Pesticides sprayers mix pesticides, insecticides, fungicides, and other chemical solutions, and apply them via technical equipment such as sprayers on trees, plants and lawns. They clean and maintain operating machinery and ensure the overall safety in designated areas.
The duties of a pesticides sprayer include, but are not not limited to:
- Following safety procedures and wearing protective equipment such as gloves and protective clothing when handling pesticides
- Collecting data on weather conditions, vegetation growth patterns, insect population levels, and other environmental factors that may impact the effectiveness of pesticides
- Applying pesticides to crops, forests, lawns, or other areas to control insects, rodents, weeds, or other organisms that threaten plants or animal habitats
- Inspecting crops for signs of infestation, such as small holes in leaves caused by insects sucking out plant juices
- Inspecting farms, homes, businesses, or other locations for signs of infestation or disease outbreak
- Identifying insect or other pests’ life cycles and habits, including the size and shape of eggs, larva, pupae, adults, etc.
- Mixing chemicals with water or another liquid solution to create pesticides for application to plants or animals
- Applying pesticides to crops using sprayers or other equipment as directed by a supervisor or certified trainer
- Inspecting equipment to make sure it is in good working order and following manufacturer’s instructions for safe operation
The following job titles also refer to pesticides sprayer:
sprayer of pesticides
lawn care chemical applicator
Pesticides sprayers work in a variety of settings, including agricultural fields, greenhouses, nurseries, parks, and golf courses. They may work full time or part time, and their hours may vary depending on the season and the type of work they are doing. For example, those who work in agricultural fields may work long hours during planting and harvesting seasons.
Pesticides sprayers must follow safety guidelines to protect themselves and others from exposure to pesticides. They also must take care to apply pesticides only as directed, so as not to harm people, animals, or the environment.
A high school diploma is generally required to work as a pesticides sprayer.
ISCO skill level
ISCO skill level is defined as a function of the complexity and range of tasks and duties to be performed in an occupation. It is measured on a scale from 1 to 4, with 1 the lowest level and 4 the highest, by considering:
- the nature of the work performed in an occupation in relation to the characteristic tasks and duties
- the level of formal education required for competent performance of the tasks and duties involved and
- the amount of informal on-the-job training and/or previous experience in a related occupation required for competent performance of these tasks and duties.
Pesticides sprayer is a Skill level 2 occupation.
Pesticides sprayer career path
These occupations, although different, require a lot of knowledge and skills similar to pesticides sprayer.
Long term prospects
These occupations require some skills and knowledge of pesticides sprayer. They also require other skills and knowledge, but at a higher ISCO skill level, meaning these occupations are accessible from a position of pesticides sprayer with a significant experience and/or extensive training.
Essential knowledge and skills
This knowledge should be acquired through learning to fulfill the role of pesticides sprayer.
- Safe use of pesticides: Precautions and regulations concerning the transport, storage and handling of chemical substances that exterminate pests.
- Chemical products: The offered chemical products, their functionalities, properties and legal and regulatory requirements.
- Pesticides sprayers: Types of equipment used to spray pesticides, manipulated both manually, such as hand-operated rotary and drop spreaders, and mechanically.
- Pesticides: Types of chemical characteristics of pesticides and their adverse human and environmental effects.
- European pesticide legislation: The EU framework for community action which promotes the sustainable use of pesticides.
- Herbicides: Types of chemical characteristics of herbicides and their adverse human and environmental effects.
Essential skills and competences
These skills are necessary for the role of pesticides sprayer.
- Perform pest control: Carry out crop spraying pest and disease operations in line with National industry and customer requirements. Carry out slurry and fertiliser spreading in accordance with local environmental regulations
- Dispose of hazardous waste: Dispose of dangerous materials such as chemical or radioactive substances according to environmental and to health and safety regulations.
- Use personal protection equipment: Make use of protection equipment according to training, instruction and manuals. Inspect the equipment and use it consistently.
- Avoid contamination: Avoid the mixing or contamination of materials.
- Handle chemical products for soil and plants: Handle chemical products for soil and plants includes cleaning the equipment used for spreading and spraying, mixing of chemicals, preparing pesticides and herbicides for spraying, preparing fertilisers for spreading.
- Spray pesticides: Spray pesticide solutions to keep insects, fungus, weed growth, and diseases under control.
- Perform safety inspections on spraying equipment: Conduct regular checks on all spraying equipment in order to make sure it is functioning properly.
- Complete report sheets of activity: Keep written records of the service provided on a regular or punctual basis, with explicit hours of work performed and signature.
Optional knowledge and skills
This knowledge is sometimes, but not always, required for the role of pesticides sprayer. However, mastering this knowledge allows you to have more opportunities for career development.
- Wood preservation: Measures and techniques used to ensure the wood’s durability and resistance against humidity, insects, and fungi.
- Pest control in plants: Types and features of pests in plants and crops. Different kinds of pest control methods, activities using conventional or biological methods taking into account the type of plant or crop, environmental and climate conditions and health and safety regulations. Storage and handling of products.
- Environmental engineering: The application of scientific and engineering theories and principles aimed at improving the environment and sustainability, such as the provision of clean habitation necessities (such as air, water, and land) for humans and other organisms, for environmental remediation in the event of pollution, sustainable energy development, and improved waste management and waste reduction methods.
- Lawn care: Procedures, equipment and products used to maintain the cleanliness of lawns and other grass surfaces in parks or residences.
- Phytosanitary measures: Measures related to controlling plant and crop diseases, pests, and pathogens.
- Plant disease control: Types and features of diseases in plants and crops. Different kinds control methods, activities using conventional or biological methods taking into account the type of plant or crop, environmental and climate conditions and health and safety regulations. Storage and handling of products.
Optional skills and competences
These skills and competences are sometimes, but not always, required for the role of pesticides sprayer. However, mastering these skills and competences allows you to have more opportunities for career development.
Select hazard control: Perform appropriate selection of hazard control measures and risk management
Drive vehicles: Be able to drive vehicles; have the approapriate type of driving license according to the type of motor vehicle used.
Manage a small-to-medium business: Manage the organisational, financial and day-to-day operation of a small-to-medium enterprise.
Maintain inventory of pesticides: Keep track of the remaining supplies in order to ensure continuity and availability of the necessary pesticides.
Maintain professional administration: File and organise professional administration documents comprehensively, keep customer records, fill in forms or log books and prepare documents about company-related matter.
ISCO group and title
7544 – Fumigators and other pest and weed controllers
- Pesticides sprayer – ESCO
- Pesticide Applicator Job Description: Salary, Duties, & More – Climb the Ladder
- Featured image: By Messina, John, 1940-, Photographer (NARA record: 8464458) – U.S. National Archives and Records Administration, Public Domain,