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Jobs Outlook: Pest Control Workers




Job prospects should be favorable for qualified applicants because the nature of pest control work is not universally appealing and turnover in this occupation is relatively high. Thus, in addition to job openings arising from employment growth, opportunities will result from the need to replace workers who leave the occupation. Employment growth of pest control workers is expected to be faster than the average for all occupations through 2014. One factor limiting growth in this occupation, however, is the lack of sufficient numbers of workers willing to go into this field.

Demand for pest control workers is projected to increase for a number of reasons. Growth in the population will generate new residential and commercial buildings that will require inspections by pest control workers. Also, more people are expected to use pest control services as environmental and health concerns, greater numbers of dual-income households, and improvements in the standard of living convince more people to hire professionals rather than attempt pest control work themselves. In addition, tougher regulations limiting pesticide use will demand more complex integrated pest management strategies.

Concerns about the effects of pesticide use in schools have increasingly prompted more school districts to investigate alternative means of pest control, such as integrated pest management. Furthermore, use of some newer materials for insulation around foundations has made many homes more susceptible to pest infestation. Finally, continuing population shifts to the more pest-prone sunbelt States should increase the number of households in need of pest control.