in the full registration fee. Each class registration includes a free exhibits-only pass, including exhibits, the new product contest, show floor presentations and general session.


Register by Oct. 17 for discounted pricing. Register for three or more classes by Oct. 17 and save 5 percent on the total registration. For a complete list of education classes, visit

Certification exams

Whether bidding on new jobs, seeking new responsibilities or building a client base, certification helps open doors to new opportunities. IA will offer all of its certification exams throughout the Irrigation Show:

  • Certified Irrigation Technician (CIT)
  • Certified Landscape Irrigation Auditor (CLIA)
  • Certified Landscape Irrigation Auditor – Drip (CLIA-Drip)
  • Certified Golf Irrigation Auditor (CGIA)
  • Certified Irrigation Contractor (CIC)
  • Certified Irrigation Designer – Landscape (CID-Landscape)
  • Certified Landscape Water Manager (CLWM)
  • Certified Agricultural Irrigation Specialist (CAIS)
  • Certified Irrigation Designer – Agriculture (CID-Agriculture)

Visit to register.

Online learning

Learning on Demand, IA’s online learning center, makes continuing education easier and more affordable than ever. Learning on Demand allows users to study whenever and wherever they’re most focused and ready to learn.

Learning on Demand courses cost only $25 – $35 per person, per credit hour for 90 days of unlimited access to:

  • Online study.
  • Manual and/or workbook.
  • Supplemental resources, such as pressure and friction loss charts, formulas and glossaries.
  • Certificate of completion at the end of the course.

Online opportunities come in two categories: IA classes and irrigation seminars.

Online classes

Lessons are hands-on and interactive, allowing students to assess their performance and move forward at their own pace. Each course qualifies for continuing education units. Topics include:

  • Agriculture Irrigation Hydraulics (4 CEUs)
  • Agriculture Sprinklers & Precipitation Rates (4 CEUs)
  • Basic Electrical Troubleshooting for Landscape (4 CEUs)
  • Introduction to Pumps (4 CEUs)
  • Irrigated Soils (4 CEUs)
  • Landscape Irrigation Hydraulics (4 CEUs)
  • Landscape Irrigation Precipitation Rates (4 CEUs)
  • Landscape Irrigation Scheduling (4 CEUs)
  • New! Basic Soil-Plant-Water Relationships (2 CEUs)
  • New! Distribution Uniformity & Precipitation Rate (1.5 CEUs)
  • New! Evapotranspiration (1 CEU)
  • New! Irrigation System Components (3 CEUs)
  • New! Landscape Irrigation Auditor (4 CEUs)
  • New! Scheduling for Auditors (2 CEUs)
  • New! Landscape Sprinkler Design (8 CEUs)
  • New! Scheduling for Sprinkler Design (1.5 CEUs)

Each course includes interactive videos, reading materials and online quizzes. Users complete courses at their own pace and receive credit after completing each track’s online exam. The North Carolina Irrigation Contractors’ Licensing Board and the New Jersey Landscape Irrigation Contractor Examining Board have pre-approved these courses, allowing licensed individuals in these states to earn CEUs or CECs.

Visit for course descriptions, pricing and to register.

Online seminars

Learning on Demand features a series of irrigation seminars from the Irrigation Show. Seminars address irrigation industry best practices, the underlying concepts and implementation “how-to’s” of efficient irrigation and water management.

Earn one CEU for each one-hour seminar. Review our full listing of online seminars at

Self-study resources, classroom resources and technical papers

Professional development is a cornerstone of success. More knowledge leads to better and faster solutions. With books and self-study resources from the Irrigation Association, Irrigation Foundation and well-respected industry experts, IA’s online store is the source for:

  • Irrigation and water management principles and theory.
  • Practical primers on irrigation system design, installation, maintenance and auditing.
  • Advanced techniques for turf/landscape and golf irrigation applications.
  • Business management resources for irrigation professionals.
  • References for IA certification exams.

Visit to download the 2014 IA Publications Catalog or browse for more details on IA education resources and pricing.

Classroom resources

IA has developed a number of classroom resources for use by colleges and technical schools. Instructor kits, student workbooks and laboratory kits can be used as primary texts, to supplement existing coursework or for independent study. Although developed for a classroom environment, these resources are available to anyone in the industry and are an excellent resource for irrigation basics.

Cutting-edge research: technical papers

IA has collected more than 600 technical papers from industry experts since 2000, and they are now available online. The technical papers showcase the latest research, case studies and technological advances in irrigation. IA members can access the papers for free, and nonmembers can purchase a subscription to the database.

These programs don’t just help individuals. They also help businesses grow. Customers rely on businesses to provide solutions and to educate them on the latest industry trends. IA’s resources provide the tools needed to do this, and they also allow industry members to present themselves as part of the solution instead of the problem.

For more information about the association’s efforts in this area of its strategic plan, visit IA’s website at or contact IA Professional Development Director Sherrie Schulte, CLIA, CAE, at

Class sponsorship

Water providers, green industry associations and member companies can sponsor Irrigation Association classes and bring the finest education to irrigation and green industry workers. Choose from IA’s catalog of more than 20 courses for landscape, golf and business. IA classes:

  • Teach best practices and techniques while remaining brand neutral.
  • Combine theory with hands-on experience.
  • Enhance expertise in the field and improve business management practices.
  • Offer relevant training for all experience levels, from those new to the industry to experienced irrigation professionals.

The process is straightforward. Class sponsors pick the classes, provide the location and recruit the students. IA provides an expert instructor and supplies all classroom materials. Sponsors can outsource registration to IA or do it themselves.

IA-member attendees qualify for price discounts and everyone earns CEUs.

Article provided by the Irrigation Association.

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