CLT. CFA. ICPI. CPH.
It might look like alphabet soup, but all these letters add up to impressive skills that can make a big difference on your property.
These are all landscape industry certifications. When your landscaping company's staff are certified in areas of their field, what does it really mean?
And why should you care?
Paul Wisniewski, division manager at Level Green Landscaping, fills us in.
What Does It Mean To Be Certified?
When you're certified in an area of the landscape industry, your skills and knowledge have been tested and proven.
“It shows we’re a professional company and that we know what we’re talking about,” Wisniewski says. “It means we’re always looking for best practices and we’re training our team so they have the best, top knowledge of the industry. It separates us from the competition.
“Most of our managers have these certifications,” he says, “and we use that knowledge to train the rest of our team.”
That means you, the customer, get skilled, knowledgeable, tested professionals tending to your property, whether you’re getting a retaining wall built, pesticides applied or a green roof installed.
What Does Certification Entail?
The requirements vary, depending on the certification, but it typically involves studying and practicing, attending classes, taking written tests and proving your skills, hands on, out in the field.
This is more than just a certificate with your name on it – it’s proof of a landscaping professional’s knowledge and skills.
Our Certifications: A Point Of Pride
When you visit Level Green Landscaping's website, you'll see a list of the certifications our employees have. We list them there because we're proud to show we go the extra mile to earn certifications.
Here's a look at the top landscaping certifications Level Green staff have earned:
Certified Landscape Technician
Earn this certification and it proves you can perform a huge variety of industry tasks to specific standards, from reading plans to operating equipment to identifying plants to installing sod. And lots more.
While many landscape industry certification exams are just written tests, the certified landscape technician exam includes both written and hands-on tests out in the field.
Several Level Green staff are volunteer judges for the certified landscape technician field testing, offered by the National Association of Landscape Professionals. Level Green account manager Brett Hardy co-chairs the field testing.
“When you’re taking the field tests, you’re out there running mowers, building patios, planting a tree,” Wisniewski says. “As judges, we make sure it’s all done right.
“A lot of it is safety oriented,” he says. “If you don’t do a safety related item, you fail. And that’s good — you want everyone safe.”
Certified Professional Horticulturist
Administered by the American Society for Horticultural Science, certified professional horticulturist certification is granted based on scholarly presentation, required participation in continuing education programs and work experience supported by references.
Certified Pesticide Applicator
Federal law requires any person who applies or supervises the use of restricted use pesticides to be certified in accordance with EPA regulations and state laws.
Level Green staff are certified to apply pesticides in Maryland, Washington DC and Virginia.
Certified Fertilizer Applicator
Lawn care professionals hired to apply fertilizer to lawns must be certified by the state where they’ll be working or work under the direct supervision of an individual who is certified.
The exams cover everything from proper methods of storing, mixing, loading, transporting, handling, applying, and disposing of fertilizer to calibrating equipment to safety, health and record keeping.
Certified Interlocking Concrete Pavers Installer
The Interlocking Concrete Pavers Institute issues this certification, which requires professionals to take an institute course, earn a score of 75 percent or higher on the exam and complete installations of at least five paver projects and 10,000 square feet of pavers.
Level 1 Segmental Retaining Wall Installer
This certification is offered through the National Concrete Masonry Association and covers everything from installation preparation to an overview of soils, water, and geosynthetics to an understanding of construction practices and engineering issues.
Green Roof Professional
Green Roof Professional accreditation shows a professional has achieved a specific knowledge level regarding green roof design, project management, installation and maintenance.
The exam covers green roof design and installation, waterproofing and drainage, and plants and growing media.
Supporting Staff Excellence
It typically costs several hundred dollars to take a landscaping certification test.
Level Green Landscaping pays for its employees to take these tests, as well as for any study materials they need to prepare.
Level Green Landscaping: Certified For Excellence
Landscaping certifications aren’t required — they’re an extra investment of time and money.
But here at Level Green, we consider them just one of the ways we rise above the rest.
“Things are always changing in this industry,” Wisniewski says. “There are always better ways to do things. These certifications keep us informed about new technology so we’re giving our clients the best service.”
Our service area includes Washington DC, Maryland and parts of Virginia. We focus on commercial property maintenance for offices, retail spaces, mixed-use sites, HOAs/condominiums, distribution centers, municipalities and institutions.
Contact us at 202-544-0968 or by filling out our form online.
You can also schedule a free consultation to talk with us about how we can enhance and maintain your commercial landscape.
We’d love to hear from you.