Pest & Weed Controller

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Conservation Worker
Natural Resource Manager

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 Practical or MechanicalNature or RecreationAnalytic or ScientificSkill Level 1Skill Level 2Skill Level 3

Pest and weed controllers kill or control plants, animals, invertebrates and insects that are considered troublesome or harmful to agricultural, industrial or domestic activities. Pest controllers exterminate or contain infestations of animals, insects or plants which are harmful or hazardous to the local environment. Future Growth Very Strong

Pest and weed controllers prevent and eradicate infestations of weeds, insects, rodents and other organisms that pose a threat to the safety and livelihood of people, property or crops and livestock. They employ a range of pest and weed management techniques in a range of areas, including domestic, commercial and industrial spaces, public places such as parks and roadsides, and on agricultural land. They inspect an area to find where pests are concentrated and using that information, decide on the best solution for the problem, whether it involves spraying pesticide, laying traps for animals and insects, or using a range of other methods. Some may even spray crops using planes with aerial pesticide applicators.

ANZSCO ID: 841913

Alternative names: Pest Management Technician; Fumigator; Pest Control Operator; Pest Control Technician

Specialisations: Fumigator, Termite Technician

Knowledge, skills and attributes

  • good communication and customer service skills
  • able to work independently and solve problems
  • good practical and problem solving skills
    a high level of fitness
  • good eyesight
  • numeracy skills for dose calculations for chemicals
  • an understanding of environmental effects of chemicals you are using
  • good health and safety awareness
  • free from breathing problems and related conditions
  • no known allergies to the chemicals used
  • safety-conscious
  • able to make accurate observations and calculations
  • responsible attitude

Pest and Weed Controller spraying
(Source: Good Universities Guide)

Duties and Tasks

Pest and weed controllers may perform the following tasks:

  • inspect properties, identify problems, determine treatments and provide estimates of costs at the request of landowners or government authorities
  • identify the type of pests or infestation
  • advise on preventative measures
  • plan a treatment for the issue with an estimate of costs involved
  • apply appropriate pesticides (including sprays, gels, dusts, baits and fumigants) to infested areas
  • handle, mix and store chemicals following safety precautions and regulations set by manufacturers and government legislation
  • operate generators, compressors, and manual and electric pumps to inject or spray liquid and gaseous pesticides and herbicides
  • take care to minimise damage to other plants, animals and the environment
  • carry out simple maintenance practices to prevent pests entering buildings, such as bird-proofing roofs, and filling cracks and crevices
  • dispose of dead or captured animals using required methods
  • maintain equipment in safe, efficient working order
  • maintain work records of each property inspected, the pest or weed problem, chemicals used and the amount of time spent at each location
  • write reports for clients - pest and inspection reports and documentation.
  • may make follow-up visits to ensure eradication has been completed.

Working conditions

Pest and weed controllers work both inside and outside houses, commercial and industrial buildings, in public spaces such as roadsides and parks, and in large agricultural spaces such as farms and crops. They may travel both short or long distances to get to a particular job.  As they handle toxic materials they need to wear protective clothing and observe strict safety procedures. Pest and weed controllers have a lot of contact with chemicals and wear protective clothing such as overalls, gloves and masks. Pest controllers are sometimes required to work in cramped, dirty or awkward conditions, such as under houses or in attics. You may be required to crawl into small spaces or climb ladders, depending on the type of pest you are dealing with.

Agricultural pest controllers may fly planes in order to apply pesticides to crops.Pest and weed controllers work right across States and Territories, from suburban houses and back yards to expansive crop fields in regional areas.

As a pest controller you would usually work a standard number of hours per week. Some pest controllers are self-employed and might therefore work more flexible hours, including weekends. Generally you would work alone, and drive between jobs. You would need a current drivers' licence.

Weed controllers usually work outside.

Pest and weed controllers usually have a lot of contact with clients.

Tools and technologies

Pest and weed controllers may use liquid chemical applicators, traps and firearms, as well as baits and pesticides. They often drive vans or utility vehicles, and some may even fly planes. They often need to wear protective clothing such as full-length overalls, gloves, masks, wet weather gear, and covered shoes.

Termites
Termites
(Source: Termites & Pest Control)

Education and training/entrance requirements

You can work as a pest and weed controller without formal qualifications, but you will need to obtain a special licence, which requires some study. You will probably get some informal training on the job. You would get some training on the job. A licence is required for you to perform this role.

A VET qualification in conservation and land management, pest management, vertebrate pest management or weed management may improve your chances of a job in this occupation or of obtaining a traineeship. The Certificate III in Urban Pest Management and Certificate III in Pest Management are offered at TAFE colleges and other registered training organisations throughout Australia.


