Public Health Entomology Certificate

Personal credentialing is the future of professional pest management and vector control. Earning your Public Health Entomology (PHE) certificate can lead to better visibility, opportunities, and jobs.




In today's increasingly complex and highly-specialized economy, credentials are important.

Sure, you know you’ve got the skills to do the job, but how do you convince potential customers and employers you're the best one for the job? For many career-minded pest management professionals, credentialing is often the answer.

The Entomological Society of America, long the industry leader in certification through its Board Certified Entomologist (BCE) program, launched the ACE program in 2004 to offer a certification option geared specifically toward the pest management industry. Since then, over 1200 (and growing) ACEs have joined the ranks to demonstrate their professionalism and commitment to the structural pest management industry. The PHE certificate is being introduced to provide a similar opportunity to those who work with pests that pose a health risk; either by being a vector for disease, or other adverse health risks. 


The PHE program is currently only for those who work in the United States; stay tuned for more information on an international version. 

The PHE certificate is endorsed by and was developed in conjunction with the American Mosquito Control Association (AMCA)


For more information, email

Why does ESA conduct a Certification Program?

Consumers seek experts for their pest management needs, but choosing a contractor can be confusing. The ACE and PHE Certificate programs makes entomologically-based credentialing possible for those without a formal degree in entomology. This program is backed by the knowledge and experience of the largest insect-science program in the world which makes the ESA Certification Programs perhaps the most trusted and respected title you can achieve in your pest management career short of an academic degree. Voluntary credentialing programs allow industry professionals a way to differentiate themselves from their competition.

Why should I earn my PHE Certificate?

Many organizations (schools, multi-unit housing complexes, hospitals, government agencies, factories, homeless shelters, restaurants and food warehouses, etc) require independent certification for their contractors. Having a PHE certificate holder on staff can give you/your company the edge it needs to compete successfully with other pest control providers. In addition, employees will benefit from an increased sense of pride and accomplishment with their credential.

What are the benefits of of the PHE Certificate?

In addition to the pride of professionalism earned by credentialed individuals, there are some tangible benefits that allow these certified individuals to promote their accomplishment. Immediately upon passing their exam, PHE credentialed individuals are provided with a digital marketing kit. They earn the right to display "PHE Certificate Holder" after their name and to begin to promote themselves as such. Employers can use the logo as long as they have one or more credentialed individual on staff. 

Who can earn the certificate?

Anyone,as long as they have a minimum of 5 years of verifiable pest management or vector control experience (you can combine experience in either industry, to add up to 5 years), a current pesticide applicator's license issued in the U.S., and the ability to pass the exam.

How do I prepare for the exam?

This is not an exam that you can cram for, it tests a wide body of knowledge and applicants should prepare to spend a minimum of 40 hours of self-preparation no matter how long they have been in the industry. Experienced operators who are committed to continuing education and staying current in their profession should find the exam challenging, but fair. It is designed to test practicing pest management and vector control professionals on the practical aspects of applied entomology. Review classes may also be available in your area.

Why is the PHE a certificate, not a certification; also what's the difference?

There are several different types of credentials, both for individuals and for companies.  ESA, through its sister organization, has historically offered the ACE and BCE certifications- credentials that require experience, examination, and continuing education.

The PHE Certificate program was conceived based on research that indicated professional credentialing and verification was important in the vector control industry.  Based on numerous interviews and detailed research, it was determined that the vector control community would best be served by a certificate. The ESA Certification Corporation is continually evaluating the market and may, in the future, add a certification for Public Health Entomology- similar to the ACE program.

What does it cost to become earn the PHE Certificate?