Pest control workers
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Overview
Pest control workers remove unwanted pests, such as roaches, rats, ants, bedbugs, mosquitoes, ticks and termites that infest buildings and surrounding areas.
Predicted employment growth
Over the next decade, jobs for pest control workers are expected to grow by 8%, and should have about 11,900 job openings a year.
Safety from automation
The likelihood of autmoation for ${title} is near the middle of all careers' likelihoods.
Workforce size
Pest control workers, with 78,900 workers, form a larger workforce than 60% of careers.
Education
Only 11% of pest control workers have a bachelor's degree or higher.
Education attained by pest control workers
High School
Some College
Bachelor's Degree
Master's Degree
Doctorate
Context: workers with bachelor's degrees
Fewer pest control workers have bachelor's degrees than 68% of other careeers.
Salaries
The median (middle) salary for 74% of all other jobs is higher than the middle salary for pest control workers. The graph shows inflation-adjusted salaries for most pest control workers.
This job's median $36KAll jobs' median $39K$33K$38K20142015201620172018$0$10K$20K$30K$40K$50K
Context: Median Salary
Gender
Women account for 4% of pest control workers -- that's a smaller percentage than 88% of other jobs.
Gender of pest control workers
Men
Women
Context: Salary inequity
For each career, we compared the median (middle) men's salary to the median women's salary. For pest control workers, the median men's salary was 18% more the median woman's salary.
Race/Origin
About 16% of pest control workers are minority, and 8% are foreign-born.
Race/origin of pest control workers
White
Black
Pacific Islander
Hispanic
Asian
American Indian
Multiracial
Other
Context: Foreign-born workers (8%)
Where are the most jobs?
We ranked the number of jobs in Pest Control Workers per thousand workers in each state, DC, and Puerto Rico. The darker the blue, the higher the job density.
AKMEVTNHWAIDMTNDMNMINYMARIORUTWYSDIAWIINOHPANJCTCANVCONEMOILKYWVVAMDDEAZNMKSARTNNCSCDCOKLAMSALGAHITXFLPR
Job benefits
Employer or union-sponsored pension plans are offered to 36% of pest control workers, and 57% have company-sponsored health insurance (17% have dependents enrolled in their employer's health plan).
Employer-provided health coverage for pest control workers
100% premiums covered
Partial premiums covered
Plan with no cost sharing
No health insurance
The downside
Some jobs are more stressful than others, and some are just plain dangerous. The following list gives the percentages of pest control workers who report hazardous or difficult situations typically occurring at least once a week.
  • Exposed to Contaminants (91%)
  • Time Pressure (76%)
  • Exposed to Minor Burns, Cuts, Bites, or Stings (55%)
  • Exposed to Hazardous Conditions (53%)
  • Consequence of Error (41%)
  • Responsible for Others' Health and Safety (35%)
  • Deal With Unpleasant or Angry People (31%)
SOURCES:24.0 O*NET
Salary and diversity
Salary overview
What do pest control workers earn?

In this section, we want to give you a clear idea of what you can expect to earn in this career. We use two sources of data here: the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), which asks employers to classify their workforce and to report salaries using the SOC-specialty level of reporting, and the American Community Survey (ACS), which asks people to classify their jobs using the broad classifications that ididio uses for career profiles, and to self-report their salaries. For some jobs, the differences in survey approaches between BLS and ACS can paint a very different end-picture. Whenever possible, we provide data from both sources.

