Aerial Applicator

Buzz over orchards and fields in a plane to dust them with pesticides.

Quick Stats


Salary Range
$20,000 – $45,000

Data from U.S. Department of Labor


What do Aerial Applicators do?

When the weather starts to heat up, corn, peppers, beans, peas, strawberries, and an array of other delectable edibles begin to pop out of the ground. Unfortunately, insects and pests sometimes have their fill before harvest time. That’s bad news for commercial Farmers.

So before the critters affect their bottom line, some Farmers hire Aerial Applicators to fly by and deliver the insecticides, pesticides, fungicides, and herbicides that keep pests and weeds at bay. Aerial Applicators use vapors, dust, and sprays to spread the chemicals across massive fields of crops. In addition to edible harvests, Aerial Applicators might also target trees, shrubs, or lawns.

This job requires all of your focus as you maneuver a helicopter or airplane within feet of the ground. You watch for buildings, utility lines, telephone poles, and other obstacles that could interfere with your delivery or cause an accident.

In addition being a Pilot, you also need to be part Scientist and part Mathematician. To be able to drop the chemicals in the precise location, you consider air speed, droplet sizes, wind and other weather factors, elevation, and distance. While running the numbers in your head, you watch the levels in the chemical tank, and return to the ground to mix up a fresh solution when you run out.

Since this job is often seasonal, many Aerial Applicators move around the country, following the heat, or use their piloting skills to fight fires during the off-season.


Should I be an Aerial Applicator?

You should have a certificate degree or higher and share these traits:
  • Ready for a Challenge: You jump into new projects with initiative and drive.
  • Detail Oriented: You pay close attention to all the little details.
  • Trustworthy: You are known for your personal integrity and honesty.

  • Also known as: Applicator Sprayer, Chemical Applicator, Eradicator, Pesticides Applicator, Pest Locator, Spray Applicator

    How to become an Aerial Applicator

    Most Aerial Applicators have a Certificate or higher. Chart?chd=s:9uiiaa&chl=no+college+%2849%25%29|certificate+%2816%25%29|associate%27s+%2827%25%29|bachelor%27s+%287%25%29||&cht=p3&chs=466x180&chxr=0,49,49
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