Pests: Exterminators are in high demand

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Bugging out

Do you like to make things clean, don’t mind bugs or creepy crawlies and are looking for a career change? If so, you might want to consider joining the booming pest control industry in America.

Data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics reveals that, since the end of 2019, total employment for extermination and pest control services has risen more than 18%. That’s ~6x the growth of the wider economy, where US employment has ticked up just under 3%. That means there are now 152,000 “exterminators” across the nation.

Those jobs are likely to be fairly recession-resistant as well — the rationale being that pest control is likely one of the last areas people would consider skimping on. Longer term trends look favorable too. When evening temperatures go over 60-70 degrees, pests thrive. That’s why global warming, as well as net migration towards warmer southern states like Texas and Florida, will likely keep exterminators in business for a long time to come — and increasingly “pest-conscious” consumers won’t hurt either.

Rat czar

One high-profile star of the field is New York City's first "rat czar" — Kathleen Corradi. A former elementary school teacher, Corradi is the city's leading force against the rodent population, a tough position sweetened by a $155k salary to take on the ~2 million rats in the city.

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