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How do I get certified for pest control?

Looking to enter the pest control field? If you want to work as a tech, you'll need to get a certification. Here's how.

As a pest control professional, you provide a much-needed service to businesses and homes alike. The field represents a great choice for a lot of people, offering a rate of compensation competitive with many salaries for new college graduates.

However, to get into this field, you’ll need to become certified. Read on to discover the steps involved.

What’s the difference between certification and a business license?

Firstly, you’ll have to jump through a different set of hoops depending on whether you want to build your own pest control business, or merely work as a pest control tech for someone else.

To own and operate your own pest control business, you’ll need to apply for a pest control business license. The requirements for this vary significantly by state, but the process generally requires a lot of paperwork and ongoing record-keeping once your business gets off the ground.

If you just want to look for work as a pest control tech, you won’t need to get your own business license. Instead, you’ll need to get certified. Again, the requirements here vary from state to state.

What do I need to do to get certified?

Typically, you’ll go through your state’s department of agriculture, though some states have a different process. Most states require that you pass a certification exam. The score you need to pass the test varies by state, but you’ll generally need around a 70 or 80. In addition to the exam, you’ll have to fill out some documentation and pay a certification fee. After that, you’re good to go! (Note that to start the process in most parts of the US, you must be at least 18 years of age.)

How long does it take to get certified?

Short answer? Not long. Most of the waiting occurs after you submit your test and documentation to your state government. The process can take anywhere from a few days to a month or two.

Is it expensive to get certified for pest control?

Fortunately, you can very affordably get certified for pest control. The average fee range runs between $50 and $200 (though some states also require a yearly fee to maintain certification). Think of the whole process as renewing your driver’s license or getting new tags for your car.

Getting a Job in Pest Control After Obtaining Certification

Pest control companies are almost always hiring, as it’s one of the few types of work that people will always need regardless of the state of the economy. Once you get certified for pest control in your state, you can simply apply for jobs at pest control companies. Getting your certification beforehand gives you a big advantage over other applicants, so don’t put it off!

Getting Certified for Pest Control in Multiple States

Not every state has the same regulations and requirements for pest control certification, so unfortunately your certification in one state does not carry over to another. However, you can become certified in multiple states at once. This can be particularly helpful if your business is located near state borders and you find yourself conducting business in multiple jurisdictions.


Getting certified for pest control doesn’t need to be a stressful process. In fact, in most places, you can do everything in just a few days. Your certification is extremely important, and if you’re thinking about getting into the pest control industry, we’d recommend just getting the ordeal over with, as it will give you an advantage on job applications. Good luck!