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whitefrog1
05-14-2008, 04:20 PM
I posted this in starting a business, but I figured I might get more help in this one. I just passed the certification exam today for turf and ornamentals in TN. I'm a student and will have my A.A.S in golf course and turf management in the fall. My question is about getting licensed and bonded to spray residentials. The .gov website is kind of hard to understand. Do you have to have a 4 yr degree or 2 yrs experience to apply for the licensing exam? There are so many different options it's hard to tell what qualifies you to take it. I'm sure it varies from state to state though.

Also if any one sprays can you weigh in on how it is going for you? What the income is like and how steady is the work? I'm considering starting a lawncare bus. next year for some extra cash through school and see what happens. I'd like to be able to spray since 98% of the people here just simply mow and that's it. I figured that may set me apart a bit and I could pick up some money without worrying so much about being undercut by some1 else on mowing prices. Any advice or suggestions would be great.

teeca
05-14-2008, 04:44 PM
here in indiana you need to
1) pass your specific catagory (turf)
2) work under a licensed appicator for 90days or go to purdue univ. and take a days traing corse
4) get insurance that covers lawncare or whatever is your doing and make sure that it covers vehicle and chemical liability. (i had american family, found out they don't cover liquid apps, just granular)
5) pay $45 for your catagory and another $45 for your business license
6) start beating doors to get work

i'm sure most states are simular, indiana just does what the EPA mandated each state must do, others have added to the requirments to make it look like there law makers are doing something.

whitefrog1
05-14-2008, 05:19 PM
Thanks for the heads up on the granular and liquid. I hope I only have to go to a training seminar at UT. I didn't go to the one for the certification. My classes were sufficient enough to pass it. Do you get a decent amount of work? Is it worth doing? All I see arounf here is scott's and a couple of major outfits. I think there could be some business in it with the high end houses.

Whitey4
05-14-2008, 11:40 PM
As far as getting legal, check the pinned thread at the top, if you haven't already done so. Yes, applications can be a profitable business, and not just the high end residentisals. i do maintenance, but that is becasue so many people want to deal with one lawn-property care outfit, not two.

This is my first year being certified, and all the money is in apps, installs and renovations. I've already done everything from crabgrass controls to apple tree growth hormones to prevent fruiting. It's an interesting field, and if one is to be any good at it, takes some gray matter. Even treating water features is good money. (the little ponds with waterfalls, etc).

Best of luck!

jcthorne
05-16-2008, 08:23 AM
Call Mary Borthick @ 615-837-5310 with TDA. She can answer all of your questions.

rachael24
05-16-2008, 10:00 AM
Anyone know about NY and how to go about this...Thanks for the help!

Whitey4
05-16-2008, 07:04 PM
Anyone know about NY and how to go about this...Thanks for the help!

Check the pinned topic at the top of this forum, and this link has info....

http://www.lawnsite.com/showthread.php?t=230733

vegomatic40
05-17-2008, 10:04 AM
Tennessee requires working under a licensed applicator for a minimum of 2 yrs or, 4 yr. degree. I believe you can also apply for the license if you have "suitable work experience" and basically have to submit to Reg. Services for the licensing exam. Test has become pretty tough in this state as I've heard many kids coming out of UT and other colleges with a degree, only to fail in either the "core test" or the ID section. Many have complained that the test has non-applicable questions regarding their particular category (WDO questions in a HLT test) so a broad range of knowledge is suggested. At $150 a pop it pays to be prepared.
As far as the viability of the business it varies wildly. Renovation, installation, irrigation can be very probitable with good planning and competitive bidding. Applications only has taken a beating from a margin standpoint as the price of fert. has gone through the roof. The big-boys stay somewhat competitive as they buy theirs in enormous quantities ensuring a better price. Better margins can be had (although a much smaller market)with services as Whitey suggested like Tree/Shrub insect and disease, Flea/Tick and soil conditioners. Margins on mowing alone have been narrowed due to the ridiculous fuel costs. In this field, none of it is cheap to produce if done correctly (taxes, insurance, workmans comp). If I were you I would consider doing at least part-time work at a golf course to get some real world experience and help offset the costs of startup.

whitefrog1
05-17-2008, 11:59 AM
4yr degree. That seems a bit much to me. But I have always been irritated by 4 yr degree requirements. Just because people have a degree does not mean they are better prepared than someone who doesn't. Most kids party there way through school and squeak by to get that piece of paper and do not know jack. And that seriously annoys me. I don't plan on going to UT for a Bachelors in turf science after my A.A.S. at Walters State. I plan on getting a Bachelors in something general as a back up because I really think working at a golf course will get old. That is why I was considering the lawn care bus. Something that before, I thought I did not want to do at all. Funny how things change eh? Anyway, looks like I will have to work at a golf course for a few years before I can get liscenced since I'm not spending 4 yrs in college on a turf degree. If there are any courses around here that have "licensed Super's." I doubt it.....

I've seen scotts offer $1000 sign on bonuses for certified people wanting to join them as a lawn tech. What do lawn techs at scott's make an hr?

whitefrog1
05-17-2008, 01:13 PM
Also on that note.... Does anyone here have a 4 year degree in turf science? As I said I'm afraid that degree would not be applicable in any other field. I hear everyone talking about how most people see lawn care operators as uneducated people who just "mow for a living," but we all know it's way more than that. I could care less about what people think as long as they sign the checks if working for myself. I'm afraid employers would see a 4yr degree in turf as inadequate for anything else incase this isn't the career for me. Any thoughts on that?

Smallaxe
05-17-2008, 09:57 PM
A 4 yr degree to read the label and apply according to intructions and observe the warnings! WOW!