The BLS-compiled salary data is reported by companies for their employees. This data excludes self-employed workers. We first show the distribution of salaries for pest control workers, and then we show how the middle (median) salary for pest control workers compares to the BLS-computed median salaries of other careers.
Distribution: Salaries for pest control workers (BLS Salary Data)
$36K$0$20K$40K$60K$80K$100K$120K
Context: Median salaries across careers (BLS Salary Data)
$36K$0$20K$40K$60K$80K$100K$120K
We compiled household data from the ACS to determine the salaries that people working at least 35 hours a week report themselves to earn. Unlike the BLS estimates, this data includes self-employed wages. We first show the full salary distribution for all pest control workers, and then we show how the median (middle) salary for pest control workers compares to the median ACS-reported salary of other careers.
Distribution: Salaries for pest control workers (ACS Salary Data)
$36K$0$20K$40K$60K$80K$100K$120K
Context: Median salaries across careers (ACS Salary Data)
$36K$0$20K$40K$60K$80K$100K$120K
Employers and salary
A look at employers and corresponding salaries
The donut shares the break-down of workers by employer type, and following we show the salary distributions for these workers based on those employer types. For some careers, the salaries can be vastly different between private, government, and self-employment. As with our salary overview, we view the both the BLS economists' salary profiles and the household-reported salaries from ACS to get a thorough understanding of where pest control workers work and for what salary. We have the great faith in the accuracy of economist-vetted BLS data; however, the BLS restrictions on which employers are surveyed skews the data a bit (read more in the sources), and the ACS responses provide different and useful categorizations of employers and salaries.
Employers of Pest control workers (ACS)
Private for-profit (82.0%)
Private not-for-profit (0.6%)
Local government (2.8%)
State government (0.8%)
Federal government (0.6%)
Self-employed incorporated (6.8%)
Self-employed not incorporated (6.3%)
Working without pay (0.1%)
Distribution: Salaries of pest control workers by type of employer (ACS data)
Following are the salary distributions by employer type calculated by aggregating individual household survey responses.
$36K$38K$35K$40K$32K$0$20,000$40,000$60,000$80,000$100,000Self-employed not incorporatedSelf-employed incorporatedLocal governmentPrivate for-profitAll
Distribution: Salaries of pest control workers by type of employer (BLS data)
Following are the salary distributions by employer type as reported by BLS based on large employer-focused surveys. We note that smaller employer categories are not included by BLS.
$36K$56K$38K$35K$46K$0$20,000$40,000$60,000$80,000Federal governmentState governmentLocal governmentPrivateAll
Age and career advancement
Salary growth for pest control workers

The biggest take-away from the following two charts is the relationship between salary and experience that we can infer from age. Does this job seem to attract especially younger or older workers? Does it reward experience?

Take a minute a look at how much you might expect your salary to increase with each five years' experience, as well as how the numbers working in this career changes. We only provide this data when there are enough consistent ACS survey responses to allow a reasonable margin of error, so for some careers you will see gaps in our reporting of salary by age.

$20K$34K$38K$40K$40K$41K$31K$38K$38K$0$20K$40K$60K$80KSalary distribution20-2425-2930-3435-3940-4445-4950-5455-5960-64
02K4K6K8K10KNumber employed20-2425-2930-3435-3940-4445-4950-5455-5960-64

Our only sources for career data containing age, gender, or origin/race come from the Census Bureau. To provide these breakdowns, we have aggregated ACS person-level career survey responses by career, gender, race, and age. These graphics reflect the results of our aggregations, and are useful for identifying trends. A careful statistical study of the impact of age, gender, and race on salaries would correct for other factors that could be contributing to salary differences.

Gender and Equity
Pest control workers and gender

With 4% women, this occupation has a lower percentage of women than 88% of careers.

Context: Women in the workforce
4%0%20%40%60%80%100%
Gender of Pest control workers
Men (96%)
Women (4%)
Distribution: Salaries by gender

As we'll illustrate at the bottom of this section, the median salary for all full-time male workers in the US exceeds the full-time median salary for women by 20%. The situation is a little better for pest control workers, with the median salary for men 18% higher than the median salary for women. This chart shows you the salary range for most workers by gender.

$30K$36K$0$20K$40K$60K$80KWomenMen
Context: Salary Inequity

Nationwide there are twenty careers for which men do not have a higher median (middle) salary than women. The chart below shows the salary inequity, the percentage by which the median men's salary is higher than the median women's salary, for most jobs. Pest control workers have one of the middle percentage increases for men's salary, with the increase for the men's median salary over the women's median salary in this job higher than that for 54% of other jobs.

18%0%20%40%60%80%100%

Our only sources for career data containing age, gender, or origin/race come from the Census Bureau. To provide these breakdowns, we have aggregated ACS person-level career survey responses by career, gender, race, and age. These graphics reflect the results of our aggregations, and are useful for identifying trends. A careful statistical study of the impact of age, gender, and race on salaries would correct for other factors that could be contributing to salary differences.

Race/Origin
Race and origin of pest control workers

The representation of minority and foreign-born workers is quite different between careers, and the relative pay of those workers also varies significantly between careers. There is a smaller percentage of minority pest control workers than for 65% of other careers. As with minority workers, there is also a smaller percentage of foreign-born workers in this career than in most other careers.

