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Structural Pesticide Applicator

Structural pesticide applicators use a variety of methods to control and prevent the spread of insects and other pests that may infest private homes, restaurants, warehouses, business establishments, and surrounding areas.

Also Known As

Exterminator, Pest Control Operator, Pest Control Worker, Pest Controller

NOC Codes

In Canada, the federal government groups and organizes occupations based on a National Occupational Classification (NOC) system. This alis occupation may not reflect the entire NOC group it is part of. Data for the NOC group can apply across multiple occupations.

The NOC system is updated every 5 years to reflect changes in the labour market. Government forms and labour market data may group and refer to an occupation differently, depending on the system used. Here is how this occupation has been classified over time:

  • 2006 NOC: Pest Controllers and Fumigators (7444) 
  • 2006 NOC-S: Pest Controllers and Fumigators (H534) 
  • 2011 NOC: Pest controllers and fumigators (7444) 
  • 2016 NOC: Pest controllers and fumigators (7444) 
  • 2021 NOC: Pest controllers and fumigators (73202) 
Interests & Abilities

In Alberta, this occupation is part of 1 or more 2006 National Occupational Classification (NOC) groups. If there are multiple related NOC groups, select a NOC heading to learn about each one.

Pest Controllers and Fumigators

2006 NOC: 7444

Interest Codes

Interest Codes for This NOC Group

Interest in operating mechanical and electric sprayers; and in preparing and spraying chemical mixtures on infested areas


Interest in comparing information to determine type of treatment required; and in cleaning out areas using rakes, shovels, brooms and mops


Interest in speaking with customers to provide cost estimates and to advise on how to prevent pest infestation

Your Interest Codes

To identify or change your interest codes, complete the Interests Exercise in CAREERinsite.

Reading Interest Codes
A Quick Guide

The interest code helps you figure out if you’d like to work in a particular occupation. 

It’s based on the Canadian Work Preference Inventory (CWPI), which measures 5 occupational interests: Directive, Innovative, Methodical, Objective, and Social.

Each set of 3 interest codes for this NOC group is listed in order of importance.

A code in capital letters means it’s a strong fit for the occupation.

A code in all lowercase letters means the fit is weaker.

Learn About Interests


Typical ability expectations for this NOC group
Your abilities

To fill in or change the values for your abilities, complete the Abilities Exercise in CAREERinsite.

Mental Abilities

General Learning Ability

Verbal Ability

Numerical Ability

Visual Abilities

Spatial Perception

Form Perception

Clerical Perception

Physical Abilities

Motor Coordination

Finger Dexterity

Manual Dexterity

Understanding Abilities

A Quick Guide

You are born with abilities that help you process certain types of information and turn it into action. These abilities influence which skills you can learn more easily.

The abilities or aptitudes shown for this NOC group come from the General Aptitude Test Battery (GATB). The GATB measures 9 aptitudes. It groups them into 3 categories: mental, visual, and physical.

The abilities scores range from 1 to 5, with 5 being stronger.

Learn About Abilities

Updated Mar 31, 2019

In general, structural pesticide applicators determine how and where to control pests on clients’ property. They:

  • Inspect buildings and surrounding areas to detect signs of infestation by insects or other pests, such as rodents or pest bird species
  • Identify pests
  • Monitor the area to determine if treatment is necessary
  • Determine the type of treatment necessary (sanitation, exclusion, or habitat modification) and the cost to the client
  • Treat the infested area with the proper use of appropriate pesticide or set sticky or mechanical traps
  • Use extreme heat to control bed bugs

Since they use toxic materials and chemicals, structural pesticide applicators must take safety precautions. These include:

  • Taking care to prevent pesticide from being placed where children, pets, or other non-target animals may come into contact with it
  • Wearing rubber gloves, protective clothing, and respirators when mixing or handling pesticides to avoid breathing them in and to prevent skin contact

Structural pesticide applicators generally have assigned routes. On that route, they are responsible for sales work, informing customers about conditions that attract pests, and conducting periodic inspections to detect signs of possible re-infestation.

