Pest controller

What they do

Pest and weed controllers prevent and eradicate infestations of weeds, insects, rodents and other organisms that pose a threat to the safety and livelihood of people, property or crops and livestock. They employ a range of pest and weed management techniques in a range of areas, including domestic, commercial and industrial spaces, public places such as parks and roadsides, and on agricultural land. They inspect an area to find where pests are concentrated and using that information, decide on the best solution for the problem, whether it involves spraying pesticide, laying traps for animals and insects, or using a range of other methods. Some may even spray crops using planes with aerial pesticide applicators.

Working conditions

Pest and weed controllers work both inside and outside houses, commercial and industrial buildings, in public spaces such as roadsides and parks, and in large agricultural spaces such as farms and crops. They may be required to work in dirty or awkward spaces. They may travel both short or long distances to get to a particular job. They usually work regular hours. As they handle toxic materials they need to wear protective clothing and observe strict safety procedures. Agricultural pest controllers may fly planes in order to apply pesticides to crops.Pest and weed controllers work right across the state, from suburban houses and back yards to expansive crop fields in our regional areas.

Tools and technologies

Pest and weed controllers may use liquid chemical applicators, traps and firearms, as well as baits and pesticides. They often drive vans or utility vehicles, and some may even fly planes. They often need to wear protective clothing such as full-length overalls, gloves, masks, wet weather gear, and covered shoes.

How do I become one?

Education and training

To become a pest controller, you usually need to gain a qualification in pest management.

The Certificate III in Urban Pest Management and Certificate III in Pest Management are offered at TAFE colleges and other registered training organisations throughout Western Australia. Browse courses through Jobs and Skills WA and search on the My Skills website to find a registered provider near you.

You can also undertake a pest management technician (level 3) traineeship. The traineeship usually takes 12 months to complete.

Apprenticeships and traineeships

As an apprentice or trainee, you enter into a formal training contract with an employer, enabling you to complete training towards a nationally recognised qualification. You spend  time working and learning practical skills on the job and you spend some time undertaking structured training with a registered training provider.

You can do an apprenticeship or traineeship if you are a school-leaver, re-entering the workforce or as an adult or mature-aged person wishing to change careers. You can even begin your apprenticeship or traineeship while you're still at school.

If you are still at school you can access an apprenticeship through your school. Talk to your school's VET Co-ordinator to start your training now through VET in Schools. If you are no longer at school you can apply for an apprenticeship or traineeship and get paid while you learn and work.

Required registration and licensing

To work as a pest controller in Western Australia, you will need to obtain a Pest Management Technicians Licence or Provisional Technician Licence from the Department of Health.