To get a pest control license, get a high school diploma or GED, take pest control courses and then take the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s National Pesticide Operator Core Exam. After receiving certification, the next step is to train under an employer.
Most pest control companies do not require exterminators to have a college degree. Pest control courses are usually available from a state's department of agriculture or a similar government branch. These courses teach essential safety knowledge such as how to apply pesticides and how to avoid and react to exposure to pesticides.
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s National Pesticide Operator Core Exam has 90 questions. Passing this test allows the applicant to legally be employed as a private or commercial pesticide applicator. This test ensures that all pesticide applicators follow the same procedures and safety protocols. Some states may require additional certifications to become a pest control specialist.
After gaining certification, most states require pest control specialists to spend around three months training under an experienced pest control specialist. This training may take place in both classroom settings and in real life settings. Although private companies can hire employees as young as 16, the minimum age requirement for official certification is 18.