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How to Become an Exterminator in Alabama

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Exterminators–also called pest control workers–work to remove unwanted creatures from homes, apartment buildings, schools and other structures. Many situations call for the use of pesticides which come in two applications: general use and restricted use. As a result, Alabama requires that exterminators acquire certification to perform their duties. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, pest control workers earned between $30,900 and $48,670 annually and was based on industry of employment.

Apply for certification. Alabama has several categories for pest control certification including the industrial, institutional, structural, and health-related pest control category. This category requires qualification which includes training in biology, control of vertebrate and common household pests. In addition, an examination administered by the Department of Agriculture and Industries is required. Contact the department by calling 334-240-7243 for information on applying.

Build a network. Networking allows you to expand your career search by placing you in front of industry professionals. Consider joining the Alabama Pest Control Association (Alabamapca.org) which offers meetings and workshops and provides a classified section that lists available opportunities. In addition, contact the National Pest Management Association (Pestworld.org) for information on membership, networking events and meetings or workshops.

Conduct your employment search. Perform an online search and visit online job boards. Visit the Alabama JobLink which operates career centers throughout Alabama. Contact pest control companies in your area to inquire about open opportunities. Speak with contacts in your network to learn about new opportunities. Visit commercial extermination companies like Terminix or Orkin.

Apply for employment opportunities. Tailor your resume to each opportunity you apply. Make sure you include information on your certification, licensing, experience and education. Send your resume package to each employer. Follow-up with employers approximately two weeks after submission. A professional note expressing your continued interest and an inquiry about the hiring process is suitable.

Practice interviewing techniques. Create a listing of questions you believe employers will ask. Practice answering the questions with a friend or family member. Rehearsing interview techniques builds confidence and lessens the natural nervousness during interviewing. Make copies of your resume, certifications and license. Dress professionally and maintain a positive and upbeat attitude.

2016 Salary Information for Pest Control Workers

Pest control workers earned a median annual salary of $33,040 in 2016, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. On the low end, pest control workers earned a 25th percentile salary of $26,730, meaning 75 percent earned more than this amount. The 75th percentile salary is $41,270, meaning 25 percent earn more. In 2016, 78,900 people were employed in the U.S. as pest control workers.