Federal Government Careers

Many government positions related to pest management or pesticides require a formal education in a scientific field such as biology, chemistry or an environmental science although some agencies also have enforcement and compliance components which may require different education and experience.  Below are some of the agencies which have programs related to pest management, pesticide research, pesticide monitoring or pesticide regulation.  Employees involved in these programs may perform other job tasks unrelated to pesticides or integrated pest management as well but an understanding of these topics will be beneficial in performing their job duties.  Links are provided to career and employment information if available or to information about the related programs within the agencies.  This list is by no means exhaustive.


Environmental Protection Agency

Department of the Interior

Department of Agriculture

Department of Defense

Department of Health & Human Services


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Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)
Offices and programs within the EPA work with other federal, state and federal agencies to protect the environment.  The EPA  has authority to enforce several federal environmental laws which impact pesticide usage including the Federal Insecticide, Fungicide and Rodenticide Act, the Federal Food, Drug and Cosmetic Act (FFDCA),  the Food Quality Protection Act, the Clean Water Act (CWA), the Clean Air Act (CAA) as well as others. 

EPA Careers

  • Office of Chemical Safety and Pollution Prevention (OCSPP)
    OCSPP is composed of the Office of Pesticide Programs (OPP), the Office of Pollution Prevention and Toxics (OPPT) and the Office of Science Coordination and Policy.   These programs work to protect human health and the environment from the risks associated with pesticides and toxic chemicals. 
  • Office of Pesticide Programs (OPP)
    OPP is the primary federal program responsible for enforcing the Federal Insecticide, Fungicide, and Rodenticide Act (FIFRA).  FIFRA grants the EPA authority to register pesticides and regulate their sale, distribution and use.  The EPA establishes tolerances for pesticide residues under the authority of the Federal Food, Drug and Cosmetic Act (FFDCA).  They also consult with other agencies offices and programs under the Endangered Species Act (ESA) if a pesticide may impact a listed species.

Department of Defense (DoD)
Joining the military?  If you have an interest in pest management, consider asking about the following programs.  The Armed Forces Pest Management Board sets forth policies and guidance for all branches of the U.S. Armed Forces.  Each branch has personnel trained in IPM principles so they can maintain facilities and protect the health of the military.

 Armed Forces Pest Management Board

  • Naval Facilities Engineering Command (NAVFAC) Pest Management Program


Department of Health & Human Services (DHHS)

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)
Programs within the National Center for Environmental Health research and monitor diseases as well as disease carrying vectors such as mosquitoes and ticks.  The National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) evaluates workplace practices and safety equipment in order to minimize hazards in the workplace.  This research includes evaluating the personal protective equipment used during pesticide applications. The National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences researches the public health impact of various environmental agents including pesticides.

US Department of Agriculture (USDA)
USDA oversees several federal agencies and offices, including the US Forest Service.  Listed below are several programs which perform one or more of the following functions: conduct research related to pest management and/or pesticides; monitor for pesticides in food such as fruits or vegetables; assist in managing pests. 

 US Forest Service

US Department of the Interior (DOI)
The US Department of Interior oversees several federal agencies and offices which protect the nation’s natural resources and heritage.  These agencies have programs which monitor for pesticides, conduct research on the impacts of pesticides in the environment, manage both harmful and invasive pests or manage natural resources using pest management practices.

U.S. Geological Service (USGS)
The USGS oversees several programs which evaluate the presence and impact of pesticides and other environmental contaminants in groundwater, surface water and watersheds.

Photos of USGS Toxic Substances Pesticide Investigations

U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service (USFWS)


National Park Service (NPS)
The National Park Service has an Integrated Pest Management Program in place in their effort to “protect and preserve the natural and cultural resources of our nation”.  IPM Coordinators work with park staff, technical experts and contractors to develop and implement integrated pest management practices which will have minimum impact on our nation’s natural and cultural resources.  This program covers pest management in natural settings such as parks and forests as well as in preserving structures and museum pieces.