Pest Control Industry FAQ
Have questions about a career in pest control? Learn about working in the pest control industry, get salary information, and find answers to common questions regarding working in pest control.
1. What Opportunities Exist Beyond Being an Exterminator?
There are endless opportunities to grow in pest control! In addition to technicians, positions range depending on your interests, skills and experience level. They include customer service and call center representatives, to salespeople and field technicians, to territory managers, accountants and senior leadership. There are jobs to fit a variety of personalities and skillsets. With dedication and commitment, there is no limit to your career growth!
2. Is Pest Control a Growing Industry?
Yes! The pest control industry is in a period of incredible growth. Workers are in high demand and the pest control market is largely recession-proof. According to the United States Department of Labor’s Bureau of Labor Statistics, employment of pest control workers is projected to grow 10 percent from 2020 to 2030, adding nearly 13,000 jobs each year, on average, over the next decade.
The pest control services market is expected to exceed $22 billion by 2026. In order to meet high demand growth needs, new jobs continue to open up. As people leave the workforce and retire, there has never been a better time to get started in pest control.
3. What Kind of Career Advancement Opportunities Exist in the Pest Control Industry?
There is plenty of upward mobility in a career in pest control. If you have some experience and are considering moving into management, there are tons of options available, such as a branch or service manager, service supervisor, route manager and more. The on-the-job training you can receive can set you up for success.
Take a look at our Careers in Action page where you can read real-life success stories of people who started in entry-level positions and climbed the ladder to senior positions, proving that career advancement is absolutely possible! Regardless of your position, pest control is essential. The work of those in professional pest control matters!
4. Is the Pest Control Industry Considered “Recession-Proof?”
Yes! While no job is 100% unaffected by a recession, professional pest control is less likely to be affected by the economy. The pest control industry plays an essential role in the protection of public health, food and property for both residential and commercial customers. No matter what unexpected events happen, pest-related threats will continue to plague homes and businesses, which means pest control careers are virtually recession-proof. Learn more here.
5. What Do Companies Look for in a Hire?
While experience and qualifications are dependent on the position and the employer, and most technical skills can be achieved through training, overall companies are looking for candidates with great communication, a positive attitude, a professional demeanor, strong problem-solving skills, and a genuine desire to learn the pest control business. If you’re a hard worker, self-starter and problem solver, this could be the best industry for you.
You can search open positions on the job board to get a feel for what specific companies are looking for in candidates.
6. What kinds of technologies are used in professional pest control?
In addition to traditional pest control methods, technology is playing an ever-increasing role in pest management. Some of the most used technologies include electronic monitoring, drones, thermal imaging, nontoxic heat treatment and ultrasonic pest control. Modern technology has the benefit of increased safety, efficiency and accessibility. Yet, as innovative as the technology is, professional pest control operators remain in high demand to engage with customers, development management plans and inspect and treat properties.
For more answers to frequently asked questions about the pest control industry and technology, you can read about pest control technology and how it’s helping increase efficiency in the pest control industry.
7. What Do Pest Control Technicians Do?
The job of a pest control technician, also known as an exterminator, is to control or prevent pest problems in residential and commercial properties. They are the first line of defense against pest infestations, and they are also responsible for educating customers about how to reduce pest problems in their homes or business. While no day is the same, typical job duties include interacting with customers, conducting inspections, identifying pest issues and communicating them to customers, solving pest problems by implementing exclusion methods, applying product where and when necessary, and utilizing baiting and monitoring systems.
Take a look at the Career Paths page to learn more about the role of a technician and view sample job descriptions.
8. How Much Do Exterminators Make? Does it Pay Well?
The average annual salary for pest control technicians, also known as exterminators, is $37,950, and the average hourly wage is $18.24. Many companies include the opportunity for overtime, so there really is no limit to your earning potential.
In addition to competitive pay, pest control companies offer comprehensive benefits, 401k options, paid holidays and PTO, plus paid training and licensing, all equipment and often a company vehicle!
9. How Do I Become an Exterminator?
Pest control is a highly regulated industry that requires continuous training and licensing. One of the greatest benefits of entering the pest control industry is the opportunity to receive extensive on-the-job and classroom training. Experience and qualifications are dependent on each employer, but most entry-level technicians do not require previous pest control experience. Typically, a high school diploma or equivalent is the minimum qualification. You must also be able to pass and maintain any state-required licensing exams.
Visit the job board to search for technician opportunities near you.
10. Is Pest Control a Stressful Job?
Like most industries, pest control does come with occasional stress – mostly related to balancing the needs of the employee and the customers, as well as seasonal increases in work. Some of the best parts of the industry that offset stressors include great flexibility in route-scheduling, the freedom to make your own schedule and a positive work-life balance.
11. Is Being a Pest Control Technician Dangerous?
Pest control work involves physical requirements such as bending, crawling and kneeling, climbing ladders, in addition to the use of equipment and professional products for pest management. There is also occasional contact with the pests themselves so proper precautions and personal protective gear may be required. Proper job training is provided, and safety procedures are put in place to ensure that employees are protected while on the job. Applying professional pest control products requires proper training, and technicians must carefully follow the instructions exactly as printed on the label before using any product.
Like any industry, pest control does have some risks involved, but adherence to safety standards and following all company procedures can mitigate those risks.
Careers in Action: Massey Services
Interested in a career path that can quickly lead to a management position? Meet Cliff, Regional Manager for Massey Services. Cliff got started in pest control as a lawn specialist in 2011 and quickly rose through the ranks thanks to Massey's General Manager in Training program. With continuing education and on the job training, pest control provides everything you need to get started. Click to learn more about his story.
Technology is constantly changing the landscape of almost all industries, and professional pest control is no exception. New innovations in pest control continue to improve the industry and allow pest control professionals to do their jobs more accurately and efficiently. It’s also a lot of fun to operate the devices and put all those hard-earned gaming skills to good use!
Pride & Professionalism
Pest pros are everyday heroes. The work they do touches millions of lives every day. In fact, public health officials attribute the quality of life we enjoy today to three things: better sanitation, better pharmaceuticals and medicine, and better pest control. Pest control professionals are not only protecting most people’s largest investment — their property — but their health as well. Learn more about working in this great industry!