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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.

  • Avg. Salary $46,135.00
  • Avg. Wage $24.23
  • Minimum Education Varies
  • Outlook below avg
  • Employed < 1500
  • In Demand Medium
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) 
Skills Shortage

Employers that Recruited in the Last 2 Years

Average Wage
  • Certification Provincially Regulated
  • Strength Required Lift up to 20 kg
Interest Codes
The Structural Pesticide Applicator is part of the following larger National Occupational Classification (NOC).
Pest Controllers and Fumigators

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

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 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 More

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

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.

  • Strength Required Lift up to 20 kg
Skills & Abilities
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
Educational Requirements
Updated Mar 31, 2019

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.

For a broad list of programs and courses that may be related to this occupation try searching using keywords.

Certification Requirements
Updated Mar 31, 2019

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

What You Need

Certification for applicators and dispensers require successful completion of an exam. A preparatory course is available through home study materials or classroom tutorials.

Individuals may become certified in one or more applicator classes. For detailed official information, read about the pesticide applicator and dispenser certification requirements on the Government of Alberta website.

Working in Alberta

Pesticide applicator and dispensers who are certified by and in good standing with a regulatory organization elsewhere in Canada may be eligible for certification in Alberta if certified pesticide applicators and dispensers in the two jurisdictions have similar responsibilities and competencies. For more information, see What if I am already certified in another province or territory in Canada? and the Government of Alberta website.

Contact Details

Alberta Environment and Parks
Government of Alberta
9th Floor, South Petroleum Plaza 9920 108 Street
Edmonton, Alberta T5K 2G8

Call: 780-538-6460
Toll-free within Alberta: 310-3773, then 780-538-6460
Toll-free outside Alberta: 780-944-0313

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.

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

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.

Pest controllers and fumigators

Survey Methodology

Survey Analysis

Overall Wage Details
Average Wage
Average Salary
Hours Per Week

Hourly Wage
For full-time and part-time employees
  • Low
  • High
  • Average
  • Median
Wages* Low (5th percentile) High (95th percentile) Average Median
Starting $15.00 $26.44 $18.76 $18.00
Overall $20.00 $31.73 $24.23 $21.63
Top $22.00 $33.00 $27.50 $25.00

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.

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.

Industry Information
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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