People say that what they enjoy most about their home is the people they live with. Exterminators protect this haven by removing intruders such as termites, roaches, mice, mosquitoes, wasps, spiders, or any other animals that can destroy a building’s foundation, become a nuisance in daily life, and pose a threat to human health. As an Exterminator, you do an excellent job of protecting the countless people who seek your assistance.
Also Known As
- Pest Control Worker
- Pest Control Technician
- Pesticide Applicator
Typical Job Responsibilities
What do Exterminators do?
An Exterminator would typically need to:
- Eliminate a wide range of destructive pests and vermin, reducing the risk of diseases like Zika virus, Lyme disease, and the plague, as well as food contamination.
- Determine the extent of the problem, plan the treatment, estimate the cost, carry out the plan, and monitor its progress.
- After discussing the details of the problem with the client, conduct a thorough examination of the premises, both indoors and outdoors.
- Identify the infested area and the pest; comprehend its relationship with its host; pinpoint the source of infestation or the central nest, as well as the pest’s entry point.
- Plan the extermination procedure; discuss it with customers and obtain their approval.
- Calculate the service fee by measuring the space required for treatment.
- To carry out extermination, wear appropriate personal protective equipment.
- Set traps within the contaminated area; apply insecticide or pesticide in precise quantities by spraying or dusting chemical solutions, powders, or gases in rooms and storage spaces, on objects, and in open areas.
- Seal areas to be fumigated or gassed in the event of an infestation; post hazard notices while a site is being fumigated.
- Drive trucks equipped with pesticide spraying equipment over large outdoor areas; monitor the environment
- After the threat has been removed, clean the site and reload the equipment onto trucks.
- Keep detailed records of the work done, including the type of pests exterminated, the equipment, products, and processes used, and the results.
- Keep up with the most recent pest control methods.
Standard Work Environment
Exterminators must work both inside homes and commercial buildings such as shops, kitchens, factories, and warehouses, as well as outside in all weather conditions. Travel to various work sites is required depending on the clientele.
Standard personal protective equipment, such as respirators, gloves, and goggles, may be required for specific situations. Follow all safety precautions for the pesticides and equipment you use.
Exterminators typically work full-time Monday through Friday, with additional hours on weekends and evenings as needed.
If you freelance or start your own business, you may have more control over your schedule.
Finding a new job may appear difficult. Exterminators can improve their job search by soliciting referrals from their network, contacting companies directly, using job search platforms, leveraging social media, and contacting staffing agencies.
Exterminators are generally employed by:
- Pest Control & Extermination Companies
- Real Estate Agencies
- Educational Institutions
- Hospitals & Clinics
- Municipal Authorities
Unions / Professional Organizations
Professional associations and organisations, such as the International Organization for Biological and Integrated Control (IOBC), are essential for Exterminators who want to further their professional development or connect with other professionals in their industry or occupation. Membership in one or more of these organisations adds value to your resume while strengthening your credentials and qualifications.
- Cleaning out attics, basements, and other cramped spaces
- Working in disagreeable places, which may be the source of the infestation, such as garbage disposal sites or sewage systems
- The need to stay safe during extermination due to the usage of harmful chemicals
- Exposure to extreme weather conditions
- The risk of being stung or bitten by aggressive pests, including wasps and poisonous spiders
- Patience and physical stamina to spend hours crouching, kneeling, crawling or on their feet; vulnerable to strains and sprains
- Long hours when dealing with urgent or seasonal pest issues
Suggested Work Experience
Because it is typically impossible to gain work experience in pest control or a related field without on-the-job training, completing an academic pest control programme offered by accredited training or technical centres, community colleges, or university extension programs is one way to prepare for entry-level roles.
Remember that you will only receive classroom training in rodent control, termite control, pesticide use and safety, and fumigation. Understanding pest science and biology will help you learn to evaluate a situation and determine the best treatment once you start working.
When you are formally employed and receive on-the-job training, you will gain practical experience and skills in pest control.
Part-time work in other areas, on the other hand, can help you develop communication, interpersonal, and other transferable skills while also increasing your sense of responsibility and willingness to learn. Reading about the duties and job shadowing Exterminators demonstrate your dedication when submitting applications to course providers and prospective employers.
Maintain your physical fitness and get a booster shot of the antitetanus vaccination.
A high school diploma or equivalent covering biology and zoology is usually sufficient for aspiring Exterminators.
Although employers do not place a high value on postsecondary education, you could gain a competitive advantage in the job market by earning an associate degree or gaining additional skills through a certificate course in customer service and management.
A diploma in agrochemical and pesticide management obtained from a vocational or community college demonstrates your knowledge and expertise in the field.
Certifications, Licenses and Registration
You must meet the licencing requirements of the jurisdiction in which you live and work. To qualify for your local licence, you must complete an approved training programme, pass the relevant exam, and accumulate the required hours of work experience under a licenced supervisor. Some employers offer formal instruction and training on the job to assist you in obtaining your licence or certification.
You can also get certification in specialised areas like termite control and fumigation.
As a licenced and certified pesticide applicator, you can use certain chemical pesticides that are typically used by industry but are not available to the general public due to their toxicity.
To renew your licence or certification, you must take continuing professional development (CPD) courses or participate in continuing education (CE).
Keep in mind that Exterminators must be at least 18 years old and may be subjected to a criminal background check.
A valid driver’s licence obtained in accordance with regional requirements, as well as a driving record check, may be required if employers expect you to commute between work locations.
Exterminators working for a company must have full liability insurance, and self-employed workers must obtain it on their own.
Projected Career Map
Exterminators advance in their careers from pest control technicians to supervisors based on their performance, experience, and skill acquisition. Employees who consistently demonstrate high levels of performance may be eligible for promotion every two to three years.
You can advance your career by specializing in rodents, termites, or fumigation control. Experience may qualify you for supervisory positions.
You may also choose to start your own pest management company if you have sufficient and relevant experience.
Exterminators with the necessary training, licence, certification, and experience with pesticides and trap placement have the best job prospects.
Beneficial Professional Development
CPD will assist an active Exterminator in developing personal skills and proficiency through work-based learning or professional activity. Because pest control methods evolve over time, these sessions expand your knowledge and expertise.
Because pest control protocols differ depending on the employer and the topography, the skills gained through initial and ongoing on-the-job training may also vary. Typically, you would begin as a technician and receive general pesticide safety training as well as formal technical training from your employer. Completing the three-month training period qualifies you to work as an Exterminator and may earn you certification and increased employability.
Working as an Exterminator allows you to give back to society by overcoming on-the-job hazards and alleviating the annoyance caused by vermin while ensuring safety and the preservation of human life and health.
Advice from the Wise
Read up on recent trends and technology in the extermination industry, especially innovations, such as electrical pest control technology. Maintain government-regulated licenses and attend workshops on the new methods and services in the field.