Industry Certifications

Discussion in 'NALP' started by TheNALP, Sep 1, 2015.

  1. TheNALP

    TheNALP LawnSite Member
    Messages: 13

    1. How does having certified staff help your business?
    2. Do you actively seek out certified individuals to join your company? If so, why?
  2. johnnybow

    johnnybow LawnSite Member
    Messages: 157

    Lol a high school diploma. Mabee..
    Texas*Golf*Bum, eggy and marcusmac99 like this.
  3. oqueoque

    oqueoque LawnSite Platinum Member
    Male, from Jersey
    Messages: 4,522

    I have certificate from Rutgers University for being a Certified Fertilizer Applicator. I took the online course and passed the test , paid the $25 yearly fee and take continuing education courses.

    I asked Dr. Jim Murphy who created the program and still runs it, if I can put in my advertising that I am a "Rutgers University Certified Fertilizer Applicator" and he said I can. So I use this my advertising.

    Rutgers University Certified Fertilizer Applicator

    The $25 a year fee is worth it.
    hort101 and Grassholes like this.
  4. johnnybow

    johnnybow LawnSite Member
    Messages: 157

    How many more jobs does it get you?
  5. oqueoque

    oqueoque LawnSite Platinum Member
    Male, from Jersey
    Messages: 4,522

    I do not know how many jobs it got me. I have had about 10% of the leads I generated through advertising comment on it. Whether it made a difference, I do not know. When people comment on it, I feel confident that I will get the job, and I am not afraid to quote a little bit higher price. I never had anyone ,that commented on it, choose someone else.
    hort101 likes this.
  6. TuffWork

    TuffWork LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 506

    I am a licensed irrigator and pesticide applicator (division 3A lawn and ornamental) in Texas. It has provided me many opportunities that wouldn't have otherwise presented themselves. I also tend to throw in occasionally that I have a bachelors degree in business when discussing larger projects. Which lets the customer know I have the training and management skills necessary to handle larger budget jobs
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  7. LawnGuy110

    LawnGuy110 LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,113

    I am currently persuing a degree in horticulture. I am also a certified pesticide applicator in categories 3A and 3B as well as being a certified fertilizer applicator.
    hort101 and RussellB like this.
  8. Love the Green Biz

    Love the Green Biz LawnSite Platinum Member
    Messages: 4,552

    The Rutgers Fertilizer Certification is a way to show clients that you value their environment and are trained to reduce the damage excessive P and N can cause to surface and ground water. That is why I got the certification in the first place. People like that they can work with others that care about the same things they do.
    oqueoque and Jesssoul like this.
  9. Trees Too

    Trees Too LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 5,063

    1. You need to have State Certified Applicators on staff if you're going to apply any type of pesticide.
    2. They have already tested and passed. Plus they likely have hands-on experience.
  10. Dr.NewEarth

    Dr.NewEarth LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,476

    1. Certification and industry association memberships keeps you up to date and informed on changes in the entire industry.
    Being certified used to be a unique marketing tool in Vancouver B.C. Now every-one and their dog seems to be certified in one way or another. It doesn't matter to clients as much, as it's the norm. The guy cutting your lawn could have a bachelors degree. Your taxi driver could be a trained doctor.
    There are countless post secondary and night school education programs here for landscapers and tree workers. I feel the landscape market is over-saturated with highly trained, underpaid individuals. Competition is crazy... And all of the certifications, membership renewals and Continuing education courses required to remain certified are such a money grab for places like the ISA, CNLA, governments and others.
    The saturation of certified individuals in my market has brought down our income and consulting fees considerably. Having highly certified staff has not helped to increase fees for labour. ie: years ago consulting fees for arborist reports, consulting and hazard tree risk evaluations averaged $70. per hour. I've seen competition advertising 20 dollars Total, for one report. That won't cover gas and bridge tolls here. The average pay for landscape labour across Canada is in the range of $15.50 an hour. You require $21.50 an hour to live in Vancouver. lol
    We also have many extra taxes on top of taxes, the bridge tolls and numerous city business licenses required in order to operate in this region of Canada. (come visit and check it out ! )
    The fact is, landscaping is a revolving door industry. Only a small percentage of employees will make this their life-long career choice.
    All of these certified persons need to make a decent wage. They want to own a home, have a family, a car, a retirement fund. With the cost of living in British Columbia, and Vancouver in particular, people are going to leave the industry in order to make a decent wage.
    I see so many uncertified operators down in the U.S. giving out their hourly fees on forums, that are twice what I can charge here. Regardless of how educated and experienced our staff is. Wow.
    Clients can be educated on the benefits of certified staff. But a lot of the time they don't care and go with the cheaper contractor.
    We're still required to have certified applicators on staff if we charge a fee for services or use pesticides (plus the business has to pay another fee to the government for this) But, one applicator can oversee the work of five other non-applicators. As long as they are within sight and voice range.
    All cities near Vancouver are pesticide free. So we have been using Non-toxic products, Integrated Pest Management and plant health care techniques for 15 years. Being a certified applicator isn't actually needed to do our jobs.
    I'm a Red Seal Journeyman Landscape Horticulturist, Landscape Canada/Planet cht/clp/clt/rlt/isa certified with specialties, industry certifications and diplomas in hard and soft landscaping and management. Member of BC and Canadian Landscape Nursery Associations (BCLNA,CNLA) Isa/Traq and many others.
    2. Certified individuals are sought out and recruited regardless because the level of workmanship goes up with greater knowledge....but, they're mainly hired for supervisory/crew leader positions.
    Private industry cannot compete with public jobs. I've lost good certified people that we've trained and paid for to local cities who are paying twice as much.
    Younger people are hired by us, for their energy, enthusiasm and because we can be more competitive by paying lower wages. That's the only way we can remain competitive.
    Those with certifications and specialty diplomas are also useful as estimators. And for training entry level employees.
    These are my thoughts at the moment. Have a good week.

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