Growth Trends for Related Jobs
A person with a Branch 2 license in pest control holds an entry-level position with a structural pest control company in California. Structural pest control involves pest control in a contained space, such as a house, office building, boat, railroad car, automobile or airplane. and any contents of the structure. Under the state’s Structural Pest Control Act, all pest control workers must have Branch 1, 2, or 3 licenses.
A Branch 2 licensed pest control worker is also known as a field representative. The license permits him to control structural pests, such as rodents and insects, with the exception of wood-destroying pests that must be controlled with fumigation using poisonous or lethal gases. He conducts structural inspections to identify pest infestations, including the type of pest, and uses pesticides or mechanical devices, such as rodent traps, to eliminate pests and prevent future infestations. If wood-destroying pests (termites) are involved, he must call in a Branch 1 licensed pest control worker to conduct fumigation or a Branch 3 licensed worker to make structural repairs or corrections, as needed.
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, pest control workers in California earned an average salary of $35,270 in 2010, with a salary range of $20,340 to $43,930 and a median annual income of $32,360. Because Branch 2 pest control is an entry-level position, applicants for these positions can expect to be offered salaries at the lower end of the pay range.
A Branch 2 pest control worker must have a high school diploma or equivalent. A worker generally receives both classroom and on-the-job experience from her employer before taking the Branch 2 license test. The test includes sections on pest identification and biology, pesticides, business practices, contract law, and rules and regulations. In addition, she must have a good driving record and pass a criminal background check and drug test.
The demand for pest control workers is expect to increase, according to BLS. Growth is predicted to be 15 percent between 2008 and 2018. Demand is driven by continuing population growth in California. Increasing awareness of environmental and health risks associated with pests and pest control is motivating people to seek professional services rather than pursuing do-it-yourself methods. Finally, the number of people seeking jobs in pest control services is relatively small. In addition, because a Branch 2 position is an entry-level position, it serves as a stepping stone to Branch 1 and 3 positions, along with sales management and operations management services. Advancement comes with experience, continuing education in pest control provided by the employer and passing additional licensing tests.
- CA.gov: What is Structural Pest Control, 2011
- CA.gov: Become a Structural Pest Control Licensee, 2011
- U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics: State Occupational Employment & Wage Estimates California, 2010
- U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics: 37-2021 Pest Control Workers, 2010
- U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics: Pest Control Workers 2009
Diane Chinn is a freelance writer with more than 15 years experience in many areas, including business and technical communications. She has a Bachelor of Arts in psychology from California State University and a Master of Arts in human resources and industrial relations from the University of Minnesota. She is a Six Sigma Green Belt .