Does Joe 6-pack and Drinking Buddy still have access to these same chemicals to fumigate the shrubs for misquitoes for the weekend Bar-B-que?

We are not the political or educrat elite - so we must be too stupid to spray a dandy lion. Eh? A lot of illegal applicators in TN... I suspect.

Depending on who supports the university system one product will always outshine the others according to the professors whether they work or not :) Am i wrong?

Lawn Works
05-17-2008, 10:30 PM
I have to take the exam soon. Been studying some. How difficult is the exam The wife says I cant take it till I can solve the radius of a circle. Thanks

Smallaxe
05-17-2008, 10:57 PM
Area = pi (3.14) X Radius Squared.

If diameter = 10 then Radius is 5 [or one half] So 5x5=25 [5 squared]

25 x pi = about 75 [plus whatever 25 X .14 equals] Maybe 3 or something?

So a 10 ft diameter circle is about 78 sq. ft. Is that right? :)

Double check Always. Good luck.

C&K
05-18-2008, 01:14 AM
In Tennessee you have to have a minimun of 12 related college level semester hours or 24 continuing education credits (CEU) or two years work experience (varifiable). All of these would have to be related to HLT.

Smallaxe
05-18-2008, 06:48 AM
In Tennessee you have to have a minimun of 12 related college level semester hours or 24 continuing education credits (CEU) or two years work experience (varifiable). All of these would have to be related to HLT.

In WI you better not get caught having any experience w/out a liscence. That comes first. Unless you mean 'experience', to be - 2 years of shadowing the bossman and taking notes of what he does and says. Them revenuers', might allow that - unless the unliscenced boy/girl physically touches the actual container. :)
So that perogative is out.

At least you don't need a 4 year degree.

C&K
05-18-2008, 10:51 AM
To clarify;
In TN. You have to be a certified applicator under someones charter for 2 varifiable years or 12 college level semester hours in related coarses or 24 CEC's (continuing education credits) in related field.

These are the requirements before you are allowed to take the exam for a charter.

ted putnam
05-18-2008, 11:53 AM
Exactly, you would have to be what Arkansas calls an "agent" working under a license holders license for 2 yrs.

whitefrog1
05-18-2008, 12:55 PM
To clarify;
In TN. You have to be a certified applicator under someones charter for 2 varifiable years or 12 college level semester hours in related coarses or 24 CEC's (continuing education credits) in related field.

These are the requirements before you are allowed to take the exam for a charter.


Excellent. I remember seeing that about the 12 credit hours on TDA's website but never found it again. I thought I was looking at the wrong page. It was a pain to find in the first place. I should be good with 46 ish credit hours in production horticulture Turf Management. I'll be calling for the study materials monday and to confirm this. it would be great to be able to offer spraying next year when I start bidding. Maybe that would help set me apart since most everyone just mows around here. Seems most everyone despises scott's or other major companies because of the way they operate. Do people prefer you guys that spray over them because you can be contacted directly and offer more personal service than major outfits? Seems that would be the case to me.

Are you required to have a license to fertilize in TN? Legally of course.

ted putnam
05-18-2008, 04:35 PM
[QUOTE=whitefrog1;2328784]. Do people prefer you guys that spray over them because you can be contacted directly and offer more personal service than major outfits? Seems that would be the case to me.

Very true on both of your points. One other thing that they really like is seeing the same face each app. I've heard the complaint time and time again about seeing 5 or 6 different faces on the lawn through the course of the year.

C&K
05-21-2008, 11:45 AM
Excellent. I remember seeing that about the 12 credit hours on TDA's website but never found it again. I thought I was looking at the wrong page. It was a pain to find in the first place. I should be good with 46 ish credit hours in production horticulture Turf Management. I'll be calling for the study materials monday and to confirm this. it would be great to be able to offer spraying next year when I start bidding. Maybe that would help set me apart since most everyone just mows around here. Seems most everyone despises scott's or other major companies because of the way they operate. Do people prefer you guys that spray over them because you can be contacted directly and offer more personal service than major outfits? Seems that would be the case to me.

Are you required to have a license to fertilize in TN? Legally of course.

You can fertilize as long as it is not a weed and feed.

MDAutry
05-21-2008, 12:40 PM
TN does not offer any 2 day, etc. courses that eliminate the 2 year experience requirements? I am wondering why they would not if purdue offers them for Indiana.

Frank Fescue
05-21-2008, 03:29 PM
i think this is a dying industry i'd be hesitant to recomend going throught he whole licensing process for something that will be gone in a matter of years.


pretty soon we'll be forced to hug chinchbugs and smile at dandelion.

shane mapes
05-21-2008, 05:41 PM
what about California. i was sited (written warning)for not having a sprayers Lic the city guy tells me you should now were to get it . i have called all over and can only find a Lic.. for pest. not weed any clues thanks

teeca
05-21-2008, 08:25 PM
A 4 yr degree to read the label and apply according to intructions and observe the warnings! WOW!

Does Joe 6-pack and Drinking Buddy still have access to these same chemicals to fumigate the shrubs for misquitoes for the weekend Bar-B-que?

We are not the political or educrat elite - so we must be too stupid to spray a dandy lion. Eh? A lot of illegal applicators in TN... I suspect.

Depending on who supports the university system one product will always outshine the others according to the professors whether they work or not :) Am i wrong?

this comming from a guy that just posted about using more then the recommend lable amount in a weed killer in another post... maybe they should require your state to read the lable in a 4 year program.. the lable is the law, plain and simple, if you vary from that you are wrong! point blank.. long sleave shirt, paints, shoes with socks, and gloves. the mfgs test the chemical to certian standards and get EPA approvel for that. you talk like a home owner with no idea of what's going on... if a little is good, then more is better..