Pesticide Handlers, Sprayers, and Applicators, Vegetation

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About the Job

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.

It is also Called

  • Weed Sprayer
  • Weed Inspector
  • Weed Eradicator
  • Weed Controller
  • Tree and Shrub Worker
  • Tree and Shrub Technician
  • Spray Technician
  • Spray Mixer
  • Spray Applicator
  • Residential Lawn Specialist
View All

What They Do

  • Plant grass with seed spreaders and operate straw blowers to cover seeded areas with mixtures of asphalt and straw.
  • Provide driving instructions to truck drivers to ensure complete coverage of designated areas, using hand and horn signals.
  • 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.
  • Start motors and engage machinery, such as sprayer agitators or pumps or portable spray equipment.
  • Cover areas to specified depths with pesticides, applying knowledge of weather conditions, droplet sizes, elevation-to-distance ratios, and obstructions.
  • Identify lawn or plant diseases to determine the appropriate course of treatment.
  • Lift, push, and swing nozzles, hoses, and tubes to direct spray over designated areas.
  • Fill sprayer tanks with water and chemicals, according to formulas.
  • Mix pesticides, herbicides, or fungicides for application to trees, shrubs, lawns, or botanical crops.

Interests

People who work in this occupation generally have the interest code: RC.

This means people who work in this occupation generally have Realistic interests, but also prefer Conventional environments.

Work Values

People who work in this occupation generally prize Support, but also value Independence and Working Conditions in their jobs.

Things They Need to Know

  • Customer and Personal Service - Knowledge of principles and processes for providing customer and personal services. This includes customer needs assessment, meeting quality standards for services, and evaluation of customer satisfaction.
  • Biology - Knowledge of plant and animal organisms, their tissues, cells, functions, interdependencies, and interactions with each other and the environment.
  • Production and Processing - Knowledge of raw materials, production processes, quality control, costs, and other techniques for maximizing the effective manufacture and distribution of goods.
  • English Language - Knowledge of the structure and content of the English language including the meaning and spelling of words, rules of composition, and grammar.
  • Administration and Management - Knowledge of business and management principles involved in strategic planning, resource allocation, human resources modeling, leadership technique, production methods, and coordination of people and resources.

Things They Need to Be Able to Do

  • 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.
  • Critical Thinking - Using logic and reasoning to identify the strengths and weaknesses of alternative solutions, conclusions or approaches to problems.
  • Speaking - Talking to others to convey information effectively.
  • Reading Comprehension - Understanding written sentences and paragraphs in work related documents.
  • Social Perceptiveness - Being aware of others' reactions and understanding why they react as they do.
  • Complex Problem Solving - Identifying complex problems and reviewing related information to develop and evaluate options and implement solutions.



Pennsylvania Department of Education