A pest control specialist, more commonly referred to as an 'exterminator', is a trained professional responsible for preventing, identifying, managing and eliminating pests in homes, businesses or other areas.
Pests include any animal that can damage property, spread disease or pose a risk to humans. Pest control specialists aim to protect people, the environment and property from the negative effects of pests.
If a career in pest control interests you, you may want to know how to become a pest control specialist, what courses are available, as well as the costs and duration of these courses.
What Courses Are Available?
The most popular courses in South Africa are the National Qualifications in Pest Management, which cover topics like pest anatomy and biology, monitoring, control methods and safety practices.
There is also an advanced certificate programme, which delves deeper into topics such as legal compliance, environmental sustainability, record-keeping and customer service. Each course typically includes a mix of lectures, field trips to local farms or facilities, research projects and practical exercises.
There are also shorter courses, such as Pest Control Technician Course, a six-day programme comprised of practical and theoretical training. This course is offered by the Pest Management Academy.
How Much Does It Cost?
The cost of a pest control course in South Africa can vary depending on the institution. Generally, participants should be prepared to pay tuition fees plus an approved fee (which covers additional costs such as materials and laboratory equipment).
Tuition for national qualifications may range from R500 to R8,000, while the advanced certificate programme may set you back up to R11,000. It is best to contact different institutions offering pest control courses to inquire about exact prices and course information.
Where to Find a Quality Pest Control Course in South Africa
There are a number of institutions offering pest control courses in South Africa. Many universities and technical and vocational education training (TVET) colleges offer short courses or certificate programmes, accredited by the Sector Education and Training Authority (SETA).
SETA is responsible for the accreditation of both private and public providers of Technical Vocational Education and Training (TVET). Contacting local authorities can also provide you with information about pest control services available in your area.
Here are some institutions that offer pest control courses in South Africa:
- Pest Management Academy
- Pest Control Industries Training Academy
- Pest Control Services Industry Board
For more information on institutions that offer pest control programmes, you can head to our Where to Study section.