I can't see the problem with someone testing a system and handing a sheet of problems to an irrigator to fix or even repairing a broken lateral, but when it comes to installing and troubleshooting I think you should be licensed.
A lot of people call me and ask what I charge. I am not cheap, and some people get turned off with what I charge, but are happy to pay a gardener or landscaper to spend 5 times longer trying to fix their system when I could have had it fixed much faster.
I have the tools and knowledge to find the problem and fix it quickly, but the guy with zero training and little knowledge gets the job because he is $10-$15 an hour cheaper than me. The HO ends up paying much more than they should have because the authorities allow anyone to work on irrigation systems.
I then get calls to service a system where there is no backflow prevention at all. I tell the HO it must have backflow and they think I am just trying to get more work for myself. Same goes when bidding. They compare my system with backflow prevention, head to head spacing, pipes in at the proper depth, to a random landscaper who has no backflow, terrible spacing and shallow pipes that turn the pipe into a sieve next time the lawn is aerated. My price is double the other guy.
Handing out a license simply because someone has completed a heap of theory is also pretty stupid. Nothing beats experience, and I would take someone with 5 years experience as a sidekick over someone who has no experience but has done the course.
My license is purely for advertising purposes for educated clients who understand that you get what you pay for. The ignorant muppets that don't respect this trade will always go for the cheapest price no matter what the companies experience or qualifications are.
Should you be licensed to undertake work in this industry? YES.
Last edited by Autoflow; 02-03-2013 at 01:57 AM.