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Career profile Pest Control Technician

Also known as Chemical Applicator, Integrated Pest Management Technician (IPM Technician), Lawn Specialist, Lawn Technician, Licensed Pesticide Applicator, Pest Control Technician, Pesticide Applicator, Spray Applicator, Spray Technician, Tree and Shrub Technician

Pest Control Technician

Also known as Chemical Applicator, Integrated Pest Management Technician (IPM Technician), Lawn Specialist

Interests Profile
  • Realistic
  • Conventional
  • Investigative
Pay Range
$25,590 - $56,030 (annual)
Required Skills
  • Active Listening
  • Speaking
  • Critical Thinking
Knowledge Areas
  • Customer and Personal Service
  • Biology
  • Production and Processing
Core tasks
  • Mix pesticides, herbicides, or fungicides for application to trees, shrubs, lawns, or botanical crops.
  • Fill sprayer tanks with water and chemicals, according to formulas.
  • Lift, push, and swing nozzles, hoses, and tubes to direct spray over designated areas.
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What does a Pest Control Technician do?

Pest Control Technicians mix or apply pesticides, herbicides, fungicides, or insecticides through sprays, dusts, vapors, soil incorporation, or chemical application on trees, shrubs, lawns, or crops.

In addition, Pest Control Technicians usually requires specific training and state or federal certification.

What kind of tasks does a Pest Control Technician perform regularly?

Pest Control Technicians are often responsible for overseeing or executing some or all of the following tasks:

  • Mix pesticides, herbicides, or fungicides for application to trees, shrubs, lawns, or botanical crops.
  • Fill sprayer tanks with water and chemicals, according to formulas.
  • Lift, push, and swing nozzles, hoses, and tubes to direct spray over designated areas.
  • Identify lawn or plant diseases to determine the appropriate course of treatment.
  • Cover areas to specified depths with pesticides, applying knowledge of weather conditions, droplet sizes, elevation-to-distance ratios, and obstructions.
  • Start motors and engage machinery, such as sprayer agitators or pumps or portable spray equipment.
  • Connect hoses and nozzles selected according to terrain, distribution pattern requirements, types of infestations, and velocities.
  • Clean or service machinery to ensure operating efficiency, using water, gasoline, lubricants, or hand tools.

The above responsibilities are specific to Pest Control Technicians. More generally, Pest Control Technicians are involved in several broader types of activities:

Operating Vehicles, Mechanized Devices, or Equipment
Running, maneuvering, navigating, or driving vehicles or mechanized equipment, such as forklifts, passenger vehicles, aircraft, or watercraft.
Monitoring Processes, Materials, or Surroundings
Monitoring and reviewing information from materials, events, or the environment, to detect or assess problems.
Getting Information
Observing, receiving, and otherwise obtaining information from all relevant sources.
Performing General Physical Activities
Performing physical activities that require considerable use of your arms and legs and moving your whole body, such as climbing, lifting, balancing, walking, stooping, and handling materials.
Identifying Objects, Actions, and Events
Identifying information by categorizing, estimating, recognizing differences or similarities, and detecting changes in circumstances or events.

What is a Pest Control Technician salary?

The median salary for a Pest Control Technician is $36,630, and the average salary is $39,130. Both the median and average roughly describe the middle of the Pest Control Technician salary range, but the average is more easily affected by extremely high or low salaries.

Many Pest Control Technicians earn significantly more or less than the average, due to several factors. About 10% of Pest Control Technicians earn less than $25,590 per year, 25% earn less than $30,440, 75% earn less than $43,560, and 90% earn less than $56,030.

Between the years of 2020 and 2030, the number of Pest Control Technicians is expected to change by 8.4%, and there should be roughly 3,900 open positions for Pest Control Technicians every year.

Median annual salary
$36,630
Typical salary range
$25,590 - $56,030
Projected growth (2020 - 2030)
8.4%

What personality traits are common among Pest Control Technicians?

Interests

Career interests describe a person's preferences for different types of working environments and activities. When a person's interest match the demands of an occupation, people are usually more engaged and satisfied in that role.

Compared to most occupations, those who work as a Pest Control Technician are usually higher in their Realistic interests.

Pest Control Technicians typically have very strong Realistic interests. Realistic occupations frequently involve work activities that include practical, hands-on problems and solutions. They often deal with plants, animals, and real-world materials like wood, tools, and machinery. Many of the occupations require working outside, and do not involve a lot of paperwork or working closely with others.

Values

People differ in their values, or what is most important to them for building job satisfaction and fulfillment.

Compared to most people, those working as a Pest Control Technician tend to value Support, Independence, and Working Conditions.

Most importantly, Pest Control Technicians strongly value Support. Occupations that satisfy this work value offer supportive management that stands behind employees.

