Exterminator: What Is It and How to Become

Exterminator: What Is It and How to Become

Pests can be a major problem for homeowners and businesses alike. From termites to rodents, these pesky creatures can cause significant damage to property and pose a threat to your health. As a result, the pest control industry is experiencing a growing trend as more and more people turn to professionals to help them deal with infestations.

If you’re wondering how to become an exterminator, there are several steps you’ll need to follow. First and foremost, you’ll need the right education and training. Many exterminators start out as technicians, working under the guidance of more experienced professionals. This on-the-job training allows new hires to learn the ins and outs of the industry, from controlling pests to using the latest technology.

Once they have gained some experience in the field, exterminators can then pursue additional education and certification. This not only demonstrates their professionalism and expertise to clients but also opens up new opportunities for career advancement. For example, those who specialize in a particular branch of pest control may become eligible for management roles within a company.

To become a licensed exterminator, you’ll need to meet certain requirements set by your state or country. These requirements typically include completing a certain number of training hours, passing a written exam, and obtaining a pesticide applicator’s license. It’s important to note that licensing requirements can vary, so it’s always a good idea to check with your local regulatory agency.

Once you are licensed, you can start working as a professional exterminator. Depending on the company you work for, your daily tasks may include scheduling appointments with clients, conducting inspections, and implementing pest control strategies. This means you’ll need to have excellent communication and customer service skills, as well as the ability to work independently and solve problems on the spot.

In addition to technical skills, a successful career in pest control also requires a high level of professionalism. Exterminators must always follow industry-specific protocols and use safe practices to ensure the health and safety of their clients. This includes staying up to date on the latest trends and technologies in the field and regularly attending training sessions and seminars.

Becoming an exterminator can be a rewarding and fulfilling job. It allows you to make a difference in people’s lives and help them regain control over their homes or businesses. If you’re interested in a career in pest control, take pride in your work, and always strive to provide the highest level of service. With the right training and certification, you can embark on a successful career as a licensed pest control professional.

Research the Field

Start by gathering information about the industry, including the types of pests that exterminators commonly deal with, such as termites, rodents, and insects. Learn about the different methods and techniques used to eliminate pests, as well as the health risks associated with the use of pesticides.

It is also important to understand the job description and responsibilities of an exterminator. Exterminators frequently work for pest control companies, although some may be self-employed or work for government agencies. They are responsible for inspecting properties for pest infestations, identifying the type of pest, developing a plan to eradicate the pests, and applying appropriate treatments or pesticides.

Exterminator jobs may involve working with customers to explain the treatment process, answer questions, and provide recommendations for preventing future infestations. Exterminators also need to have good planning and time management skills, as they often need to schedule and coordinate multiple appointments in a day.

It’s essential to familiarize yourself with the resources available in the field, such as industry-specific publications, websites, and forums. These resources can provide valuable information about the latest techniques, equipment, and regulations in the pest control industry. Staying up-to-date with industry news and trends can help you excel in your career as an exterminator.

Some states may also require exterminators to obtain a federal pesticide applicator’s license if they plan to use certain types of pesticides. Make sure to check the eligibility criteria in your state to ensure you meet all the necessary requirements.

Researching the field of pest control will give you a better understanding of whether the profession aligns with your interests, skills, and career goals. It’s also a good idea to reach out to professionals in the industry, such as seasoned exterminators or pest control company managers, to gain insights into their experiences and ask any questions you may have.

Remember that being an exterminator can be a challenging but rewarding career. It is an industry where your expertise can make a significant impact on people’s lives and the environments they live in. By researching and gathering information about the field, you can make a more informed decision about pursuing a career as an exterminator.

Gain Knowledge and Skills

One of the first things you should do is research the specific education and certification requirements for exterminators in your state or country. While the exact requirements can vary, most states require exterminators to be licensed and certified. To obtain certification, you may need to complete a certain number of training hours and pass an exam.

See also  Food Service Manager: What Is It and How to Become

Many exterminators start their careers as technicians and work their way up to becoming certified applicators or branch managers. Starting as a technician allows you to gain hands-on experience and learn from experienced professionals in the field. This experience will provide you with a solid foundation for a career in extermination.

It’s also important to stay current with the latest industry trends and advancements in pest control. Keep up with industry publications, attend professional seminars and conferences, and take advantage of any continuing education opportunities that are available to you.

Being an exterminator can be a physically demanding job, so make sure you’re in good health and able to handle the rigors of the work. Exterminators often spend long hours on their feet, carrying equipment, and performing treatments in a variety of weather conditions. It’s important to take care of yourself and prioritize your physical well-being.

