How to Become a Pest Control Worker

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To become a pest control worker, a person needs to have a willingness to work outdoors for long periods of time, no matter the weather. Pest control workers are primarily associated with spraying for unwanted pests, such as insects, rodents, and snakes. The Bureau of Labor and Statistics includes pest control work as one of the fastest-growing career fields in the United States. By the year 2020, the number of open positions for pest control workers is estimated to increase by 26 percent.[1]

Wikimedia Commons: Scott Bauer
Education High school diploma[1]
Starting pay $20,340[2]
Median pay $30,340[2]
10 yr growth Faster than average: 26%[1]
Related professions Landscaper
Author Selena Robinson

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Pest Control Worker Job Overview

The job of a pest control worker is to check properties for pest infestation or invasion. Pest control workers, who may be called pest control technicians, often work with various chemicals during the course of their job, including pesticides and cleaning solutions. In addition to spraying pesticides, pest control technicians may perform property checks, such as inspecting attics and basements, set traps, and perform basic home repair, especially if pests have damaged parts of the property.[3]

Pest Control Worker Education

Pest control workers generally do not need to complete a college degree, though some do. However, most pest control companies prefer to hire workers who have at least obtained a high school diploma. Learning about the basic biology of pests can be helpful for those who plan to enter the pest control industry, since workers must be familiar with how best to attract and eliminate pests.[4]

Skills for Pest Control Workers

Students who are interested in becoming pest control workers often need to acquire additional skills in order to be successful such as bookkeeping. Taking courses related to math, accounting, and business can be particularly helpful for those who plan to open their own companies. Students may also benefit from courses related to botany, which can help them understand how to protect plants while eliminating pests.[5]

Pest Control Worker Training

Many pest control workers receive the bulk of their training after they get hired. This on-the-job training for pest control workers often includes learning how to apply insecticides, how to identify common household pests, and how to inspect properties for pest-caused damage. On occasion, pest control work can even include basic landscaping, particularly if pests are damaging gardens, lawns, and shrubs on the property.[5] Those who intend to open their own pest control companies must obtain a pest control business license from the state in which they work.[6]

Pest Control Worker Jobs

What it's like to work as a pest control technician

Also See: How to Become a Licensed Contractor, How to Become a Landscaper, How to Become a Forest Ranger


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