Pesticide Handlers, Sprayers, and Applicators, Vegetation
SOC: 37-3012.00


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.

National Salary Information:

Hourly Statistics:

Annual Statistics:

Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics 2015 wage data.

Employment Projections:

Employment (2014):
36,400 employed

Projected (2024):
37,800 employed

Projected growth (2014-2024)

Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics 2015 2014-2024 employment projections external site. "Projected growth" represents the estimated change in total employment over the projections period (2014-2024). "Projected job openings" represent openings due to growth and replacement.

Alternate Titles:

  • Agricultural Service Worker
  • Applicator
  • Applicator Sprayer
  • Certified Pesticide Applicator
  • Chemical Applicator
  • Commercial Lawn Specialist
  • Eradicator
  • Fruit Sprayer
  • Fumigator
  • Hand Spray Operator
  • Hand Sprayer
  • Herbicide Sprayer
  • Hydro-Sprayer Operator
  • Insecticide Sprayer
  • Integrated Pest Management Technician (IPM Technician)
  • Knapsack Sprayer
  • Lawn and Garden Technician
  • Lawn Specialist
  • Lawn Technician
  • Licensed Pesticide Applicator
  • Orchard Sprayer
  • Pest Control Technician
  • Pest Locator
  • Pesticide Applicator
  • Plant Sprayer
  • Residential Lawn Specialist
  • Spray Applicator
  • Spray Mixer
  • Spray Technician
  • Tree and Shrub Technician
  • Tree and Shrub Worker
  • Weed Controller
  • Weed Eradicator
  • Weed Inspector
  • Weed Sprayer

  • Job Zone Two: Some Preparation Needed


    Some previous work-related skill, knowledge, or experience is usually needed. For example, a teller would benefit from experience working directly with the public.


    These occupations usually require a high school diploma.

    Job Training:

    Employees in these occupations need anywhere from a few months to one year of working with experienced employees. A recognized apprenticeship program may be associated with these occupations.

    Required Skills:

  • Reading Comprehension
  • Active Listening
  • Writing
  • Speaking
  • Mathematics
  • Science
  • Critical Thinking
  • Active Learning
  • Learning Strategies
  • Monitoring
  • Social Perceptiveness
  • Coordination
  • Persuasion
  • Negotiation
  • Instructing
  • Service Orientation
  • Complex Problem Solving
  • Technology Design
  • Equipment Selection
  • Operation Monitoring
  • Operation and Control
  • Equipment Maintenance
  • Troubleshooting
  • Repairing
  • Quality Control Analysis
  • Judgment and Decision Making
  • Systems Analysis
  • Systems Evaluation
  • Time Management
  • Management of Financial Resources
  • Management of Material Resources
  • Management of Personnel Resources

  • Knowledge Used:

  • Administration and Management
  • Clerical
  • Economics and Accounting
  • Sales and Marketing
  • Customer and Personal Service
  • Personnel and Human Resources
  • Production and Processing
  • Computers and Electronics
  • Engineering and Technology
  • Design
  • Mechanical
  • Mathematics
  • Physics
  • Chemistry
  • Biology
  • Psychology
  • Sociology and Anthropology
  • Geography
  • Medicine and Dentistry
  • Therapy and Counseling
  • Education and Training
  • English Language
  • Foreign Language
  • Public Safety and Security
  • Law and Government
  • Telecommunications
  • Communications and Media
  • Transportation

  • Tasks:

  • Fill sprayer tanks with water and chemicals, according to formulas.
  • Mix pesticides, herbicides, or fungicides for application to trees, shrubs, lawns, or botanical crops.
  • 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.
  • Start motors and engage machinery, such as sprayer agitators or pumps or portable spray equipment.
  • Connect hoses and nozzles selected according to terrain, distribution pattern requirements, types of infestations, and velocities.
  • Clean or service machinery to ensure operating efficiency, using water, gasoline, lubricants, or hand tools.
  • Provide driving instructions to truck drivers to ensure complete coverage of designated areas, using hand and horn signals.
  • Plant grass with seed spreaders and operate straw blowers to cover seeded areas with mixtures of asphalt and straw.
  • Identify lawn or plant diseases to determine the appropriate course of treatment.

  • Tools & Technology:

  • Air purifying respirators
  • Backpack sprayers
  • Boom sprayers
  • Broadcast boom sprayers
  • Chemical protection gloves
  • Chemical-resistant footwear
  • Chemical-resistant suits
  • Cold foggers
  • Digital flowmeters
  • Digital stopwatches
  • Electrostatic spray guns
  • Face masks
  • Handheld pump sprayers
  • Laptop computers
  • Measuring containers
  • Measuring tapes
  • Mechanical aerosol generators
  • Personal computers
  • Power sprayers
  • Protective face shields
  • Protective safety glasses
  • Safety goggles
  • Seed spreaders
  • Tablet computers
  • Thermal foggers
  • Truck mounted sprayers
  • Customer database software
  • Materials inventory software
  • Rate calculation software
  • Unit conversion software

  • building and grounds cleaning and maintenance

    industry stats

    SOC: 37-0000

    Total Employed: 4,407,050

    Average Annual Salary: $27,080