Second, Pest Control Technicians moderately value Independence. Occupations that satisfy this work value allow employees to work on their own and make decisions.

Lastly, Pest Control Technicians moderately value Working Conditions. Occupations that satisfy this work value offer job security and good working conditions.

Psychological Demands

Each occupation brings its own set of psychological demands, which describe the characteristics necessary to perform the job well.

In order to perform their job successfully, people who work as Pest Control Technicians must consistently demonstrate qualities such as dependability, attention to detail, and independence.

Below, you'll find a list of qualities typically required of Pest Control Technicians, ranked by importance:

Dependability
Job requires being reliable, responsible, and dependable, and fulfilling obligations.
Attention to Detail
Job requires being careful about detail and thorough in completing work tasks.
Independence
Job requires developing one's own ways of doing things, guiding oneself with little or no supervision, and depending on oneself to get things done.
Cooperation
Job requires being pleasant with others on the job and displaying a good-natured, cooperative attitude.
Integrity
Job requires being honest and ethical.

What education and training do Pest Control Technicians need?

Working as a Pest Control Technician usually requires a high school diploma.

Pest Control Technicians need anywhere from a few months to one year of working with experienced employees. A recognized apprenticeship program may be associated with this occupation.

Educational degrees among Pest Control Technicians

  • 23.7% did not complete high school or secondary school
  • 33.7% completed high school or secondary school
  • 17.6% completed some college coursework
  • 8.9% earned a Associate's degree
  • 15.0% earned a Bachelor's degree
  • 0.8% earned a Master's degree
  • 0.3% earned a doctorate or professional degree

Knowledge and expertise required by Pest Control Technicians

Pest Control Technicians may benefit from understanding of specialized subject areas, such as customer and personal service, biology, or production and processing knowledge.

The list below shows several areas in which most Pest Control Technicians might want to build proficiency, ranked by importance.

Customer and Personal Service
Knowledge of principles and processes for providing customer and personal services. This includes customer needs assessment, meeting quality standards for services, and evaluation of customer satisfaction.
Biology
Knowledge of plant and animal organisms, their tissues, cells, functions, interdependencies, and interactions with each other and the environment.
Production and Processing
Knowledge of raw materials, production processes, quality control, costs, and other techniques for maximizing the effective manufacture and distribution of goods.
Administration and Management
Knowledge of business and management principles involved in strategic planning, resource allocation, human resources modeling, leadership technique, production methods, and coordination of people and resources.
Public Safety and Security
Knowledge of relevant equipment, policies, procedures, and strategies to promote effective local, state, or national security operations for the protection of people, data, property, and institutions.

Important Abilities needed by Pest Control Technicians

Pest Control Technicians must develop a particular set of abilities to perform their job well. Abilities are individual capacities that influence a person's information processing, sensory perception, motor coordination, and physical strength or endurance. Individuals may naturally have certain abilities without explicit training, but most abilities can be sharpened somewhat through practice.

For example, Pest Control Technicians need abilities such as near vision, arm-hand steadiness, and control precision in order to perform their job at a high level. The list below shows several important abilities for Pest Control Technicians, ranked by their relative importance.

Near Vision
The ability to see details at close range (within a few feet of the observer).
Arm-Hand Steadiness
The ability to keep your hand and arm steady while moving your arm or while holding your arm and hand in one position.
Control Precision
The ability to quickly and repeatedly adjust the controls of a machine or a vehicle to exact positions.
Oral Comprehension
The ability to listen to and understand information and ideas presented through spoken words and sentences.
Problem Sensitivity
The ability to tell when something is wrong or is likely to go wrong. It does not involve solving the problem, only recognizing that there is a problem.

Critical Skills needed by Pest Control Technicians

Skills are developed capacities that enable people to function effectively in real-world settings. Unlike abilities, skills are typically easier to build through practice and experience. Skills influence effectiveness in areas such as learning, working with others, design, troubleshooting, and more.

Pest Control Technicians frequently use skills like active listening, speaking, and critical thinking to perform their job effectively. The list below shows several critical skills for Pest Control Technicians, ranked by their relative importance.

Active Listening
Giving full attention to what other people are saying, taking time to understand the points being made, asking questions as appropriate, and not interrupting at inappropriate times.
Speaking
Talking to others to convey information effectively.
Critical Thinking
Using logic and reasoning to identify the strengths and weaknesses of alternative solutions, conclusions, or approaches to problems.
Time Management
Managing one's own time and the time of others.
Reading Comprehension
Understanding written sentences and paragraphs in work-related documents.

What is the source of this information?

The information provided on this page is adapted from data and descriptions published by the U.S. Department of Labor, Employment and Training Administration under the CC BY 4.0 license. TraitLab has modified some information for ease of use and reading, and the U.S. Department of Labor, Employment, and Training Administration has not approved, endorsed, or tested these modifications.

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