Whats it LIke Being in Irrigation

Discussion in 'Professional Discussions' started by hort101, Feb 12, 2019.

  1. hort101

    hort101 LawnSite Fanatic
    Male, from S.E. New England
    Messages: 20,045

    What do you like about the field,job duties etc ?
    I was offered a job working for an irrigation solo operator when he came to do a blowout for me his right hand man left for a town job

    I have thought about whether its something that would be a good fit for me and what skills I have and what Id need to learn?
    also is passion required to be a great irrigator?
    Last edited: Feb 12, 2019
    oqueoque, Mr.Irrigation and JLSLLC like this.
  2. Russell MiniTrencher

    Russell MiniTrencher Sponsor
    Messages: 59

    I think passion is required for anything you want to do well. For me any job has always had the following questions:
    1. Am I ok with the pay (lower to start/making same or more, hours, etc)
    2. Is it a challenge
    3. Why would I be happier changing

    JLSLLC LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 18,265

    @kawasaki guy does a fair bit of irrigation work, and preps a lot of new jobs just in case
    DXN1EL and hort101 like this.
  4. greenmonster304

    greenmonster304 LawnSite Platinum Member
    Messages: 4,243

    I like that irrigation involves many skills which keeps it interesting. There is plumbing, electrical, construction, equipment operation, landscaping, and I am sure there are others. Another thing I like is time off in the winter. But being a business owner that is a perk but as an employee it can be a negative.
  5. mitchgo

    mitchgo LawnSite Gold Member
    Messages: 3,520


    When you work on existing setups for repairs / modifications and renovations. All of this is 3x compared to an installer, you are forced to think outside the box to figure out the best way to go about what you are doing along with being as efficient as you can be.

    Passion is key, as it is for any aspect of work if you want to stick around. If you were to ask me. Mitch, why do you like doing what you are doing? My answer is that - Everyday is an adventure and it never gets boring. There are thousands of things to learn, to the smallest detail. Even after 13 years in the field, I can still walk into the craziest bizarre situation that I haven't encountered yet, and learn something about it.

    Ontop of what a landscaper learns , overtime you naturally learn other peoples trades because you encounter them often. Carpentry, Masonry ect ect.. Even if it's general knowledge... I can't stand the dumb@$$ guy who makes 225k a year, yet KNOWS NOTHING OF HOW THE WORLD WORKS AT ALL Except the one job he does. Id rather have general knowledge of a lot of things in the world .

    It keeps things interesting. I have done that job in my past- same thing day and day out. I hate it and will never go back

    Hort, I always thought you already worked on irrigation. You click the like button on all the irrigation posts :)
    hort101 likes this.
  6. OP

    hort101 LawnSite Fanatic
    Male, from S.E. New England
    Messages: 20,045

    I work in conjuction with an irrigation guy and have been involved with it with my landscape and hort work

    He offered me a job doing mostly repairs and maintenance the starting pay is comparable to any landscaping job for someone with experience and comparable once fully trained

    Its a great opportunity Id basically be his apprentice I just dont know if its the right thing for me to do day in day out full timeThumbs Up
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  7. greenmonster304

    greenmonster304 LawnSite Platinum Member
    Messages: 4,243

    This is so true. I am constantly asking other tradesmen how things work and the proper way they should be done and I have worked in other trades over the years to fill in. So when something needs attention at home I rarely have to call someone, as long as I have time that is, during the season can be tricky.
  8. Andrew H

    Andrew H LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,984

    I enjoy irrigation work, think it's challenging, lucrative, and rewarding, it's also comical when you find sprinkler heads under trees or two rotors next to each other...
    AmarilloSlim likes this.
  9. nepa irrigation

    nepa irrigation LawnSite Member
    Messages: 28

    Its been a great business for me. Have alot of great customers (friends). I still get a thrill when you fire up a new system the first time.
    Mr.Irrigation and hort101 like this.
  10. Mr.Irrigation

    Mr.Irrigation LawnSite Member
    Messages: 14

    Passion is required for doing this job many years. I have held my TX Irrigator license since 1998. I am proud to tell potential customers I hold one of the oldest licenses in Texas. I am very proud of my work and it is a great feeling to pass up a location I either installed the system at or repaired something there. In short I think if you are not passionate about what ever job you do you might be unhappy at the job. Irrigation for the beginner is going to require you to dig, dig, and dig more.. you are going to have to operate a shovel for long periods of time each day if you are doing installs. Most likely if its a large commercial job like a apartment complex, mall, or my PERSONAL favorite golf courses.. you will likely start off cleaning trenches behind the guy operating the trencher. I graduated college and got a job with a large Neb. based landscape company. I walked in for my first day and the superintendent said how do like irrigation. OH HECK... I wanted the glamour job. Shaping the ground. But no. I was put into irrigation . I knew it was the hardest job. I was not thrilled. But 29yrs later I have reached that level of experience that makes my yrs of hard physical labor very very desired by anyone looking for a irrigator. If My passion to make the best irrigation system and put my name on each job wasnt there I would most definitely be in another field. I think my best advice to you is try it. See how you like it. In the summer doing irrigation has advantages. You can turn on a zone and cool off. But you will get muddy you will get tired, you are going to start off as a helper which means you dig. A little advice ... when you are digging a hole ALWAYS put the dirt in a pile. Do not.. repeat DO NOT throw the dirt in every direction around the hole. By putting the spoils in a single pile it will go back in the hole much much easier. I know this advice sounds simple or silly. But trust me when I say this. I cant count the number of helper I have had that could not get this . It will really pay off if you do it. I GUARANTEE IT. Hope I was of some assistance. Good Luck in your choice.
    RhettMan and hort101 like this.

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