Because of the chemicals used to eradicate termites and other pests, termite inspectors must be licensed in the state where they work. There are very few other requirements for becoming a termite inspector, however. A high school diploma or equivalent usually is sufficient to get your foot in the door, where you will learn most of the work on the job.
Land a job with a pest control company as a technician who may shadow a licensed termite inspector for at least three months. Once you’ve undergone your state’s required time on the job, take the state test to earn your own license. Alternatively, earn a certification that teaches you how to recognize termite damage and the kinds of termites that can infest a building. Take a correspondence course from an organization such as the American Home Inspectors Training Institute to prepare you for the licensing exam.
Take the Test
Register to take the applicator’s examination through the agency that regulates pesticides in your state, often the Department of Agriculture. To take the exam, bring a certificate of your formal training or a letter from your company verifying your training and time on the job. Expect to pay an exam fee, as well as fees for your license. You also may be required to pass a background check.
Once you’re licensed, work independently or through your current employer. On the job, you will inspect the premises for signs of termite infestation, then provide recommendations and repair cost estimates to customers. With sufficient training, you may be able to avoid contact with dangerous pesticides by using the proper equipment, but you remain at risk of exposure in this job. You also may train new recruits. Many termite inspectors start their own pest-control businesses, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.
You must renew your termite inspector license on a regular basis, usually every two years. To renew, you must prove that you’ve collected continuing education credits, because chemical use and pesticide regulations change regularly. Organizations such as the American Home Inspectors Training Institute maintain records of state requirements, so be sure to follow up appropriately to maintain your credentials.
2016 Salary Information for Pest Control Workers
Pest control workers earned a median annual salary of $33,040 in 2016, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. On the low end, pest control workers earned a 25th percentile salary of $26,730, meaning 75 percent earned more than this amount. The 75th percentile salary is $41,270, meaning 25 percent earn more. In 2016, 78,900 people were employed in the U.S. as pest control workers.