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Occupational Profile

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 N/A
  • Avg. Wage N/A
  • Minimum Education Varies
  • Outlook N/A
  • In Demand Lower
Also Known As

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

NOC & Interest Codes
The Structural Pesticide Applicator is part of the following larger National Occupational Classification (NOC).
Pest Controllers and Fumigators
NOC code: 7444
OBJECTIVE

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

METHODICAL

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

innovative

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

Duties
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 (for example, weeds or destructive insects or animals) as part of their paid employment. Pesticide dispensers sell and store pesticides as part of their paid employment. For related information, see the Arborist, Greenhouse Operator, Market Gardener, Nursery Operator, Pest Control Operator and Turfgrass Management Specialist occupational profiles in OCCinfo.

Legislation

Under Alberta's Environmental Protection and Enhancement Act and Pesticide (Ministerial) Regulation, you must be a commercial agriculturalist (farmer) or a certified pesticide applicator, or supervised by someone who is certified, to apply a commercial pesticide (for example, insecticide, herbicide or fungicide). You must be a certified dispenser to sell pesticides. There are two types of dispensers in Alberta: (1) Lawn and Garden Pesticide Dispensers sell domestic class pesticides, and (2) Commercial Dispensers sell domestic, commercial and restricted class pesticides.

Education

Certification requires successful completion of an exam. A preparatory course is available through home study materials or classroom tutorials. For official, detailed information about certification requirements, contact Alberta Environment and Parks or visit their 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?" and the Alberta regulatory authority (below).

Contact Details

Alberta Environment and Parks
Box 24, 10320 - 99 Street
Grande Prairie, Alberta  T8V 6J4
Phone number: 780-538-8054
Toll-free phone number (within Alberta): 310-0000
Fax number: 780-538-5336
Website: aep.alberta.ca

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.

Structural pesticide applicators are part of the larger 2011 National Occupational Classification 7444: Pest controllers and fumigators.

According to the 2015 Alberta Wage and Salary Survey, Albertans in the Pest controllers and fumigators occupational group earned on average from $15.10 to $20.66 an hour. For more information, see the Pest controllers and fumigators wage profile.

Related High School Subjects
  • Science
    • Biology
Related Post-Secondary Field of Study
  • Personal and Food Services
Other Sources of Information
Updated Mar 08, 2016

Alberta Environment and Parks website: aep.alberta.ca

Canadian Pest Management Association (CPMA) website: www.pestworldcanada.net

National Pest Management Association (NPMA) website: www.npmapestworld.org

Pest Management Association of Alberta (PMAA) website: www.pmaapestworld.com/pmaa

For more information on career planning, education and jobs, visit the Alberta Learning Information Service (ALIS) website, call the Alberta Career Information Hotline toll-free at 1-800-661-3753 or 780-422-4266 in Edmonton, or visit an Alberta Works 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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