Don’t be afraid to ask questions and seek guidance from experienced professionals in the field. Learning from others who have already gained success in the industry can provide valuable insights and help you navigate your own career path.

Overall, becoming an exterminator requires a combination of education, experience, certifications, and a strong work ethic. With the right knowledge and skills, you can embark on a rewarding career in the pest control industry.

Complete the Required Education

1. High School Diploma or Equivalent

Most states and employers require exterminators to have at least a high school diploma or equivalent. This level of education ensures that you have a basic understanding of key subjects such as math, English, and science, which are important in the field of pest control.

2. Industry-Specific Training

Completing industry-specific training programs or courses is highly recommended to gain the necessary knowledge and skills for the job. These programs cover topics such as pest identification, treatment methods, safety precautions, and regulations.

3. Obtain Required Certifications

In addition to education, obtaining certain certifications may be required or preferred by employers and state regulations. National and state certifications demonstrate your expertise in specific areas of pest control and enhance your professional credibility.

It is important to note that some states may have additional requirements, such as a minimum age or driving record, to be eligible for an exterminator license. Make sure to research and comply with any state-specific requirements.

By completing the required education and obtaining the necessary certifications, you will be on the right track to becoming a licensed exterminator. This education allows you to gain the expertise needed to effectively control pests and protect the health and safety of your clients.

Obtain Professional Certifications

To become a licensed exterminator, you need to obtain professional certifications in pest control. These certifications are frequently required by states and employers to ensure that you have the necessary knowledge and skills to control pest populations effectively.

There are several certifications you can pursue in accordance with your career goals and specialization. One of the most common certifications is the certified pesticide applicator license. This license allows you to legally apply pesticides in a professional setting.

To become a certified pesticide applicator, you will need to complete a training program and pass an examination. The training program will provide you with the necessary information on pesticide safety, pest biology, and pest control techniques. Once you pass the exam, you will receive your pesticide applicator license, which is valid for a certain number of years depending on your state’s regulations.

In addition to the pesticide applicator license, there are other certifications you can pursue to advance your career in pest control. For example, you can become a certified pest control technician, which requires completing a specialized training program and passing an exam. This certification demonstrates your expertise in controlling pest populations and can open up opportunities for higher-level positions within the industry.

Obtaining professional certifications not only enhances your knowledge and skills but also shows potential employers and clients that you are dedicated to your profession. It makes you stand out as a qualified and reliable exterminator, increasing your chances of getting hired or winning clients.

Furthermore, being a licensed exterminator gives you a sense of pride and accomplishment. You become part of a respected profession that plays a vital role in public health and safety. Your work makes a difference in people’s lives by eliminating and preventing pest infestations.

There are many resources available to help you prepare for and obtain your professional certifications. You can find study materials, practice exams, and training courses online or through industry associations. Make sure to take advantage of these resources to ensure you are well-prepared for the certification exams.

Secure Employment

Obtaining the necessary licenses and certifications

In order to work as an exterminator, you will need to obtain industry-specific licenses and certifications. The requirements for these licenses and certifications vary by state, so it’s important to research the specific requirements in your area. For example, many states require exterminators to obtain a pesticide applicator license, which involves completing a training program and passing an exam.

Experience and expertise

In addition to obtaining the necessary licenses and certifications, it’s important to gain experience and expertise in the industry. This can be done by working as an apprentice or assistant to a licensed exterminator, or by completing a pest control training program. Many companies also provide on-the-job training for new hires to ensure that they have the knowledge and skills necessary to work effectively in the field.

Working as an exterminator requires a high level of professionalism and expertise. Exterminators must be knowledgeable about the different types of pests and the most effective methods for controlling them. They must also be familiar with industry regulations and best practices for pest control.

See also  Chocolatier: What Is It and How to Become

Job security and career growth

Exterminators who take pride in their work and consistently provide high-quality service are often rewarded with steady employment and opportunities for advancement. The ability to meet customer needs and effectively solve pest problems is highly valued in the industry, making exterminators a valuable asset to pest control companies.

Health and safety considerations

Working as an exterminator can involve some health and safety risks, as pesticides and other chemicals are often used to control pests. It’s important to always follow industry guidelines and best practices to ensure your safety and the safety of others. This includes wearing appropriate personal protective equipment, properly handling and storing chemicals, and following safety protocols.

Exterminators should also be aware of the potential health risks associated with pest control chemicals, and take necessary precautions to protect themselves and the public. This includes staying up-to-date on the latest industry information and advancements in technology for pest control.

