How to Become a Pest Controller in AustraliaThe process that every pest control technician in Australia should go trough. September 17, 2018
As long as there are people, there will be pests. Our homes make a perfect habitat for them to live in and sooner or later, everybody faces this problem.
It’s a noble job to be the person dealing with unwanted guests like mice, cockroaches, bees and other infesting vermins. More importantly, it’s a very well paid job.
Becoming a pest controller in Australia is relatively easy. However, there are still quite a few requirements you have to meet before you can legally work as a pest technician.
If you feel that the pest control line of work is your calling, let’s see how you can become a certified professional in Australia.
Table of contents
- What Does a Pest Controller Do?
- Career Requirements
- How to Get a Pest Control License in Australia
- Pest Control Courses and Training Programs
- How to Find Pest Control Jobs
- Starting Your Own Pest Control Business
What Does a Pest Controller Do?
While the name “pest controller” may sound straightforward, there is a lot of work that stays unnoticed. Pest controlling involves planning, inspecting, strategizing and even some basic chemistry on a daily basis.
Of course, if you happen to run your own business you’ll have to do some accounting, marketing and networking in order to grow your business.
A pest technician in Australia is the person that handles pest related problems in homes and commercial buildings. The work involves inspecting, identifying and applying the proper pest control methods to get rid of the infesting vermin.
Daily duties vary. If you own a pest control business there’s quite a bit of work involved that isn’t directly related to pest control.
As a pest control business owner you’ll have to juggle four or five different positions. While running a business on your own gives you more freedom to grow and develop the way you like, it can be a little overwhelming for a one-person-does all.
If you’re working for a pest control company, your field of work would be inspecting homes, creating strategies on how to apply to tackle the problem and teaching people how to protect their home after the pest control has been conducted.
There is also basic chemistry involved, as you have to understand the way pesticides mix and what kills the different bugs.
Working as a pest controller involves a lot of travelling between jobs, so a driving license is mandatory.
Working Hours, Patterns and Environment
Each pest control company decides its own working hours. There is no law in Australia that restricts pest controllers from working on set hours and days. With this in mind, employees and workers shouldn’t work more than 152 hours a month, or roughly 38 hours a week.
Pest technicians often work in the spring, summer and autumn months. Most pest infestations occur in the warmer months, which often leaves pest controllers with an empty schedule in the winter.
Your working hours will depend on the type of cases you handle as a technician. While some pest controllers work on domestic cases only, someone should handle industrial cases as well. Often these jobs take more time and organisation, and pest control methods should be applied out of work hours.
Australian pest controllers earn a median salary of little over A$49,000. Highly skilled pest control technicians can surpass A$100,000 a year.
The salary of a pest controller depends highly on their qualifications, skills, the type of jobs they work and the market they work in.
Unlike gardening, cleaning and handyman businesses, pest control has strict requirements. After all, pest control technicians are in control of harmful substances and need the proper training and education to deal with pesticides without causing harm to themselves and other people.
To be eligible to roll in a pest control course you need a high school diploma. If you’re starting as a trainee pest controller in a company, the company should provide the needed training.
A driving license is mandatory, as you will have to drive between jobs on a daily basis.
Education and Licensure
The general pest control license can be found on APCA’s website. The course costs A$2,600 and it takes two weeks to complete.
Of course, if you want to specialise in certain types of pest control, like fumigation, there are further courses and training that you can go through and get licensed.
Keep in mind that certain specialists can charge more for their services.
To begin working as a pest controller you need previous experience. While you’re attending the courses you will go through real-life training, so you will have experience on the job of how general pest control is conducted.
In order to legally practice pest control in Australia, you will have to finish a course and then to apply to their local government for a pest technician license.
Australia allows unlicensed people to practice pest control, as long as they are trainees and are accompanied by licensed pest control technicians.
As we mentioned above, the world of pest control is vast. Here are some of the key things that you will have to do in the line of work.
- Being observational
Inspecting homes and commercial buildings are no easy tasks. Often times you will be faced with thorough examinations of a property, and in order to do your job correctly, you need to have an eye for detail.
