Career, Salary and Education Information
What They Do: Pest control workers remove unwanted pests that infest buildings and surrounding areas.
Work Environment: Pest control workers must travel to a client’s home or business. Workers often kneel, bend, and crawl into tight spaces to inspect sites. Because there are health risks associated with pesticide use, workers are trained in pesticide safety and, if required by the product label, sometimes wear protective gear, including respirators, gloves, and goggles. Working evenings and weekends is common.
How to Become One: State laws require pest control workers to be licensed. Most workers need a high school diploma and receive moderate on-the-job training.
Salary: The median annual wage for pest control workers is $37,540.
Job Outlook: Employment of pest control workers is projected to grow 10 percent over the next ten years, about as fast as the average for all occupations.
Related Careers: Compare the job duties, education, job growth, and pay of pest control workers with similar occupations.
Following is everything you need to know about a career as a pest control worker with lots of details. As a first step, take a look at some of the following jobs, which are real jobs with real employers. You will be able to see the very real job career requirements for employers who are actively hiring. The link will open in a new tab so that you can come back to this page to continue reading about the career:
Top 3 Pest Control Jobs
- Pest Control Service Technician - A STEP ABOVE PEST CONTROL INC - Los Angeles, CA
Pest control is considered an essential business, it is recession-proof, as long as there are bugs you'll have a job. If you're looking for stable income and the ability to grow with a local business ...
- Pest Control Route Technician - Orange County - Pro Pacific Pest Control - Anaheim, CA
Consider becoming a Licensed Pest Control Technician with Pro Pacific Pest Control . We offer a company vehicle, excellent training, and increased earning potential! Start your new career with Pro ...
- Pest Control Advisor, Wonderful Orchards - Wonderful Orchards - Wasco, CA
The Pest Control Advisor will supervise the pest and disease management program for the nursery for all crops we produce. We predominantly produce grapevines, but also grow significant quantities of ...(Video) Administrative Services Managers | Career, Salary and Education Information
See all Pest Control jobs
What Pest Control Workers Do[About this section] [To Top]
Pest control workers remove unwanted pests, such as roaches, rats, ants, bedbugs, mosquitoes, ticks, and termites that infest buildings and surrounding areas.
Duties of Pest Control Workers
Pest control workers typically do the following:
- Inspect buildings and premises for signs of pests or infestation
- Determine the type of treatment needed to eliminate pests
- Measure the dimensions of the area needing treatment
- Estimate the cost of their services
- Use baits and set traps to remove, control, or eliminate pests
- Apply pesticides in and around buildings and other structures
- Design and carry out pest management plans
- Drive trucks equipped with power spraying equipment
- Create barriers to prevent pests from entering a building
Unwanted pests that infest buildings and surrounding areas can pose serious risks to the health and safety of occupants. Pest control workers control, manage, and remove these creatures from homes, apartments, offices, and other structures to protect people and to maintain the structural integrity of buildings.
To design and carry out integrated pest management plans, pest control workers must know the identity and biology of a wide range of pests. They must also know the best ways to control and remove the pests.
Although roaches, rats, ants, bedbugs, ticks, and termites are the most common pests, some pest control workers also remove birds, squirrels, and other wildlife from homes and buildings.
Pest control workers' position titles and job duties often vary by state.
The following are examples of types of pest control workers:
Pest control technicians identify potential and actual pest problems, conduct inspections, and design control strategies. They work directly with customers and, as entry-level workers, use only a limited range of pesticides.
Applicators use a wide range of pesticides and may specialize in a particular area of pest control:
- Termite control technicians may use chemicals or baiting techniques and modify structures to eliminate termites and prevent future infestations. Some also repair structural damage caused by termites and build barriers to separate pests from their food source.
- Fumigators use gases, called fumigants, to treat specific kinds of pests or large-scale infestations. Fumigators seal infested buildings before using hoses to fill the structure with fumigants. They post warning signs to keep people from going into fumigated buildings and monitor buildings closely to detect and stop leaks.
Work Environment for Pest Control Workers[About this section] [To Top]
Pest control workers hold about 86,800 jobs. The largest employers of pest control workers are as follows:
|Exterminating and pest control services||88%|
Pest control workers must travel to a client's home or business. They work both indoors and outdoors, in all types of weather. To inspect and treat sites, workers must often kneel, bend, and crawl into tight spaces.
