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Become A Pest Controller

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Working As A Pest Controller

  • Getting Information
  • Identifying Objects, Actions, and Events
  • Operating Vehicles, Mechanized Devices, or Equipment
  • Inspecting Equipment, Structures, or Material
  • Making Decisions and Solving Problems
  • Outdoors/walking/standing

  • Make Decisions

  • $32,160

    Average Salary

What Does A Pest Controller Do

Pest control workers remove unwanted creatures, such as roaches, rats, ants, bedbugs, and termites that infest buildings and surrounding areas.

Duties

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 or kill 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, and termites are the most common pests, some pest control workers also remove irritant birds and other wildlife.

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 use chemicals 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. Warning signs are posted to keep people from going into fumigated buildings, and fumigators monitor buildings closely to detect and stop leaks.

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How To Become A Pest Controller

State laws require pest control workers to be licensed. Most workers need a high school diploma and receive on-the-job training, usually lasting less than 3 months.

Many pest control companies require that employees have good driving records.

Education

A high school diploma or equivalent is typically the minimum qualification for most pest control jobs.

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

Pest control workers must 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

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

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.

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Pest Controller jobs

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Pest Controller Demographics

Gender

Male

80.2%

Female

18.0%

Unknown

1.8%
Ethnicity

White

79.4%

Hispanic or Latino

12.8%

Asian

5.7%

Unknown

1.5%

Black or African American

0.6%
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Languages Spoken

Spanish

68.2%

Portuguese

9.1%

French

9.1%

German

4.5%

Carrier

4.5%

Russian

4.5%
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Pest Controller Education

Schools

Liberty University

7.9%

California State University - Fresno

7.9%

Kaplan University

7.9%

California Polytechnic State University-San Luis Obispo

7.9%

University of Phoenix

7.9%

Utah State University

6.3%

University of California - Davis

6.3%

Texas A&M University

4.8%

Sam Houston State University

4.8%

Brigham Young University - Idaho

4.8%

Michigan State University

4.8%

Murray State University

3.2%

University of South Florida

3.2%

Miami Dade College

3.2%

Southwestern College

3.2%

Southern Illinois University Carbondale

3.2%

Utah Valley University

3.2%

Eastern Connecticut State University

3.2%

Community College of the Air Force

3.2%

College of Southern Nevada

3.2%
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Majors

Business

22.2%

General Studies

8.6%

Plant Sciences

7.0%

Criminal Justice

7.0%

Accounting

6.5%

Biology

5.4%

Management

4.9%

Psychology

4.9%

Precision Metal Working

3.8%

Communication

3.8%

Environmental Science

3.2%

Marketing

3.2%

Computer Science

2.7%

Liberal Arts

2.7%

Finance

2.7%

Information Technology

2.7%

Electrical Engineering Technology

2.2%

Fine Arts

2.2%

Automotive Technology

2.2%

Zoology

2.2%
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Degrees

Other

41.9%

Bachelors

31.5%

Associate

11.0%

Masters

8.3%

Certificate

4.9%

Doctorate

1.2%

License

0.6%

Diploma

0.6%
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Top Skills for A Pest Controller

PestControlProductsCustomerServiceTermiteInspectionsInsectsPesticideApplicationPestManagementProceduresPestControlServicesDustChemicalSolutionsIPMIdentifyInfestationSourceGeneralPestControlPestProblemsCompanyVehicleExterminationProcessesCustomerAccountsRoofPorosityNewAccountsNewCustomersDataEntry

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Top Pest Controller Skills

  1. Pest Control Products
  2. Customer Service
  3. Termite Inspections
You can check out examples of real life uses of top skills on resumes here:
  • Audited technician's daily service tickets to ensure proper and safe use of pest control products.
  • Call center outbound customer sales, customer service via incoming calls.
  • Completed more than 60 termite inspections utilizing a 30 step checklist monthly.
  • Know and properly use the library for identification of insects, rodents, animals, birds, weeds and diseases.
  • Use measuring cups when measuring pesticide application rate mixture and for pesticide dilution rates; properly agitating pesticides during mixing procedure.

Top Pest Controller Employers