How to Become a Pest Control Technician

Many residential and commercial settings have a variety of unwanted pests that can pose health and safety risks. Trained professionals are required to carry out a wide variety of tasks to remove pests and prevent them from returning. This is the job of pest control technicians.

What does a pest control technician do?

Pest control technicians locate, identify, remove, manage, and keep away a variety of pests. They recognize potential pest problems and carry out inspections. They use many different pest control techniques such as traps, bait, chemicals, physical barriers, and structure modification to solve pest problems. They work directly with customers to design effective control strategies that will directly meet the customer’s needs. Pest control workers use two types of pesticides called general use pesticides and restricted use pesticides. The general use pesticides are readily available to consumers and are the most commonly used. Restricted use pesticides can only by used by certified pest control professionals. Pest control technicians also provide advice to customers about proper sanitation to keep pests away.

What kind of training does a pest control technician need?

Pest control technicians must have at least a high school diploma and many have college training. Training programs typically combine classroom instruction and on the job training. Prospective pest control technicians learn about pest control, termite control, rodent control, ornamental and turf control, fumigation, and pesticide use and safety. Many pest control technicians begin their career as apprentices. All states require pest control technicians to be certified. Certification requirements include completing an approved training program and passing an examination. Pest control technicians must stay up to date on the current methods in the field and often complete continuing education to maintain their certifications.

What are the prospects for a career as a pest control technician?

Employment of pest control technicians is expected to grow faster than average for all professions, increasing 15% from 2006 to 2016 (1). A growing population and increase in construction will drive job growth.

Job prospects should be favorable especially in areas with warm climate. Many job opportunities will stem from the need to replace pest control technicians that retire, transfer, or leave the field for other reasons.

How much do pest control technicians make?

As of November 2009, the average annual salary for pest control technicians is $29,000; average annual pest control technician salaries vary greatly on education, experience, location, employer, and benefits (2).

A career as a pest control technician is a great choice for individuals interested in the elimination of a variety of pests. Pest control technicians must be in good general health and be able to work in extreme and sometimes unfavorable conditions. They must be comfortable dealing a variety of insects and animals and follow all safety procedures when administering pest control methods. Pest control technicians must have excellent communication and interpersonal skills because they interact with customers on a daily basis.

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