Pest control technicians get rid of pests that are a danger to health or that damage crops or food.
They deal with insects such as fleas, lice, wasps, cockroaches and beetles. They also deal with animals and birds such as mice, rats, grey squirrels, moles, pigeons and seagulls.
You could be:
visiting homes, shops, offices, factories, warehouses, farms and other places to identify and control pests
using a gun, trap, poison or insecticide to kill pests
using non-poisonous methods to kill pests in places where food is manufactured, packed or sold
looking for evidence of pests, working out the extent of the problem and deciding how to treat it
arranging evacuation if necessary, spraying the premises (fumigation), laying traps and checking them
collecting samples of droppings, skin castings, live or dead animals or damaged food products, for scientific analysis
proofing areas to prevent pests returning: building screens, sealing holes, putting fine mesh over air vents or spikes on a building to stop pigeons landing
keeping records of inspections and treatments done and giving advice to stop further infestations.
keeping up with new innovations in electrical pest control technology.
The figures below are only a guide. Actual pay rates may vary, depending on:
where you work
the size of company or organisation you work for
the demand for the job.
Salaries for trainee pest control technicians vary. A trainee with Rentokil Initial earns £20,000 a year, rising to £21,322 once fully qualified. With experience you could earn more.
Some companies offer bonuses, use of a company vehicle and uniform.
You have to travel to jobs, often in a company van or car.
You will often work alone, but sometimes under supervision.
You may be outdoors in all weathers or working in cold, dirty conditions, at heights or in confined spaces.
The work can be unpleasant.
You might have to carry heavy equipment.
You will use some poisonous chemicals and sprays.
You could be bitten by an animal or insect.
You will wear protective clothing, sometimes including a mask, goggles and gloves.
Working hours are usually regular, but you might have to work evenings or weekends, and you may need to be on call on a standby rota.
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Most employers will usually ask for subjects at National 4 or 5 including English and Maths.
You usually need a full driving licence.
You need basic IT skills.
You should be fit enough to carry out physical work.
You should not be allergic to animals or insects, or to the chemicals used.
Jobs are with local authorities or pest control companies.
What Does it Take?
You need to be:
able to work in dirty and unpleasant conditions and not be squeamish
able to climb ladders and enter lofts and restricted spaces
responsible and able to follow health and safety regulations
practical and good with your hands – for operating equipment
confident when handling wild animals and insects
accurate and able to keep records and write reports
observant with an eye for detail
tactful and able to get on well with people of all backgrounds
able to prioritise your workload.
With experience, you could become a surveyor in pest control, doing both technical and sales work.
Those wishing to progress in the industry should complete the
RSPH Level 3 Diploma in Pest Management. The British Pest Control Association (BPCA) offer the
Advanced Technician in Pest Management qualification for those who are involved in the handling of pesticides or other pest control practices. You must already have the RSPH or BPCA Level 2 Award in Pest Management. You could become a supervisor or manager.
You might set up your own business.
The following organisations may be able to provide further information.
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