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Career As an Exterminator

An exterminator is also known as a pest control technician and is responsible for exterminating pests, such as roaches, mice, mosquitoes, wasps, spiders, termites, etc., existing in a residential home. The employment outlook of an exterminator is either being self-employed, running his own pest control business or work at a pest control company, which provides pest control services for government institutions, school facilities and the food industry.

The overall job of an exterminator goes through a step by step process: first, he meets with the customer, listens to the customer’s pest problem; second, he conducts a thorough examination of the infested area and all suspected places in the house, like basement, attic, crawl spaces, including nearby places for possible sources of the pests, such as garbage or sewage disposal; third, he discusses his findings with the customer and explains the methods that will be applied to exterminate the pests; fourth, he secures the consent and approval of the customer and drafts a comprehensive plan of action, such that depending on the infestation, one method could be sealing the house and gassing the interiors or another could be a simple spraying of pesticides/insecticides or setting a trap; and fifth, teaching the customer on pest prevention measures. Because the job of an exterminator is not just technical, he must also develop and possess social and communication skills, especially in dealing with distressed customers on the pest infestations happening in their homes, of which he must establish cordial and professional approach to the customers, patiently explaining pest control infestation and prevention. It is the responsibility of an exterminator to teach and explain well his customer about integrated pest management, which entails creating physical barriers and ensuring proper sanitation in the house, to which the customer must exercise these management techniques in his house to end any further pest infestation. In addition, an exterminator normally works in cramped and possibly dirty places, like basements, attics, house foundations, garbage disposal sites, sewage systems, therefore, whether he is self-employed or employed in a pest control company, the workplace of an exterminator is usually in a non-traditional places.

Aside from meeting the minimum education requirement, which is a high school diploma, to become an exterminator, he has to undergo a training process to become a full-pledged exterminator, starting as an apprentice technician where he receives formal and hands-on training, then attend general training in pesticide safety and use, which covers ten classroom hours and sixty hours of hands-on and, finally, secure a certification.
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The demand for exterminators for the next decade will increase by 20% due to two significant factors: one is that people are becoming more conscious of the environmental and health concerns when it comes to pest control, so they would rather hire professional exterminators to handle the pest extermination; one other factor is the growth of the construction industry for the approaching decade, which will demand pest control services.The 5 Rules of Businesses And How Learn More