Race/origin of pest control workers
White (81% )
Black (10% )
Other (4% )
Multiracial (2% )
Hispanic (1% )
Asian (1% )
American Indian (0% )
Pacific Islander (0% )
Context: Representation of minorities in the workforce
16%0%20%40%60%80%100%
Context: Representation of foreign-born workers
8%0%20%40%60%80%100%
Distribution: Salaries for pest control workers by race/origin

For some careers, there is a pay disparity depending on race or origin, though this is not prevalent. We calculate standard errors for all of our calculations, and when the error is high we do not show results. Therefore, for some jobs will have omitted race/origin categories.

$31K$32K$32K$34K$36K$0$20K$40K$60K$80KMultiracialOtherBlackHispanicWhite
Distribution: Salaries for pest control workers by nativity
$31K$36K$0$20K$40K$60K$80KAll foreign-bornAll native citizens

Our only sources for career data containing age, gender, or origin/race come from the Census Bureau. To provide these breakdowns, we have aggregated ACS person-level career survey responses by career, gender, race, and age. These graphics reflect the results of our aggregations, and are useful for identifying trends. A careful statistical study of the impact of age, gender, and race on salaries would correct for other factors that could be contributing to salary differences.

Pathways to this career
Education requirements and salary
Education attained by pest control workers

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), pest control workers typically hold a high school diploma or equivalent.

Sometimes the typical education identified by the BLS differs a bit from the reality of the how much education current workers actually have. The donut shows the education level held by people currently working as pest control workers as reported in responses to the American Community Survey. Following, we investigate whether education level influences salary for pest control workers.

Education attained by pest control workers
None
High School
Some College
Associate's Degree
Bachelor's Degree
Master's Degree
Professional Deg/Doct
Doctorate
Details: Education and training recommended for pest control workers

A high school diploma or equivalent is typically the minimum qualification for most pest control jobs.

Details: Licensing and certification recommended for pest control workers

Most states require pest control workers to be licensed. Licensure requirements vary by state, but workers usually must complete training and pass an exam. Some states have additional requirements, such as having a high school diploma or equivalent, completing an apprenticeship, and passing a background check. States may have additional requirements for applicators.

Distribution: Salary by education level

What level of education is truly needed for pest control workers? Below we see the distribution of pest control workers salaries based on the education attained. These comparisons are based on all survey responses by those who identified themselves as pest control workers, and are not intended as a statistical analysis of salary differences that would correct for non-educational factors that could contribute to high or low earnings.

$31K$34K$36K$37K$40K$42K$0$20K$40K$60K$80KNone (8%)High School (44%)Some College (29%)Associate's Degree (8%)Bachelor's Degree (10%)Master's Degree (1%)
Switching Careers
Most common new jobs
The most common next careers for pest control workers

What jobs will most pest control workers hold next year?

The data in this chart comes from person interviews for the Census Bureau's Current Population Survey. The survey interviews households eight times over a two-year period, allowing us a glimpse into how people move from job to job. You can see more details from the results of the survey in our last tab in this section, and you can read about our methodology in our source descriptions.

Here we see all of the jobs that at least 1% of pest control workers reported holding in their second year's survey. Is your future job on this list?

Pest control workersFirst-line supervisors of housekeeping and janitorial workersGrounds maintenance workersManagers (specialized areas)Retail salespersonsRoofersConstruction laborersHuman resources workersAssemblers and fabricators (specialized areas)Industrial truck and tractor operatorsForest and conservation workers
Lateral career moves
Lateral job transitions for pest control workers

A lateral career transition is a move to a job with similar pay and responsibilities. A move to such a job can offer a change of pace without an increase in stress or a decrease in pay. The following table simply identifies all 3 jobs which were held by at least 1% of survey respondents before working as pest control workers as well as 1% of respondents after working as pest control workers. Select a row to investigate the job's full description and determine if it truly offers an opportunity for a lateral transition.

Lateral-move careers for pest control workers
Annual openings
How many openings are expected each year?
Salary
Salary distribution for people in this occupation. Range is 0-$200,000.
Median
Middle 50%
Middle 80%
Education
High School
Some College
Bachelor's Degree
Master's Degree
Doctorate
Gender
Men
Women
Retail salespersons
676,200
$0$200K$31K
Managers (specialized areas)
84,000
$0$200K$72K
First-line supervisors of housekeeping and janitorial workers
32,300
$0$200K$36K
Full prior and next career listings
Prior and next careers for pest control workers: full listings

What do people typically do before and after they work as pest control workers? Here are the full lists of all jobs that at least 1% of pest control workers surveyed reported as holding a year earlier or later.