When working with pesticides, pest control workers must wear protective gear, including gloves, goggles, and, when required, respirators.
Pest Control Worker Injuries and Illnesses
All pesticide products are reviewed and approved by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and workers must follow label directions. Some pest control chemicals are toxic and can be harmful to humans, so care should be taken when using such chemicals. Workers are trained and licensed for pesticide usage and wear protective equipment as necessary based on label requirements. However, some injuries and illnesses from pesticide exposure may still occur. Pest control workers are also susceptible to strains and sprains because workers must often kneel, bend, and crawl into tight spaces.
Pest Control Worker Work Schedules
Most pest control workers are employed full time. Working evenings and weekends is common. Some work more than 40 hours per week.
How to Become a Pest Control Worker[About this section] [To Top]
Get the education you need: Find schools for Pest Control Workers near you!
State laws require pest control workers to be licensed. Most workers need a high school diploma and receive moderate on-the-job training.
Many pest control companies require that employees have good driving records.
Education for Pest Control Workers
A high school diploma or equivalent is typically the minimum qualification for most pest control jobs.
Pest Control Worker Training
Most pest control workers begin as technicians, receiving both formal technical instruction and moderate-term on-the-job training from employers. They often study specialties such as rodent control, termite control, and fumigation. Technicians also must complete general training in pesticide use and safety. Pest control training can usually be completed in less than 3 months.
After completing the required training, workers are qualified to provide pest control services. Because pest control methods change, workers often attend continuing education classes.
Licenses, Certifications, and Registrations for Pest Control Workers
Most states require pest control workers to be licensed. Licensure requirements vary by state, but workers usually must complete training and pass an exam. Some states have additional requirements, such as having a high school diploma or equivalent, completing an apprenticeship, and passing a background check. States may have additional requirements for applicators.
Advancement for Pest Control Workers
Pest control workers typically advance as they gain experience. Applicators with several years of experience often become supervisors. Some experienced workers start their own pest management company.
Important Qualities for Pest Control Workers
Bookkeeping skills. Pest control workers must keep accurate records of the hours they work, chemicals they use, and payments they collect. Self-employed workers, in particular, need these skills in order to run their business.
Customer-service skills. Pest control workers should be friendly and polite when they interact with customers at their homes or businesses.
Detail oriented. Because pest control workers apply pesticides, they need to be able to follow instructions carefully in order to prevent harm to residents, pets, the environment, and themselves.
Physical stamina. Pest control workers may spend hours on their feet, often crouching, kneeling, and crawling. They also must be able to withstand uncomfortable conditions, such as heat when they climb into attics in the summertime and cold when they enter crawl spaces during winter.
Pest Control Worker Salaries[About this section] [More salary/earnings info] [To Top]
The median annual wage for pest control workers is $37,540. The median wage is the wage at which half the workers in an occupation earned more than that amount and half earned less. The lowest 10 percent earned less than $28,620, and the highest 10 percent earned more than $58,660.
The median annual wages for pest control workers in the top industries in which they work are as follows:
|Exterminating and pest control services||$37,460|
Most pest control workers are employed full time. Working evenings and weekends is common. Some work more than 40 hours per week.
Job Outlook for Pest Control Workers[About this section] [To Top]
Employment of pest control workers is projected to grow 10 percent over the next ten years, about as fast as the average for all occupations.
About 12,800 openings for pest control workers are projected each year, on average, over the decade. Many of those openings are expected to result from the need to replace workers who transfer to different occupations or exit the labor force, such as to retire.
Employment of Pest Control Workers
The growing number of invasive insect species, such as stink bugs, is expected to further increase demand for pest control services. Although some people may choose to control pests themselves, most customers prefer to hire professional pest control services.
|Occupational Title||Employment, 2020||Projected Employment, 2030||Change, 2020-30|
|Pest control workers||86,800||95,000||10||8,200|
More Pest Control Worker Information[About this section] [To Top]
For information about state licensing requirements, contact state licensing officials.
For information on pest control officials, visit
Association of Structural Pest Control Regulatory Officials
For information on the pest management industry, visit
A portion of the information on this page is used by permission of the U.S. Department of Labor.
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