pest control technician

How to become a pest control technician

What does a pest control technician do?

Pest control technicians identify, control and eliminate pests or vermin using a range of methods, equipment and chemicals. In urban settings, they usually deal with rodents, insects and birds; in rural settings they may also control mammals such as moles and foxes.

Technicians make visits to farms, homes, factories, premises serving food, sewers and warehouses. Depending on the environment and the nature of the pest, their duties include:

  • taking samples for analysis
  • testing water drains for faults
  • giving advice on suitable methods of control, eg preventive measures, fumigation or poison
  • taking agreed action to control or eliminate the pests
  • making recommendations on protecting buildings against further infestation.

For legal and health and safety reasons, it is vital to have a working knowledge of relevant laws in order to follow the correct procedures for handling and storing poisonous chemicals, and keeping appropriate records. Collection and disposal of any pests that have been killed or trapped must also be done in accordance with regulations.

Some pest control technicians treat woodworm and other infestations using insecticides or fungicides. Surfaces will be cleaned and prepared before applying chemicals. A pest control technician may specialise in one particular area of work.


What's the working environment like for a pest control technician?

Technician work 35 to 42 hours a week, between 8.00am to 5.30pm, Monday to Friday. Occasionally, they may be required to work weekends or do overtime.

The work involves travelling to customers' premises or sites, and frequently involves working outdoors in all weather conditions.

Protective clothing such as overalls, gloves and facemasks may have to be worn. Working conditions can be unpleasant. Technician may work in awkward and confined spaces, and sometimes at heights.


What does it take to become a pest control technician?

To be a pest control technician you should:

  • be interested in science and technology, particularly biology
  • be physically fit with good eyesight
  • be free from asthma and allergies
  • be literate and numerate in order to measure and calculate amounts of materials
  • responsible in attitude to health and safety and care of the environment
  • able to communicate with people on all levels.

Though there are no formal requirements for entry into this role, maths and English skills are usually seen as an advantage. 


Pest Control Technician Career Opportunities

Pest control technicians can be employed by a local authority, a private company, or be self-employed.

Working for a local authority would involve dealing with outbreaks of public health pests including rats, mice, and insects. Seasonal opportunities are a common entry point, eg the removal of wasps’ nests in the summer months.


Some roles may combine technical and customer-facing roles, providing risk assessments and establishing contracts. Certified Surveyor qualifications may be useful for this kind of work.

Work for a private firm could involve a specialism in a particular role, such as woodworm, industrial, or agricultural work.

There are employment opportunities throughout the country. With experience and improved skills, promotion to supervisor or manager level may be possible. Some pest technicians may become Environmental Health Officers with further training, see relevant profile for further details.


Further information

If you would like to know anything about Pest Control Technician that does not appear on Hotcourses, further information can be found below.

The British Pest Control Association (BPCA)
Ground Floor
Gleneagles House
Tel: 0870 609 2687

The Royal Society for the Promotion of Health (RSPH)
38A St George’s Drive
Tel: 020 7630 0121

National Pest Technician’s Association (NPTA)
NPTA House
Hall Lane
NG12 3EF
Tel: 01949 81133

National Proficiency Tests Council (NPTC)
Stoneleigh Park
Tel: 024 7685 7300

British Wood Preserving and Damp-Proofing Association (BWPDA)
1 Gleneagles House
Vernon Gate
Tel: 01332 225100

Asset Skills
2 The Courtyard
48 New North Road
Helpline: 08000 567160


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