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Pesticide Applicator

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What is a Pesticide Applicator?

Position Description Mix or apply pesticides, herbicides, fungicides, or insecticides through sprays, dusts, vapors, soil incorporation, or chemical application on trees, shrubs, lawns, or botanical crops. Usually requires specific training and State or Federal certification.

A Day in the Life of a Pesticide Applicator

  • Cover areas to specified depths with pesticides, applying knowledge of weather conditions, droplet sizes, elevation-to-distance ratios, and obstructions.
  • Lift, push, and swing nozzles, hoses, and tubes to direct spray over designated areas.
  • Fill sprayer tanks with water and chemicals, according to formulas.
  • Clean or service machinery to ensure operating efficiency, using water, gasoline, lubricants, or hand tools.
  • Connect hoses and nozzles selected according to terrain, distribution pattern requirements, types of infestations, and velocities.
  • Provide driving instructions to truck drivers to ensure complete coverage of designated areas, using hand and horn signals.

What Every Pesticide Applicator Should Know

Below is a list of the skills most Pesticide Applicators say are important on the job.

Active Listening: Giving full attention to what other people are saying, taking time to understand the points being made, asking questions as appropriate, and not interrupting at inappropriate times.

Time Management: Managing one’s own time and the time of others.

Speaking: Talking to others to convey information effectively.

Critical Thinking: Using logic and reasoning to identify the strengths and weaknesses of alternative solutions, conclusions or approaches to problems.

Complex Problem Solving: Identifying complex problems and reviewing related information to develop and evaluate options and implement solutions.

Judgment and Decision Making: Considering the relative costs and benefits of potential actions to choose the most appropriate one.

Other Pesticide Applicator Job Titles

  • Lawn Specialist
  • Orchard Sprayer
  • Pest Locator
  • Hand Sprayer
  • Weed Eradicator

Pesticide Applicator Employment Estimates

In the United States, there were 38,000 jobs for Pesticide Applicator in 2016. New jobs are being produced at a rate of 7.9% which is above the national average. The Bureau of Labor Statistics predicts 3,000 new jobs for Pesticide Applicator by 2026. There will be an estimated 5,000 positions for Pesticide Applicator per year.


The states with the most job growth for Pesticide Applicator are Nevada, Washington, and Tennessee. Watch out if you plan on working in Ohio, Illinois, or Alaska. These states have the worst job growth for this type of profession.

Do Pesticide Applicators Make A Lot Of Money?

The average yearly salary of a Pesticide Applicator ranges between $23,890 and $56,370.


Pesticide Applicators who work in Vermont, Hawaii, or Oregon, make the highest salaries.

How much do Pesticide Applicators make in each U.S. state?

State Annual Mean Salary
Alabama $33,140
Arizona $38,580
Arkansas $29,520
California $50,560
Colorado $38,600
Connecticut $40,240
Delaware $33,640
Florida $31,790
Georgia $36,960
Hawaii $40,900
Illinois $39,930
Indiana $41,180
Iowa $36,670
Kansas $34,680
Kentucky $31,790
Louisiana $29,700
Maryland $40,560
Massachusetts $33,230
Michigan $32,600
Minnesota $39,220
Mississippi $28,950
Missouri $38,510
Montana $34,450
Nebraska $34,880
Nevada $31,960
New Hampshire $38,840
New Jersey $36,970
New Mexico $34,930
New York $42,530
North Carolina $37,470
North Dakota $43,820
Ohio $34,600
Oklahoma $37,220
Oregon $51,040
Pennsylvania $37,480
South Carolina $34,930
South Dakota $33,360
Tennessee $35,070
Texas $35,650
Utah $34,940
Vermont $54,520
Virginia $35,790
Washington $37,920
West Virginia $35,170
Wisconsin $35,080
Wyoming $38,500

What Tools & Technology do Pesticide Applicators Use?

Although they’re not necessarily needed for all jobs, the following technologies are used by many Pesticide Applicators:

Becoming a Pesticide Applicator

What kind of Pesticide Applicator requirements are there?


How Long Does it Take to Become a Pesticide Applicator?


Pesticide Applicators Sector


The table below shows the approximate number of Pesticide Applicators employed by various industries.


Those thinking about becoming a Pesticide Applicator might also be interested in the following careers:


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More about our data sources and methodologies.

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