How Do I Become a Pest Control Operator?

A pest control operator is a person who works to eliminate pests from homes, businesses, schools, and other properties. A person who chooses this career may help to rid his customers’ properties of a wide variety of insects and rodents. For example, pest control operators commonly work to eliminate roach, ant, mouse, and rat infestations, though they may be called for many other types of pests as well. The requirements for becoming a pest control operator vary from place to place. In many places, however, a person who wants to become a pest control operator has to seek licensing and training.

Many employers require a person who wants to become a pest control operator to have a high school diploma or an equivalent credential. In most cases, a person won’t need a college degree to pursue this career. Training is necessary, however, and some jurisdictions require aspiring pest control operators to take jurisdiction-approved training programs, pass exams, and apply for licensing. In some places, a person may be hired by a pest control company without licensing or training. Instead, the company may provide the training the candidate needs to both secure licensing and work for the company.

There are some places in which a person does not need a license to become a pest control operator. He will still, however, need training to learn how to kill and remove pests as well as how to stop them from breeding and prevent new infestations. Training is required for more than just eliminating pests, however. A person who wants to become a pest control operator also needs to know how to eliminate pests without endangering the health of humans and pets or polluting the air and water. If an aspiring operator does not receive on-the-job training, he may enroll in a training course on his own; such courses are often offered by retired pest control operators.

In places that require pest control operators to seek licensing or certification, an aspiring operator may have to earn continuing education credits to renew his license. Some places may allow re-testing in lieu of continuing education credits, however. The number of credits a person needs and how often he has to renew his licensing may vary, depending on the jurisdiction.

An individual who wants to become a pest control operator often browses help-wanted ads looking for job openings or contacts pest control companies to inquire about the application process. Some, however, choose to start their own businesses. In such a case, an aspiring pest control operator will usually need a business license, liability insurance, and a marketing plan.

Written by N. Madison