State Government Careers

The state agencies listed below have programs, laws or regulations which relate to pest management or pesticides in some manner.  Some programs monitor for pesticides in the air, water, food or soil. Other programs may conduct inspections of sites where pests which pose a risk to human health or the environment may be present.  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.  To learn about specific laws or regulations visit the “Related Laws” link under the industry tab.

Virginia Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services

Virginia Department of Conservation and Recreation

Virginia Department of Corrections

Virginia Department of Environmental Quality

Virginia Department of Forestry

Virginia Department of Game and Inland Fisheries

Virginia Department of Health


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Virginia Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services (VDACS)
Office of Pesticide Services (OPS)
The Office of Pesticide Services, a program within the Virginia Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services (VDACS), certifies applicators, registers pesticide products and licenses pesticide businesses. These activities provide for the safe and effective control of pests that attack our crops, structures and health and that of our domestic animals. OPS staff conduct routine inspections, as well as in-depth investigations of complaints to determine whether a pesticide has been misused. Staff also conduct special public interest programs, such as recycling of pesticide containers and disposal of unused pesticides.

  • Admin/Clerical Staff
  • Environmental Planner
  • Business Licensing Specialist
  • Inspector/Investigator
  • Certification Specialist
  • Product Registration Specialist
  • Compliance Officer and Specialists
  • Program Managers & Supervisors
Office of Plant Industry Services (OPIS)
OPIS protects Virginia’s agricultural and horticultural economic interests by overseeing and ensuring compliance with a variety of laws. OPIS is involved in many diverse activities, such as fire ant control and prevention; detection of disease and insect pests of nursery stock; cooperative agricultural pest surveys for early detection and treatment of new invasive plant pests and diseases, including those of bio-terrorism concern; apiary inspection; cotton boll weevil monitoring; protection of endangered species; ginseng management; nursery registration and pest-free certification; gypsy moth slow-the-spread and suppression projects; and issuance of export certifications. OPIS also performs sampling and testing of seed, fertilizer, and liming agents; and sampling of animal feeds.

  • Beach Vitex Quarantine

Virginia Department of Conservation and Recreation (DCR)
Staff of DCR use integrated pest management practices (IPM) to control invasive species and other across the commonwealth in state parks and natural area preserves.  One of the most recent invasive species is phragmites, an aquatic weed which gets into marshes and competes with other native plants.  DCR is working with other state and federal agencies as well as volunteers from the Nature Conservancy to manage phragmites.  DCR has also helped develop best management practices for groups such as golf courses, communities and farms to reduce the amount of pesticides and other environmental contaminants getting into the waters of Virginia from runoff.

Virginia Department of Forestry (DOF)
Forestry professionals need to be able to recognize and manage insects, weeds and diseases which may adversely impact native plant species in Virginia.  They may also provide technical assistance to private landowners managing pests in forests on their own land.  Researchers may help study and develop new pest management strategies.  Employees in state nurseries apply integrated pest management practices while controlling weeds, insects and diseases which may harm nursery stock.

  • Forest Management

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Virginia Department of Health (VDH)
VDH oversees regulations related to disease reporting (including food borne diseases or pesticide poisonings), private wells, bedding and upholstery and food safety.  Each of these has some connection to either pesticide use or pest management (see Related Laws).  The agency also educates citizens about disease carrying vectors such as mosquitoes and ticks, molds, or harmful viruses and bacteria.  Staff may also be involved with researching the impact of such pest organisms on human health.  VDH works with Health Districts across the state in enforcing these regulations and enacting these programs.

Virginia Department of Game and Inland Fisheries (DGIF)
Biologists at DGIF assist VDACS with reviews of special local need pesticide registrations and emergency exemptions.  They evaluate the potential impact of these pesticides on Endangered or Threatened Species in areas where they will be used.  Staff members also work to identify and eradicate invasive species, such as the zebra mussel, which could damage the native wildlife and their habitat.  Fisheries biologists may study the impact of contaminants such as pesticides on fish populations or evaluate ways to manage unwanted aquatic plants in ponds.  Similarly, wildlife biologists may be involved in managing certain nuisance wildlife populations using pest management techniques and strategies.

Virginia Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ)
DEQ enforces laws and regulations which have been created to protect air and water quality.  Their activities include monitoring air and water for potentially toxic substances such as pesticides.  They also regulate businesses which use toxic substances such as pesticides which may be released into the environment.

Virginia Department of Corrections
Department of Corrections employees use integrated pest management practices in agricultural operations (prison farms), property management and grounds keeping activities.  DOC also has adult education programs where vocational instructors provide training in professional skills such as pest management, agriculture and horticulture.