Pest Control Worker Job Description
Pest control workers set traps and spray chemicals to kill or remove unwanted pests from buildings or other structures. Common pests that these workers have to deal with include rats, ants, termites, and cockroaches.
The job that pest control workers do requires them to be familiar with the habits of many different kinds of pests, as well as the best ways to remove or control them. Because treatment varies depending on the type of infestation, these workers have to draw from years of experience to do their jobs effectively.
Common responsibilities for most pest control worker jobs include:
- Identifying the source of infestations.
- Spraying or dusting chemical solutions to treat the infestations.
- Providing the proper aftercare instructions to ensure the safety of inhabitants.
Work Environment and Schedule
Pest control workers spend most of their time traveling to client’s homes or businesses and treating their pest problems.
Because pests tend to hide out in places that aren’t easy for people to access, pest control workers spend a lot of time kneeling and crawling in tight spaces (like in crawl spaces beneath homes). These repetitive movements can lead to injuries, and staying in good physical shape can help decrease the risk of injury.
In some geographic areas, the demand for pest control workers can be very seasonal. In some places, winter and fall are slow, while spring and summer are very busy.
During busy times, it’s common for pest control workers to work many hours on nights and weekends. When people have an infestation in their home or business, they don’t want to wait very long for the problem to be treated. These situations require prompt attention from pest control workers, no matter the time or day.
People in this occupation work with toxic chemicals, and they can be harmful when not handled correctly. Wearing protective gear and using proper handling methods can reduce the risk of injury, but it’s impossible to eliminate the chance of harm altogether.
How to Become a Pest Control Worker
A high school diploma is the only formal education education requirement for becoming a pest control worker, but all states also require a license.
The exact licensing requirements vary from state to state, but most require some training and the successful completion of an exam. In some states, passing a background check is required as well.
Most pest control workers start out as technicians, where they receive on the job training while helping licensed pest control workers with their jobs. Training normally lasts about three months, and covers methods of rodent, insect, and termite control.
There are currently 68,400 pest control workers in the United States, with 4,850 new pest control worker job openings created each year.
Pest Control Worker jobs are not expected to see much growth beyond their current levels in the next decade.
Pest Control Worker Salaries
Pest Control Worker salaries can vary depending on your experience, the location, company, industry, and benefits provided. Nationwide, most pest control workers make between $24,800 – $38,100 per year, or $11.94 – $18.30 per hour.