You may like to consider a VOC qualification in conservation and land management, pest management, vertebrate pest management or weed management. As subjects and prerequisites can vary between institutions, you should contact your chosen institution for further information. You may be able to study through distance education. You can undertake a pest management technician (level 3) traineeship. The traineeship usually takes 12 months to complete.

You can also become a pest and weed controller through a traineeship in Pest Management, Conservation and Land Management, Vertebrate Pest Management or Weed Management.

Entry requirements may vary, but employers generally require Year 10.

As an apprentice or trainee, you enter into a formal training contract with an employer, enabling you to complete training towards a nationally recognised qualification. You spend time working and learning practical skills on the job and you spend some time undertaking structured training with a registered training provider.

You can do an apprenticeship or traineeship if you are a school-leaver, re-entering the workforce or as an adult or mature-aged person wishing to change careers. You can even begin your apprenticeship or traineeship while you're still at school.

If you are still at school you can access an apprenticeship through your school. Talk to your school's VET Co-ordinator to start your training now through VET in Schools. If you are no longer at school you can apply for an apprenticeship or traineeship and get paid while you learn and work.

Additional Information

Once you are employed, you may be able to develop, and have recognised, additional skills under the Property Services or Agriculture, Horticulture and Conservation and Land Management Training Packages that will expand your career opportunities within these industries.

In the ACT, the Environment Protection Act requires all persons who apply herbicides or pesticides for a fee or reward to have a licence for the use of commercial chemicals. In NSW, the Pesticide Act requires people working with pesticides to hold a Fumigator or Pest Management Technician Certificate of Competency. Applicants for a certificate of competency must be at least 18 years old. Contact SafeWork NSW or the Environment and Planning Directorate (ACT) for licensing details.

 

Employment Opportunities

Pest and weed control is largely seasonal work, with high demand for experienced staff in the summer months and less demand in winter. Controllers may work for large pest control companies servicing a wide geographical area, or they may be self-employed, operating in a relatively small area or specialising in a particular type of control. Demand may also be affected by the level of housing construction as new houses are required by law to be treated.

Environmental and health concerns will result in more people hiring professionals, rather than trying to control pests themselves. Job opportunities should be good.

 

Did You Know?

Feral cats - Australia's native animal annihilators | Meet the Ferals Ep 2 | ABC Australia January 2019
https://youtu.be/VaB9J8JHVxI





Conservation Worker
Environments

 

 Practical or MechanicalNature or RecreationAnalytic or ScientificSkill Level 1Skill Level 2

Conservation workers do practical and manual tasks to revive and regenerate native bushland and farmland. Future Growth StrongLandcare workers perform a range of tasks to maintain and restore native bushland and farmland.
Landcare workers frequently use herbicides and equipment to prune trees and remove debris.

ANZSCO ID: 234311

Alternative names:  Conservation Officer, Landcare worker, Landcare Facilitator, Bushcare worker

Specialisations:

  • Bushland Regenerator - aims to restore disrupted native bushland as close as possible to its original, undisturbed state.
  • Environmental Field Officer - applies appropriate control measures to assist in protecting and minimising the harmful effects of human activity on the environment.

Knowledge, skills and attributes  

To become a conservation worker, you would need:

  • a passion for conservation
  • physical stamina
  • a thorough knowledge of native plants and wildlife
  • interested in the preservation of natural bushland
  • good attention to detail
  • teamwork skills

 

Conservation
Conservation Officer
(Source: UWA)

Duties and Tasks

As a conservation worker, you would:

  • remove weeds or other unwanted vegetation from native bushland
  • use herbicides to kill weeds
  • collect and propagate seeds of native plants
  • replant areas that need regeneration
  • collect botanical and environmental data
  • build and maintain access and public facilities in bushland
  • map vegetation
  • follow eradication programs for animal pests (for example: rabbits)
  • maintain equipment used in bushland regeneration.
  • construct and maintain tracks and facilities in bushland
  • apply control measures to combat salinity
  • enforce laws and regulations to conserve and protect fish and wildlife.
  • evaluate habitat, wildlife and fisheries needs, and formulates short and long-term management goals and objectives

Working conditions

As a conservation worker you would work a standard number of hours per week. Part-time or flexible working hours may be available. You would be outdoors in all types of weather. This role is physically demanding and would require you to be very active. You would be using chemicals and herbicides. This role may not suit someone with allergies. Much of the work is fairly strenuous and involves a lot of bending and working at ground level. This is an outdoor job and workers are exposed to the elements.

Tools and technologies

Chemical and herbicide sprayers.

