Few people like dealing with creepy, crawling pests in their homes or yards, and a growing number of consumers are turning to pest management professionals for help. That’s good news for the state’s pest-management industry according to the N.C. Pest Management Association, a nonprofit trade group based in Morrisville.
The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistic’s Occupational Handbook, 2012-2013 Edition, predicts pest control workers will see a 26 percent increase in job growth between 2010 and 2020. The growth is higher than the average for other occupations. North Carolina is a prime area for growth because of its location. The study points out that population growth in the South, where pests are more common, should result in more buildings needing some form of pest management.
Our Structural Pest Control and Pesticides Division has already seen a spike in numbers. The division certifies and inspects thousands of pest professionals across the state. In all, there are 4,843 registered technicians, 1,763 certified applicators, and 854 license holders in the state.
Last year, the number of new credentials jumped to 1,167. That’s more than double the amount of new credentials issued in 2010 (418) and 2011 (460). In addition, there was a 47 percent increase in new credentials for registered technicians between 2011 and 2012; a 76 percent increase in new certified applicators and a 54 percent increase in new license holders.
John Dalley, deputy director of the Structural Pest Control and Pesticides Division, says his office is prepared for the influx of pest professionals. “Over the pest several years, our department and division have implemented a number of operational efficiencies in our field work. Thus, we believe we can absorb the increase without additional field staff,” he said. “The main impact on us would be with an increase in registered technicians. The division provides training for these individuals on a monthly basis, which includes scheduling, collection for fees and processing of their cards.”
Registered technicians cannot solicit work on their own and have to work under a certified or licensed applicator. While technicians are not inspected, they are indirectly inspected through their supervisors. If the number of technicians continues to grow, the department may need to hire additional staff to deal with the influx. For now, though, the department is busy but capable handling the number of professionals in the state.
For more information on the Structural Pest Control and Pesticides Division, go to http://www.ncagr.gov/SPCAP/.