When uninvited guests not only make their way into your home, but start chewing and eating it up during their stay, termite inspectors come to save the day. Seeking out the nearly invisible wood-gorging pests is a skilled trade, one that termite inspectors train for. It’s hard to escape the buggers, which are found throughout the country except Alaska, according to Ohio State University. The warmer parts of the United States find their termite inspectors working the hardest.
The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics considers termite inspectors as part of its pest control worker category. In its 2009 Occupational Employment and Wages study, the BLS reported the average salary for the field to be $32,100 per year, with a range of $20,260 for the lowest-paid pest control workers up through $46,290 for the highest-paid workers. The BLS also noted that the federal executive branch of the government paid about 1.5 times the regular salary for its pest control workers, with an annual wage of $50,030.
The District of Columbia topped the 2009 list of highest pest control worker salaries, with wages of $42,320 annually. Colorado placed second at $39,210. Hawaii stood third at $38,850, and Vermont was the country’s fourth-highest-paying state for pest control workers at $38,710. Wyoming rounded out the top five with salaries of $38,500 per year.
Learning how to battle back the bugs takes a couple of forms. Some termite companies hire workers with just a high school diploma or GED and perform on-the-job training. Occasionally, companies may require applicants to have some kind of post-secondary education or take short-term courses in fumigation or safety. Another option is to combine pay and education with an apprenticeship, a period of paid study alongside a more experienced termite inspector.
Facing the Future
Ohio State University’s report on termites cites the country’s spending on the pests as approximately $2 billion per year. The BLS expects demand for pest control workers to grow 15 percent between 2008 and 2018, adding 10,300 jobs countrywide.