Choose which type of transition to view
Prior jobs
Next jobs
Prior careers for pest control workers
Annual openings
How many openings are expected each year?
Salary
Salary distribution for people in this occupation. Range is 0-$200,000.
Median
Middle 50%
Middle 80%
Education
High School
Some College
Bachelor's Degree
Master's Degree
Doctorate
Gender
Men
Women
Percentage Transitioning
What percentage worked in this job the previous year?
Retail salespersons
676,200
$0$200K$31K
1.1%
Hand laborers and freight, stock, and material movers
389,900
$0$200K$28K
1.3%
Driver/sales workers and truck drivers
376,900
$0$200K$41K
1.5%
Janitors and building cleaners
350,300
$0$200K$27K
1.8%
First-line supervisors of retail sales workers
171,800
$0$200K$39K
1.3%
Food preparation workers
158,000
$0$200K$19K
1.2%
Service sales representatives
131,900
$0$200K$57K
1.6%
Agricultural workers (specialized areas)
129,300
$0$200K$21K
1.0%
Managers (specialized areas)
84,000
$0$200K$72K
2.5%
First-line supervisors of housekeeping and janitorial workers
32,300
$0$200K$36K
4.5%
Chief executives and legislators
24,000
$0$200K$96K
1.0%
Pest control workers
11,900
$0$200K$36K
54.8%
Transportation, storage, and distribution managers
9,700
$0$200K$53K
1.0%
No occupation
8.8%
Read about pest control workers
Responsibilities and activities
Responsibilities and activities

Pest control workers typically do the following:

  • Inspect buildings and premises for signs of pests or infestation
  • Determine the type of treatment needed to eliminate pests
  • Measure the dimensions of the area needing treatment
  • Estimate the cost of their services
  • Use baits and set traps to remove, control, or eliminate pests
  • Apply pesticides in and around buildings and other structures
  • Design and carry out pest management plans
  • Drive trucks equipped with power spraying equipment
  • Create barriers to prevent pests from entering a building

Unwanted pests that infest buildings and surrounding areas can pose serious risks to the health and safety of occupants. Pest control workers control, manage, and remove these creatures from homes, apartments, offices, and other structures to protect people and to maintain the structural integrity of buildings.

To design and carry out integrated pest management plans, pest control workers must know the identity and biology of a wide range of pests. They must also know the best ways to control and remove the pests.

Although roaches, rats, ants, bedbugs, ticks, and termites are the most common pests, some pest control workers also remove birds, squirrels, and other wildlife from homes and buildings.

Pest control workers’ position titles and job duties often vary by state.

The following are examples of types of pest control workers:

Pest control technicians identify potential and actual pest problems, conduct inspections, and design control strategies. They work directly with customers and, as entry-level workers, use only a limited range of pesticides.

Applicators use a wide range of pesticides and may specialize in a particular area of pest control:

  • Termite control technicians may use chemicals or baiting techniques and modify structures to eliminate termites and prevent future infestations. Some also repair structural damage caused by termites and build barriers to separate pests from their food source.
  • Fumigators use gases, called fumigants, to treat specific kinds of pests or large-scale infestations. Fumigators seal infested buildings before using hoses to fill the structure with fumigants. They post warning signs to keep people from going into fumigated buildings and monitor buildings closely to detect and stop leaks.
Personality and skills
Personality and skills

Can you see yourself in the ranks of pest control workers? Here are the skills and traits that could lead to success.

Bookkeeping skills
Pest control workers must keep accurate records of the hours they work, chemicals they use, and payments they collect. Self-employed workers, in particular, need these skills in order to run their business.
Customer-service skills
Pest control workers should be friendly and polite when they interact with customers at their homes or businesses.
Detail oriented
Because pest control workers apply pesticides, they need to be able to follow instructions carefully in order to prevent harm to residents, pets, the environment, and themselves.
Physical stamina
Pest control workers may spend hours on their feet, often crouching, kneeling, and crawling. They also must be able to withstand uncomfortable conditions, such as heat when they climb into attics in the summertime and cold when they enter crawl spaces during winter.
Trends in employment
Salary trends
Distribution and trends: Salaries for pest control workers
Choose actual dollars or inflation-adjusted dollars to view
Adjusted for inflation
Historic dollars

In 2018, the median (middle) for 74% of all other jobs were higher than the median (middle) salary for pest control workers. This graphic shows how the salary distribution (adjusted for inflation) has changed for this job over recent years. The gray line, as a comparison, shows the median salary of all US workers.