Education and training/entrance requirements

You can work as a conservation worker without formal qualifications. You would get some training on the job. Your employment prospects may be improved if you have a VET qualification in conservation and land management.

You can also become a conservation worker through a traineeship in Conservation and Land Management. Generally, employers require a junior secondary school certificate or equivalent. Once you are employed, you may be able to develop, and have recognised, additional skills under the Agriculture, Horticulture and Conservation and Land Management Training Package that will expand your career opportunities within this industry.

You usually need a bachelor degree in a relevant field to work as a Conservation Officer. Some workers have a Vocational Education and Training (VET) qualification.

Employment Opportunities

Landcare workers are employed by state, territory and local governments, private organisations and mining companies.

Job opportunities are expanding with greater awareness of environmental issues. With experience, and sometimes further training, landcare workers may progress to more senior or specialised roles, such as technical officer, project officer and project manager.

Revegetation
Revegetation
(Source: Atlas of Living Australia)

Natural Resource Manager
Environments

Nature or RecreationSkill Level 3Skill Level 4Skill Level 5

Natural resource managers develop conservation plans for nature reserves, land and other natural resources, so that people can use these resources in an ecologically sustainable way. Natural resource managers specialising in water and soil resources may apply their skills to several areas. These include irrigated agriculture, drainage, water supply, water catchment management, pollution control and rehabilitation after mining activities.

Natural resource managers specialising in land and biological resources work in agencies where they can apply ecological and planning principles to the management of renewable resources such as forests, grasslands and agricultural landscapes. Future Growth Strong

ANZSCO ID: 2343

Knowledge, skills and attributes 

  • interested in conservation and management of the environment
  • aptitude for science
  • good oral and written communication skills
  • able to work indoors and outdoors
  • patient and able to persevere
  • good project management skills

           Natural Resource Management Program Kimberley
Natural Resource Management Program - Kimberley
(Source: Kimberley Development Commission)

Duties and Tasks

Natural resource managers may perform the following tasks:

  • assess techniques for flora and fauna conservation
  • monitor components of the environment, such as soil, water and air
  • develop practical solutions for environmental management and rehabilitation
  • develop techniques to ensure the development and use of vital land and water resources is ecologically sustainable
  • undertake plant and animal pest management
  • undertake bush regeneration activities
  • work with land managers to improve biodiversity on private lands
  • organise geological, plant and animal research
  • undertake laboratory work
  • develop resource management policy
  • work with government and environmental groups
  • run community education programmes

Working conditions

Natural resource managers are employed in the areas of catchment management, land care, recreation, research, soil conservation and wildlife management. They work in universities, the minerals industry, environmental organisations and government agencies that manage community-owned land (such as conservation parks, forest or local government reserves and Crown land).With greater community concern about environmental issues and increased demand for government accountability, resource management is a growing field. However, competition for entry level positions is very high. Gaining practical experience in conservation and land management is recommended.

Education and training/entrance requirements

To become a natural resource manager you usually have to complete a VOC qualification in conservation and land management. As subjects and prerequisites can vary between institutions, you should contact your chosen institution for further information.

Entry to this occupation may be improved if you have a degree in environmental management, environmental science, sustainability or wildlife and conservation biology. To get into these courses you usually need to gain your HSC/ACT Year 12. Prerequisite subjects, or assumed knowledge, in one or more of English, physics, chemistry, earth and environmental science, biology and mathematics are normally required.

A number of universities in Australia offer degrees in these areas.

Universities have different prerequisites and some have flexible entry requirements or offer external study.

Employment Opportunities

Natural resource managers are employed in the areas of catchment management, land care, recreation, research, soil conservation and wildlife management. They work in universities, the minerals industry, environmental organisations and government agencies that manage community-owned land (such as conservation parks, forest or local government reserves and Crown land).

With greater community concern about environmental issues and increased demand for government accountability, resource management is a growing field. However, competition for entry-level positions is very high. Gaining practical experience in conservation and land management is recommended.

 

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Floriculturist

Farmer

Horticultural Assistant

Zookeeper

Beekeeper

Civil Engineer

Horticulturalist

Viticulturalist

Surveyor

Landscape Architect

Horse Trainer

Lifeguard

Forester

Electrical Linesperson

Shearer

Greenkeeper

Stonemason

Crop Farmer

Livestock Farmer

Aquaculture Farmer

Miner

Mining Engineer

Petroleum Engineer

Jillaroo Jackeroo

Arborist

Horse Manager

Wool Classer

Farrier

Waste Water Operator

Horse Groomer

Grain Oilseed Pasture Grower

Animal Attendant and Trainer

Coastal Engineer

Pomologist

Pest and Weed Controller

Geographer

Olericulturist

Environmental Consultant

Floriculturist