Professional Pest Control Careers: Frequently Asked
Q: Do I need a college degree to
work in professional pest management?
A: While this answer may vary by company, many positions -
including field technician - do not require a college degree.
Q: Can I work as a field
technician if I don't have any prior experience?
A: Yes. Professional pest management companies provide extensive
training, both on-the-job and in a classroom setting, and pest
control professionals in the field will act as mentors.
Q: What kind of salaries should I
expect in this industry?
A: Overall, most pest management companies offer very
competitive salaries and a whole host of benefits. Entry-level
positions, in many cases, are financially competitive to
entry-level positions in customer service, construction, automotive
and teaching industries, just to name a few. However, one of the
many advantages of this growing and evolving industry is the room
for promotion and personal career growth. Positions range from
entry-level to seasoned technicians, and middle- and upper- level
Q: I'm still in college and I'm
looking for a position that will work around my class schedule. How
flexible are the jobs within this industry?
A: Jobs in professional pest management are fairly flexible.
Speak with the hiring manager about your needs. Chances are good
they'll be able to provide you with a schedule that will work
around your classes.
Q: I'm a mom with kids in school.
I'm looking to re-enter the job force and I need a career that will
let me be home when my kids get off the bus. Is a job in
professional pest management right for me?
A: It certainly could be. Because a majority of professional
pest management companies are family owned and operated, managers
understand the needs of parents and will do their best to
accommodate your needs.
Q: I've always thought of pest
management as a man's career. Do many women work in the
A: Times are changing and many women are entering the profession
in a variety of capacities. Women are in every facet of
professional pest management - owners to field technicians. Many
are trained entomologists doing research at universities
Q: Aren't the chemicals used in
professional pest management harmful?
A: Pesticides are regulated and registered by the Environmental
Protection Agency, which is required by law to provide special
protections for sensitive subpopulations, like children. Just like
medicine, they go through years of development and testing before
they are approved for use in homes and schools. Pest professionals
receive ongoing, intensive training to ensure they are able to
properly identify, target and effectively treat pests in the least
invasive manner possible.
Q: I've heard the term "IPM"
thrown around a lot lately. What is it?
A: IPM, or "Integrated Pest
Management," is a commonsense approach to pest control focused
on eliminating the source of pest problems rather than simply
treating the symptoms with routine pesticide applications. Pest
professionals receive special training to implement effective IPM
Q: I'm scared of bugs. Can I
still work in professional pest control?
A: Absolutely. Many people are afraid of things they don't
understand. You may find that working in this industry and
receiving ample training about pests will help you to conquer your
fears. There are also many other positions within the industry that
don't have direct contact with pests.
Q: What are the steps for
starting my own pest management business?
A: If you are interested in starting a business, your first step
is to understand your state's requirements for starting a pest
management business. State regulatory agencies have assembled a web site, which lists key
personnel of pesticide regulatory agencies on a state-by-state
basis. Then you will need to contact other government agencies
related to taxes, business licensing, insurance etc.