Become a Pest Control Technician: Training & Licensing

Everything you need to know about becoming a pest control technician is here, from the required training and licensing to the salaries and job outlook. Schools offering Property Management degrees can also be found in these popular choices.

Career Information at a Glance

Pest control workers get rid of unwanted pests in residences and commercial buildings. A high school diploma is necessary to work in the business, and most states require pest control workers to have a license. More info on the career can be found in the chart below.

Education Required High school diploma
Training Required On-the-job training
Key Skills Customer service, physical stamina, detail-oriented
Licensure Required Required by most states, requirements vary
Job Growth (2016-2026) 8% (pest control workers)*
Median Salary (2017) $34,370 (pest control workers)*

Source: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

What Do Pest Control Technicians Do?

Pest control technicians identify and kill (or remove) pests like cockroaches, ticks, rats and ants from buildings and the surrounding area. For instance, if a hotel were concerned about a beg bug infestation, a pest control technician would inspect the property, look for telltale signs and, if necessary, run tests to pinpoint the specific species. They'd then apply the appropriate pesticides and monitor the premises to ensure that the infestation is gone.

Likewise, a pest control technician might come out to a homeowner's residence at their request and conduct an inspection. Depending on what they discover, they'll provide an estimate for the work and then spread pesticides or set traps in a targeted area.

How Do You Become a Pest Control Technician?

Pest control technician is an entry-level position in the industry. No degree is required, but most pest control companies will ask for at least a high school diploma. Most companies will do training with the new hire, and many will pair them with an experienced technician to teach them how to find signs of pests, how to identify them and what types of techniques to use to get rid of them. Because pesticides are potentially dangerous, most new technicians are given formal technical instruction that can last up to three months.

Do You Need a License for Pest Control?

Each state has different guidelines for certification. Some states don't require it, but most do. Certification typically involves training and an exam, though some states might also require a background check, a high school diploma and an apprenticeship. Technicians are limited to using certain pesticides. To advance to the role of a pest control applicator (and have clearance to use restricted pesticides), workers are required by federal law to be certified in their state.

What Is the Salary Like?

The median annual salary for all pest control workers (a category that includes, but is not limited to, pest control technicians) was $34,370 in 2017 according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. The site Payscale.com has self-reported figures specifically for pest control technicians. Its estimates put the average salary for entry-level pest control technicians at $32,063 in 2019.

Is Employment in the Pest Control Industry Growing?

Will there be more or fewer jobs for pest control workers in the coming years? The BLS estimates that employment in the industry will grow. Its numbers indicate an 8% rise in employment for the years 2016 to 2026.

To continue researching, browse degree options below for course curriculum, prerequisites and financial aid information. Or, learn more about the subject by reading the related articles below:

  • 1. Degree Options:
The schools in the listing below are not free and may include sponsored content but are popular choices among our users. Tuition and costs will vary across programs and locations. Be sure to always request tuition information before starting a program.

Popular Schools

  • Ashford University

    Ashford University responds quickly to information requests through this website.

    Popular programs at Ashford University:

    Online Programs Available

  • Purdue University Global

    Purdue University Global responds quickly to information requests through this website.

    Popular programs at Purdue University Global:

    Online Programs Available

  • Fortis College

    Fortis College responds quickly to information requests through this website.

    Popular programs at Fortis College:

    • Certificates

    Online Programs Available

  • Penn Foster High School

    Penn Foster High School responds quickly to information requests through this website.

    Popular programs at Penn Foster High School:

    Online Programs Available

  • Penn Foster

    Penn Foster responds quickly to information requests through this website.

    Popular programs at Penn Foster:

    • Certificates

    Online Programs Available

  • Georgetown University

    Georgetown University responds quickly to information requests through this website.

    Popular programs at Georgetown University:

    • Master

    Online Programs Available

  • CDI College

    CDI College responds quickly to information requests through this website.

    Popular programs at CDI College:

    • Certificates

    Campus Locations:

    • Anywhere: Burnaby, Richmond, Surrey
  • Northern Michigan University

    Campus Locations:

    • Michigan: Marquette
  • The University of Montana

    Campus Locations:

    • Montana: Missoula
  • Dunwoody College of Technology

    Campus Locations:

    • Minnesota: Minneapolis