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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 $46,751.00
  • Avg. Wage $23.46
  • Minimum Education Varies
  • Outlook N/A
  • Employed < 1500
  • In Demand Lower
Also Known As

Exterminator, Fumigator, 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) 
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 08, 2016

In general, structural pesticide applicators:

  • inspect buildings and surrounding areas to detect signs of infestation by insects or other pests (for example, rodents or pest bird species)
  • 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 appropriate pesticide, set sticky or mechanical traps or use extreme heat.

When working with toxic materials, structural pesticide applicators must observe safety precautions such as:

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

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 08, 2016

Because insects, rodents and birds are most active in spring and summer, structural pesticide applicators are busiest during those seasons. Most work is done during the day but establishments that are open to the public often require the work to be done in the evenings or on weekends when their operations are closed.

Structural pesticide applicators work indoors and outdoors in all kinds of weather. Occasionally, they may have to crawl into dirty or dusty places to check infestation sources and administer the necessary treatments, or lift items weighing up to 20 kilograms. Safety precautions are required when handling toxic materials.

  • Strength Required Lift up to 20 kg
Skills & Abilities
Updated Mar 08, 2016

Structural pesticide applicators need the following characteristics:

  • good health and stamina with no physical conditions such as asthma, bronchitis or high blood pressure
  • good communication and interpersonal skills for dealing with customers.

They should enjoy operating mechanical and electric sprayers, having clear rules and organized methods for their work, and working with people.

Educational Requirements
Updated Mar 08, 2016

Structural pesticide applicators are trained on the job. 

Employers generally prefer to hire applicants who are at least 18 years of age, have a high school diploma with courses in biology and have a valid driver's licence. 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 08, 2016

In Alberta, anyone applying a commercial pesticide (insecticide, herbicide, fungicide, etc.) must be certified or supervised by someone who is certified.

To become a certified structural pesticide applicator, an individual must successfully complete Lakeland College's Legislation and Safety core course and one of the following: (1) the Purdue Pest Control Technology Correspondence Course or (2) the British Columbia Structural Pesticide Applicator Certificate.

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
Box 24, 10320 - 99 Street, Main Floor
Grande Prairie, Alberta  T8V 6J4

Call: 780-538-6460
Toll-free within Alberta: 310-3773
Toll-free outside Alberta: 780-944-0313
Fax: 780-538-5336

Employment & Advancement
Updated Mar 08, 2016

Most structural pesticide applicators are employed by privately owned and operated pest control firms. Some operators are employed by municipal government departments responsible for maintaining recreational facilities and other municipal buildings.

Experienced structural pesticide applicators may move into supervisory, management or trainer positions. Self-employment also is an option but this is 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 in this occupation will be 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 (work opportunities generated by people leaving existing positions)
  • occupational growth (work opportunities resulting from the creation of new positions that never existed before)
  • size of the occupation.

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

Wage & Salary
Updated Mar 08, 2016

Salaries for structural pesticide applicators vary depending on location and the applicator's qualifications. Those employed in the private sector 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 $16.00 $22.79 $18.66 $17.00
Overall $19.63 $27.00 $23.46 $21.00
Top $25.00 $33.00 $28.41 $26.52

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
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 08, 2016

Alberta Environment and Parks website:

Canadian Pest Management Association (CPMA) website:

National Pest Management Association (NPMA) website:

Pest Management Association of Alberta (PMAA) website:

For more information on career planning, education and jobs call the Alberta Supports Contact Centre toll-free at 1-877-644-9992 or 780-644-9992 in Edmonton, or visit an Alberta Supports Centre near you.

Updated Mar 24, 2015. 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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