How to become an exterminator

A step-by-step guide on how to become an exterminator and start working in the pest control industry.

The pest control industry has been an essential part of public health management since the early 20th century, growing significantly during the urban boom to combat public health threats posed by pests. Today, the pest control industry has a variety of positions and opportunities that allow you to make a meaningful difference in people’s lives, while also offering you an exciting and challenging career path.

An exterminator, also known as a pest control technician, is responsible for controlling pests in both residential and commercial settings. Becoming an exterminator means you can solve your customers’ pest problems to protect public health, the food supply chain and people’s property. The pest control industry is largely recession-proof and looking for candidates like you to enter the field. 

If you’re looking to kickstart your career and wondering how to become an exterminator, check out this step-by-step guide that will walk you through how to get a job in pest control. 

1. Meet the eligibility requirements

Before you start learning how to get a job in pest control, ensure that you meet the typical basic requirements listed below:

  • You must be at least 18 years old.
  • You must have a high school diploma or GED.
  • You must have a good driving record and a valid driver’s license. 
  • Many companies require a clean background check

2. explore entry level pest management roles

If you’ve met all the eligibility requirements, great! But now, how do you become an exterminator

The best way to find pest control job opportunities is on job boards and company websites. You can explore a variety of roles dependent on your interests, skills, and experience level. Our pest control job board makes it easy to find local pest management positions with top quality companies. If you are looking to become an exterminator, you can enter your location to see who is hiring near you.

3. Complete on-the-job training

Along with good pay, flexibility, and generous benefits, the professional pest control industry offers on-the-job training so you can begin earning to your full potential right away. 

You don’t need a college or trade school degree to become an exterminator. Employers will provide training on how to perform an assessment, create a plan and use industry-specific equipment. 

4. Obtain a pest control license

While you don’t need a college degree to get a job in pest control, you do need to pass a certification or licensure exam. Licensing requirements vary by state, so depending on where you live, you may be required to pass a written, oral, or practical exam. These exams typically certify that candidates know how to use professional pest control products correctly and safely.

5. Advance your career

As the professional pest control industry continues to expand, so too can your career opportunities. With increasing demand for skilled workers, the potential for upward mobility is substantial. A variety of career paths within the industry open doors to diverse job opportunities, each offering different levels of salary and responsibility.

Just look at Adam Spilde, whose experience as an exterminator helped him explore his passion for IT. Or Jake Vollink, who grew into a career as a commercial pest control technician. Jed Coombs become a Vice President of Corporate Affairs after beginning his career as a pest control exterminator. 

Employers that are members of state and national associations usually offer mentorship, training, ongoing education, and collaboration opportunities to help advance your career.

With professional pest control expected to grow by 5.7% by 2032, there’s no better time to learn how to become an exterminator and join this fast-growing industry. Explore typical career paths in the pest control industry to learn more about what it’s like, or start applying for jobs in pest control today!