Pesticide Handlers, Sprayers, and Applicator Job Description video

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Keeping plants free of bugs and disease or helping them grow more robust, often requires the application of pesticides, fertilizers and other chemicals. Sprayers and applicators do a lot more than press the “on” switch. They must know how to handle the chemicals carefully. Many of the substances used to treat plants are poisonous, and some can cause skin damage. It’s also important to know when the application should be made, where on the plant or soil it’s most effective, and how much should be used. Some chemicals have to be mixed before application. These are skills that can be learned on the job, but most states require certification for workers who apply pesticides. They take a test on safe handling and disposal of the potentially dangerous chemicals used. Sprayers and applicators might work for landscaping firms, gardening services, chemical lawn care companies, nurseries, or farms. Since this job requires more knowledge and training, it can lead to a supervisory position, such as crew leader. With some training in business management, and good communication skills, an experienced sprayer and applicator might go into business for him or herself. However, this work is seasonal and careful consideration of the economic climate must be made, before investing in equipment or a franchise.

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