Each year, the U.S. pest control industry provides services to one out of ten homes in the country.
In most cases, store-bought traps and poisons won’t get rid of a serious infestation. This is why many homeowners rely on trained professionals to do the job.
There are currently over 70,000 pest control workers in the United States. But in order to land an entry-level job in the industry, you need the right approach.
Let’s look at a useful few tips that will help you start your career as a pest control technician!
1. Maintain a Good Driving Record
As a pest control specialist, your job involves driving to several homes on the daily basis. So you should have a valid driver’s license.
But make sure to avoid accidents and tickets too. Many pest control companies prefer workers who have a violation-free driving record.
If you had driving violations in the past, reach out to your state’s DMV. They can help you find ways to clean up your record. For example, you may be able to deduct points by enrolling in a state-approved defensive driving class.
2. Develop Necessary Skills
Aside from driving, there are several other skills you need to succeed as a pest control technician.
First, focus on your critical thinking skills. It will be your duty to analyze clues and determine the cause of a problem and then decide on the right treatment.
Communication skills will also come in handy. You’ll need to give detailed explanations to your customers.
Finally, the job involves a lot of walking, crawling, and climbing. This is why it’s important to be in good physical shape as well.
3. Check Your State’s Licensing Requirements
You don’t need a college degree to land a job as a pest control technician. But most companies require you to have either a high school diploma or GED.
Plus, keep in mind that testing and licensing requirements vary by state. Check with your state’s department of agriculture for details. You’ll also need to pass the EPA’s National Pesticide Applicator Certification Core Exam.
If you want to continue your education, consider taking online courses.
4. Prepare for On-The-Job Training
Regardless of where you end up working, you can expect your employer to provide plenty of hands-on training. The training period can last anywhere from a few weeks to several months.
During this time, you may ride around with a licensed specialist who will help you get acclimated to your new role. You’ll build up experience with everything from commercial rodent control to termite treatment.
If you work for a larger company, you may also spend some time in a classroom setting. There, you’ll learn about topics such as pesticide safety and customer service.
Final Thoughts on Becoming a Pest Control Technician
By following the tips mentioned above, you can become a certified pest control technician in less than a year.
In order to maintain your license, make sure to stay up to date on the latest pest control trends and techniques. Most states require pest applicators to renew their license annually, but there are exceptions.