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Become A Vector Control Specialist

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Working As A Vector Control Specialist

  • 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

  • $99,582

    Average Salary

What Does A Vector Control Specialist 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 Vector Control Specialist

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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Vector Control Specialist Typical Career Paths

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Vector Control Specialist Demographics

Gender

Male

76.9%

Female

23.1%
Ethnicity

White

64.6%

Hispanic or Latino

17.5%

Black or African American

11.3%

Asian

3.8%

Unknown

2.9%
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Vector Control Specialist Education

Schools

University of North Carolina at Greensboro

9.5%

Platt College-Riverside

4.8%

University of California - Los Angeles

4.8%

Wichita State University

4.8%

Purdue University

4.8%

Horry-Georgetown Technical College

4.8%

Ulster County Community College

4.8%

University of Florida

4.8%

North Lake College

4.8%

Montclair State University

4.8%

Lander University

4.8%

Southeast Missouri State University

4.8%

Colorado Technical University

4.8%

Greenville College

4.8%

Texas A&M University

4.8%

Technology Center

4.8%

College of Biblical Studies-Houston

4.8%

San Joaquin Valley College

4.8%

Tulane University

4.8%

University of Nebraska - Lincoln

4.8%
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Majors

Zoology

17.4%

Biology

13.0%

Environmental Science

8.7%

General Studies

8.7%

Geography

8.7%

Sociology

4.3%

Ecology, Population Biology, And Epidemiology

4.3%

Theology

4.3%

Criminal Justice

4.3%

Heavy/Industrial Equipment Maintenance Technologies

4.3%

Medical Assisting Services

4.3%

Heating And Air Conditioning

4.3%

Health Care Administration

4.3%

Law

4.3%

Food And Nutrition

4.3%
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Degrees

Other

47.8%

Masters

21.7%

Bachelors

21.7%

Certificate

4.3%

Associate

4.3%
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Top Skills for A Vector Control Specialist

  1. Pest Control Services
  2. Perform IPM
  3. DOD
You can check out examples of real life uses of top skills on resumes here:
  • Provide support to US and Coalition troops in Afghanistan by providing pest control services at forward operating bases.
  • Coordinate site activities with veterinary site representatives and DoD personnel in the trapping and transportation of feral animals and pesticide/herbicide application.
  • Utilized various traps to control rodent populations in base facilities.
  • Work at various Forward Operating Bases (FOB's) in the Afghanistan Theater.
  • Perform as HSE Supervisor during absence, overseeing all Safety and Environmental Matters.

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