Pest Control Adviser (PCA)
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Student Success

"Attending West Hills College gave me the motivation to move forward and better my education. At the end of the program, I went on to attend Fresno State. Before attending WHC, I worked for my family tire business and had it not been for the training at West Hills, I would probably still be there."

John Silvera,
Pest Control Adviser
Wilbur-Ellis, Shafter, CA


Pest Control Advisers (PCAs) are licensed professional production consultants who serve California agriculture producers. PCAs specialize in pest management, but they are also an important resource in a wide range of production concerns related to plant health.

A PCA is licensed by the State of California to engage in the following activities:

  • Provide pest management recommendations, which must be in writing.
  • Hold self as an authority on any agricultural use.
  • Solicit sales of products or services for agricultural use.

PCA specialties are diverse and may help maintain highway vegetation; solve weed congestion in public waterways; assist in pest-free greenhouses, golf courses, turf and landscape; or ensure the growth of healthy, abundant food, fiber and ornamentals from over 9.9 million acres of California farm and public lands.

Licensed pest control advisers provide written recommendations that must address 13 specific areas, including worker safety, environmental impact and a detailed plan for the use of pest management materials. (Source:

What are the Education Requirements for a PCA?

WHCC prepares students for the California Department of Pesticide Regulations (CDPR) Agricultural Pest Control Adviser (PCA) exam. Forty-three units of coursework are offered to fulfill the Option 3 education requirement to take the PCA exam. Whether you are a first time student looking for a career or you are looking to change your career, these courses can help you towards a high paying, high growth job. Courses are college transferrable and align with California’s C-ID, which means they are transferrable to colleges throughout the state.

Courses include:

  • Weeds and Poisonous Plants (Crop Health)
  • Fertilizers and Soil Amendments (Crop Health)
  • Entomology (Pest Management Systems and Methods)
  • California Pest Control Laws and Regulations (Pest Management Systems and Methods)
  • Integrated Pest Management (Pest Management Systems and Methods)
  • Support courses: Irrigation, Soils, Precision Agriculture, Plant Science

Successfully complete the coursework and 24 months of applicable work experience and you’ll be eligible to take the state test to become a licensed PCA, which is the path to a good job. Fourteen different courses are offered in Crop Health, Pest Management Systems and Methods, Production Systems, and Physical and Biological Sciences. Job opportunities in this field exist now and are growing. You’ll take classes at WHCC’s new Farm of the Future.

Industry Certifications

  • California Department of Pesticide Regulation’s Agricultural Pest Control Adviser (PCA)
  • California Department of Pesticide Regulation’s Qualified Applicator License (QAL)
  • Certified Crop Adviser (CCA)


  • Chemical Dealer/Distributor
  • Private Agricultural Consultant
  • Coorporate Farm ManagerPrivate Applicator

Contact US

Tim Ellsworth Tim Ellsworth
Agriculture Science
and Technology Instructor

(559) 934-2711

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