- Basic biology and chemistry skills
Mixing and making the proper pesticides on the spot is pretty common. In order to create the perfect blend of a vermin-killing solution, you will need a basic understanding of the chemicals used, how they can be mixed and how the vermin will react to the pesticide.
- Flexibility, endurance, overall healthy
While there’s mostly no though and demanding work involved, pest controllers often have to crouch, look inside cabinets, climb, etc. Because of this, it’s beneficial if the pest controller is an overall healthy person.
- Accounting and marketing skills
If you’re starting your own pest control business you will need basic accounting knowledge, as you will have to keep track of all the accounting. Attracting clients is also a big part of the pest control business, as they’re a fundamental part of growing your business.
How to Get a Pest Control License in Australia
Acquiring a pest control license in Australia isn’t that hard. Often, the only requirement for enrolling in a pest control course is a high school diploma.
Depending on where you live in Australia the requirements may differ. That’s why it’s always best to contact your local government for the most thorough information on how pest control licensing works.
- Pest Control License in Victoria (VIC)
- Pest Control License in Western Australia (WA)
- Pest Control License in Queensland (QWD)
- Pest Control License in South Australia (SA)
- Pest Control License in Northern Territory (NT)
- Pest Control License in New South Wales (NSW)
In order to be eligible for a pest control license, you have to go through the proper pest control training.
Pest Control Courses and Training Programs
Depending on the type of pest control service that you’d like to specialise in there are different courses and training programs that you can attend.
While there are numerous means of pest control, the ones used in homes and commercial buildings are three main methods.
Using pesticides to get rid of a vermin is a common method used by pest controllers to eradicate pest problems mostly bugs, arthropods, bed bugs, etc. Pesticide pest control is a fast acting and efficient for small places (like houses and apartments), and that’s why it has such vast use in urban pest control.
You will have to undergo a pesticides management course for five days. You can view the course at APCA website.
Fumigation is also a common way of pest control in an urban setting. Just like pesticides, fumigation is mostly applied to small and medium bug infestations, and almost never on rodents.
A fumigation course can be found on the TAFE website.
Poisoned Bait and Traps
For vermins like rats and mice (and even some bugs) poison and traps are the best way to go. You do not need any type of pest control license to set baits and traps on the property of your clients.
Working as a pest controller for an established company is a great way to gain experience and obtain the needed certification to work as a pest controller.
As businesses can charge more for trained professionals, they would love to provide the needed courses and licenses that are on your name. This means that even if you’re not a part of that pest control company anymore, you’re still a licensed pest technician.
It’s also a good job to apply for a pest control trainee position. While you won’t be allowed to handle pesticides, you will learn how to conduct an inspection. It will also be a good way to get an idea of the process in the line of work.
In order to get certified as a pest controller, you will have to finish a pest control course. With the documents and course certificate finished, you can apply at your local government for a professional pest control to be issued.
This, a state-issued license will allow you to practice as a pest controller legally. Keep in mind that if you want to conduct fumigation and use pesticides you will have to finish the appropriate course! Otherwise, the government will issue only a general pest control license, meaning only inspecting and you can use poisoned bait and traps as pest control means.
How to Find Pest Control Jobs
As a newly started pest controller, finding jobs is of utmost importance. After all, pest control courses are expensive and it’s best if you can make up the money you’ve spent.
As an independent pest controller, we suggest you follow the trends of the pest infestations. Usually, the local news is a good source of such information. As a newly started pest controller is hard to find new clients and more win their trust.
Unlike other home service businesses, the pest technician is often the one that is supposed to save the home of the clients. Some pests can cause damages worth thousands of dollars and they cost that much more to get rid of them.
Finding jobs as an independent pest controller is though as people don’t recognise your name and your work. That’s why most pest controllers will turn to work either for a business or start their own.
Starting Your Own Pest Control Business
While developing a pest control business is awesome, it’s also pretty hard. In order to dominate such a vast market like Australia’s, you’ll need a big marketing budget. Of course, there are also customer service, accounting, lawyers and a ton of other stuff that require money.
That’s where a business relationship with Fantastic Services can be an advantage for you. While we take care of all the background things like marketing, customer service and website support you can grow your business under a world-wide recognised brand.