Pest Control Technician: Job Description, Salary & Outlook
Learn the details of a career as a pest control technician. Research the job duties, the possible salary and the job outlook to see if this job is right for you.
Career Information at a Glance
Pest control technicians inspect properties for signs of infestation and use pesticides and traps to take care of the problem. A high school diploma is typically required and technicians usually go through a period of training. Check out the table below for more information.
|Degree Required||High school diploma|
|Training Required||On-the-job training|
|Key Skills||Physical stamina, customer service|
|Job Growth (2018-2028)||7% (for all pest control workers)*|
|Median Salary (2019)||$37,731**|
Sources: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, **Payscale.com
What's the Job Description of a Pest Control Technician?
If it creeps or crawls, a pest control technician knows how to handle it. Pest control technicians are responsible for ridding residences and commercial buildings of unwanted pests including rats, roaches, ticks and all sorts of other bugs. They'll inspect the inside and outside of a property, looking for signs of activity. Based on their findings, they'll determine what type of pesticide or trap is appropriate and provide the owner with an estimate for the work. Once the owner agrees, the technician will spread pesticide strategically around the property to get rid of the infestation. Sometimes, the technician may need to schedule follow-ups or regular spraying schedules to control the issue.
How Do You Become a Pest Control Technician?
Pest control companies typically set their own requirements for employees, but most want candidates who hold at least a high school diploma. Once hired, technicians may go through training to learn pesticide safety and company procedures. Training typically lasts for fewer than three months. The pest control business is always changing, though, so technicians may be asked to go to continuing education classes.
Do Pest Control Technicians Need Certification?
Technicians require licensure in most states. This usually involves training and taking an exam although requirements vary by state. Technicians are limited to a specific range of pesticides. If they want to advance in the field, technicians can get certified as pest control applicators.
Pest control applicators can use restricted-use pesticides and may work with more difficult infestations such as termites. Each state has its own set of certification requirements, but there are also standards set by the Environmental Protection Agency. Certification might involve a written test and a performance-based test, and applicators are asked to do continuing education to keep up with their certification.
How Much Can You Make as a Pest Control Technician?
The median annual salary for all pest control workers in the U.S. in 2018 was $35,610 according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS). However, technicians are just one type of worker in the industry. Payscale.com offers more specific salary info for technicians; as as of 2019, the site indicated a median salary of $37,731 per year.
What's the Job Outlook for Pest Control Technicians?
The way the BLS sees it, the pest control industry may be affected by two things in the coming years. More and more, consumers may choose to do their own pest control, which would cut down on the need for technicians. However, that might be counteracted by the fact that new invasive species are making their way into homes at an increasing rate. All told, the BLS predicts a rise in employment in the field of 7% between 2018 and 2028.