This job's median $36KAll jobs' median $39K$35K$38K200420052006200720082009201020112012201320142015201620172018$0$10K$20K$30K$40K$50K
Projected versus actual employment
Exploring actual employment trends versus projected trends

Currently, jobs for pest control workers are anticipated to grow by 8% over the next decade, which is faster growth than is predicted for 49% of other jobs.

The projected employment for pest control workers is the best guess created by talented economists and statisticians at the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS). However, as you look through several careers you'll notice that the projections are heavily influenced by past performance and may miss current trends. No one can tell the future, and as new information and better techniques are developed, actual counts and future projections may change. Here's a glimpse at the actual counts versus the projections over time.

2000201020202030020,00040,00060,00080,000100,000
Employment counts
Actual measured employment
BLS 10-year predictions
Variation by state
Employment
State-by-state employment numbers

Some careers tend to be centered in specific parts of the country. For example, most jobs in fashion are in New York or California. Let's see if your dream job is easy to find in your dream location! We have a few choices for viewing the data that can help you get a full employment picture.

Job density versus job count

Which states hire the most pest control workers? We wonder if that's a fair question since states come in all sizes, so instead let's start with the question of which states have the highest density of people working as pest control workers. You can choose to view the number of jobs per state if you prefer.

BLS vs ACS data

This map defaults to employment information from the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), which provides job totals carefully compiled for accuracy and with a primary focus on how employers describe their workers. The BLS job totals do not count self-employed workers. We've also compiled totals using the Census Bureau's American Community Survey (ACS) which are based on how workers describe themselves. Sometimes ACS results are quite a bit different from the employer-based BLS data.

Choose the metric to review
Jobs per 1000 working
Number of jobs
Use this data source
BLS
Number of Pest Control Workers per 1,000 workers (BLS)
Select a state to see local area details
AKMEVTNHWAIDMTNDMNMINYMARIORUTWYSDIAWIINOHPANJCTCANVCONEMOILKYWVVAMDDEAZNMKSARTNNCSCDCOKLAMSALGAHITXFLPR
0.00.51.01.5
Salary
Salaries by state
Let's get a feel for where pest control workers earn the highest salaries. There are several choices for which data we consider and how we view that data, and each can lead to different conclusions, so please read on...
Median salary versus state ratio

We use two methods to compare salaries across states:

  • In-state comparisons: the ratio of median (middle) salaries for pest control workers compared to the median salary for all people working in each state, or
  • Median salary: the unaltered median salaries for pest control workers.

We hope the ratio allows perspective about how salaries may compare to the regional cost-of-living.

BLS vs ACS data

We have two sources for statewide salary information with important distinctions. The BLS data is created by surveying companies, missing individuals who are self-employed or work for smaller companies. The ACS data is compiled from multi-faceted household surveys and may reflect the inconsistencies that people may have in reporting information.

Choose the metric to review
In-state comparisions
Median salary
Use this data source
BLS
Median salary ratio: Pest Control Workers to all workers (BLS)
The darkest shading corresponds to states in which pest control workers earn the highest salary when compared to other jobs in the state. We think this ratio might be a better indicator than the actual salary for your buying power as a state resident.
Select a state to see local area details
AKMEVTNHWAIDMTNDMNMINYMARIORUTWYSDIAWIINOHPANJCTCANVCONEMOILKYWVVAMDDEAZNMKSARTNNCSCDCOKLAMSALGAHITXFLPR
0.00.20.40.60.81.01.2
Compare to similar jobs

If this job interests you, then use the dots below to find other jobs you might like. The dots closer to the top represent jobs that are like Pest control workers (shown with a blue star). Look for the dots to the right to find the best salaries! (We pulled salary data from BLS, and they give a top salary value of just over $200K to protect privacy, so our graph would go much higher if the salaries were not top coded.)

How should the career similarity be computed

There are a number of ways to measure the similarity of jobs, here are a few we provide:

  • Interests: Also known as a Holland Code - Are you a thinker? A helper? What fits your personality?
  • Environment: Are there hazards? Will you be comfortable? Will it be stressful?
  • Knowledge: What do you need to know the most about?
  • Physical Abilities: Do you need to especially strong or coordinated?
Choose the similarity measure to compare careers
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