Overall, working as an exterminator can be a highly rewarding career path. It provides stability and job security, opportunities for growth and advancement, and the chance to make a positive impact on people’s lives by helping to solve their pest problems. If you are interested in a career in pest control, it’s important to research the specific requirements and training programs in your area to ensure that you are well-prepared to enter the industry.

How to Become a Pest Control Technician

Step 1: Obtain the required education

The first thing you need to do is obtain the necessary education. While a college degree is not always required, it is highly recommended to have some industry-specific knowledge. This can be achieved through vocational schools or online courses that offer pest control programs.

Step 2: Gain on-the-job expertise

Next, you will need to gain on-the-job expertise. Working as a pest control technician requires knowledge of pesticides, pest identification, and their behavior. By working alongside experienced professionals in the field, you can learn the tricks of the trade and develop your skills.

Step 3: Get licensed

To become a pest control technician, you will need to obtain a license. The requirements for licensing may vary depending on the state or region where you live. It’s important to check with your state’s licensing agency or the National Pest Management Association for complete information on the licensing process.

Step 4: Certification and additional resources

While not always required, obtaining certification can enhance your career prospects. Many states and industry associations offer certification programs to further validate your expertise and professionalism. It’s also a good idea to stay up-to-date with industry trends and techniques by attending seminars, workshops, and other industry-specific resources.

Step 5: Specialize in a specific branch

As a pest control technician, you may be required to specialize in a specific branch of pest control, such as termites or rodents. Specializing in a specific area can help you become an expert in that field, allowing you to provide more effective and targeted pest control services.

Becoming a pest control technician is a rewarding career that requires dedication, hard work, and a passion for protecting public health. By following this step-by-step guide and obtaining the necessary education, training, and licensure, you can start your journey towards becoming a successful pest control technician.

Research the Field

To begin your research, find out where exterminators are in high demand in your area or state. This will give you an idea of the job market and whether there is a trend of growth or decline in this industry. You can obtain these statistics from local government resources or employment websites that provide information on available jobs and salaries.

Furthermore, familiarize yourself with the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) guidelines on pest control and the safe handling of chemicals. Exterminators must adhere to these guidelines to protect public health and the environment while performing their duties.

By researching the field and gathering information about the profession of extermination, you can be sure that becoming an exterminator is the right career path for you. With the required training and certifications, you can move forward with your plan to become an exterminator and join a rewarding and fulfilling profession in pest control.


What are the steps to become an exterminator?

To become an exterminator, there are several steps you need to follow. First, you should obtain a high school diploma or GED. Then, you will need to complete a training program or an apprenticeship in pest control. After that, you can obtain a license by passing a written exam. Finally, you can start working as an exterminator by finding a job or starting your own pest control business.

What kind of training is required to become an exterminator?

To become an exterminator, you will need to complete a training program in pest control. These programs are usually offered by vocational schools, community colleges, or state agencies. The training will cover topics such as pest identification, pesticide application, safety procedures, and regulations. Some programs may also include hands-on training and internships.

How long does it take to become an exterminator?

The time it takes to become an exterminator can vary depending on the training program or apprenticeship you choose. Typically, it can take anywhere from a few months to a year to complete the necessary training and obtain a license. However, gaining experience and becoming proficient in pest control may take additional time and practice.

What are the requirements to become an exterminator?

To become an exterminator, you need to meet certain requirements. These may include having a high school diploma or GED, being at least 18 years old, and having a valid driver’s license. Some states may have additional requirements, such as passing a background check or completing a certain number of training hours. It’s important to check with your state’s regulatory agency for specific requirements.

What is the growth trend for pest control technicians?

The growth trend for pest control technicians is expected to be positive in the coming years. The demand for pest control services is influenced by factors such as population growth, increased awareness of health and hygiene, and stricter regulations on pest control in various industries. As long as pests continue to pose a problem, there will be a need for skilled exterminators to eliminate them.

Dave Pennells

By Dave Pennells

Dave Pennells, MS, has contributed his expertise as a career consultant and training specialist across various fields for over 15 years. At City University of Seattle, he offers personal career counseling and conducts workshops focused on practical job search techniques, resume creation, and interview skills. With a Master of Science in Counseling, Pennells specializes in career consulting, conducting career assessments, guiding career transitions, and providing outplacement services. Her professional experience spans multiple sectors, including banking, retail, airlines, non-profit organizations, and the aerospace industry. Additionally, since 2001, he has been actively involved with the Career Development Association of Australia.