Working Conditions
Updated Mar 31, 2019
  • Strength Required Lift up to 20 kg

Insects, rodents, and birds are most active in spring and summer, so structural pesticide applicators are busiest during those seasons.

Regular weekday work is typical. But because public buildings need to be closed before pesticide can be applied, evening and weekend shifts are the norm for public facilities.

Indoors, structural pesticide applicators work in a variety of settings. Outdoors, they encounter all kinds of weather. Occasionally, they may have to crawl into dirty or dusty places to check infestation sources and administer treatments. They may also have to lift heavy items. Safety precautions are a standard part of the job when handling toxic materials.

Traits & Skills
Updated Mar 31, 2019

Structural pesticide applicators need:

  • Adaptability
  • Stamina
  • Creativity
  • No physical conditions such as asthma, bronchitis, or high blood pressure
  • Communication and interpersonal skills
  • Investigative and problem-solving skills

They should enjoy:

  • Operating mechanical and electric sprayers
  • Having clear rules and organized methods for their work
  • Working with people
  • Constantly learning and improving their skills

In Alberta, this occupation is part of 1 or more 2016 National Occupational Classification (NOC) groups. If there are multiple related NOC groups, select a NOC heading to learn about each one.

Top 10 Skills Employers Are Looking For

Pest controllers and fumigators

2016 NOC: 7444

This chart shows which job skills are currently in highest demand for this occupational group. It was created using this occupation's 28 most recent Alberta job postings, collected between Nov 16, 2021 and Feb 02, 2023.

Review these skills to learn:

  • Whether or not this occupation matches your skill set
  • What training you may need to get these skills
  • What skills to highlight in your resumé, cover letter, and interview.
Attention to detail
Tasks: Inspect buildings and outside areas to detect signs of infestation
Tasks: Determine type of treatment required
Tasks: Place and set traps to capture and remove animals
Tasks: Install animal control barriers to keep animals off property
Tasks: Clean out areas that harbour pests
Tasks: Advise clients on how to prevent pest infestation
Work Setting: Various locations
Health benefits: Health care plan
Equipment and Machinery Experience: Mechanical sprayer
Educational Requirements
Updated Mar 31, 2019
  • Minimum Education Varies

Structural pesticide applicators are trained on the job.

Employers generally prefer to hire applicants who are at least 18 years of age and have a high school diploma with courses in biology. A valid driver’s licence is often required. Sales experience is an asset.

To expand or narrow your search for programs related to this occupation, visit Post-Secondary Programs.

Completing a program does not guarantee entrance into an occupation. Before enrolling in an education program, prospective students should look into various sources for education options and employment possibilities. For example, contact associations and employers in this field.

Certification Requirements
Updated Mar 31, 2019
  • Certification Provincially Regulated

This occupation has federal and provincial regulations. For details about the federal requirements, visit the Pest Management Regulatory Agency (PMRA) website.

Pesticide Applicator and Dispenser

Pesticide applicators use pesticides (chemicals) to control pests, such as weeds, diseases or destructive insects or animals, as part of their paid employment.

Pesticide dispensers sell and store pesticides as part of their paid employment.


Under Alberta’s Environmental Protection and Enhancement Act [pdf] and Pesticide (Ministerial) Regulation [pdf], to apply a commercial-class pesticide such as insecticide, herbicide or fungicide you must be one of the following:

  • A commercial agriculturalist (farmer)
  • A certified pesticide applicator
  • Supervised by someone who is certified

To sell pesticides you must be a certified dispenser. The 2 types of dispensers in Alberta are:

  • Lawn and garden pesticide dispensers sell domestic-class pesticides
  • Commercial dispensers sell domestic-, commercial-, and restricted-class pesticides

For information on what you need and other details, visit the certification profile Pesticide Applicator and Dispenser.

Employment & Advancement
Updated Mar 31, 2019

Most structural pesticide applicators work for privately owned and operated pest control firms. There are also opportunities with municipal government departments that oversee recreational facilities and other municipal buildings.

With experience, structural pesticide applicators can move up into supervisory, management, or trainer positions. Self-employment also is an option. This is, however, a highly competitive field.

Structural pesticide applicators are part of the larger 2011 National Occupational Classification 7444: Pest Controllers and Fumigators. In Alberta, 75% of people employed in this classification work in the following industries:

The employment outlook [pdf] in this occupation is influenced by a wide variety of factors including:

  • Trends and events affecting overall employment, especially in the industries listed above
  • Location in Alberta
  • Employment turnover (when people leave existing positions)
  • Occupational growth (when new positions are created)
  • Size of the occupation

In Alberta, the 7444: Pest controllers and fumigators occupational group is expected to have a below-average annual growth of 0% from 2019 to 2023. In addition to job openings created by employment turnover, 0 new positions are forecasted to be created within this occupational group each year.

NOC groups often include several related occupations. Although there is labour market data for the larger NOC group, this occupation makes up only a part of that group. It means data for this occupation may be different than the data shown. For example, only some of the new positions to be created will be for this occupation. It also applies to other data for the NOC group such as number of people employed.

Source: 2019-2023 Alberta Regional Occupational Demand Outlook

Employment turnover is expected to increase as members of the baby boom generation retire over the next few years.

Related Alberta Job Postings
Wage & Salary
Updated Mar 31, 2019

Salaries for structural pesticide applicators vary depending on location and the applicator’s qualifications. Those working with private-sector companies may be paid commissions for the new business they attract.

In Alberta, this occupation is part of 1 or more 2016 National Occupational Classification (NOC) groups. If there are multiple related NOC groups, select a NOC heading to learn about each one.

Pest controllers and fumigators

2016 NOC: 7444
Average Wage
Per Hour
Average Salary
Per Year
Average Hours
Per Week
Average Months on Payroll
Survey Methodology Survey Analysis

2021 Alberta Wage and Salary Survey

NOC 7444 Wage Profile

Unless otherwise noted, the data shown here is for all industries and all regions in Alberta.

All wage estimates are hourly except where otherwise indicated. Wages and salaries do not include overtime hours, tips, benefits, profit shares, bonuses (unrelated to production), and other forms of compensation.

To see the full survey data for this NOC group, visit the wage profile.

Other wage sources
To make an informed wage and salary decision, research other wage sources [pdf] to supplement this data.

C: Lower Reliability
Data Reliability Code Definition

Lower Reliability, represents a CV of between 15.01% and 33.00% and/or if fewer than 20 survey observations and/or if survey observations represent less than 33% of all estimated employment for the occupation.

Hourly Wage

For full-time and part-time employees
  • Low
  • High
  • Average
  • Median

Hourly Wage

For full-time and part-time employees
Wages* Low (5th percentile) High (95th percentile) Average Median
Starting $15.00 $23.08 $19.47 $18.95
Overall $20.00 $26.29 $24.19 $23.08
Top $23.08 $37.89 $30.80 $29.22

Swipe left and right to view all data. Scroll left and right to view all data.

* All wage estimates are hourly except where otherwise indicated. Wages and salaries do not include overtime hours, tips, benefits, profit shares, bonuses (unrelated to production) and other forms of compensation.

Pay brackets for hourly wages

  • Starting pay: average pay offered for entry-level positions
  • Overall pay: average pay across all employees in this occupation
  • Top pay: average pay offered to top-paid employees

Industry Information

Business, Building and Other Support Services
Public Administration

Skills Shortage

Employers that Recruited in the Last 2 Years
Recruiting Employers that Experienced Hiring Difficulties
Employers with Unfilled Vacancies of over 4 Months
Vacancy Rate
Related Post-Secondary Field of Study
  • Personal and Food Services
Other Sources of Information
Updated Mar 31, 2019

Government of Alberta, Environment and Parks website:

Canadian Pest Management Association (CPMA) website:

National Pest Management Association (NPMA) website:

Pest Management Association of Alberta (PMAA) website:

Pest Management Regulatory Agency (PMRA) website:

Get information and referrals about career, education, and employment options from Alberta Supports.

Updated Mar 31, 2019. The information contained in this profile is current as of the dates shown. Salary, employment outlook, and educational program information may change without notice. It is advised that you confirm this information before making any career decisions.

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