Home Cleaning, Pest Control and Fire

Cleaning, Pest Control and Fire


This sector of the Property Service industry covers general cleaning in residential and commercial sites, including specialist carpet cleaning, pest management services in urban and rural environments and fire protection services.

Employer profile for the industry

In June 2016, there were 33,000 businesses operating in the sector, although around 20,000 of these were one person operations.

27,000 of these businesses are in the cleaning sector (10,000 employers), 2,800 are in pest management (1300 employers), and 3,300 are in fire protection (1,800 employers).

16,000 of these businesses employ less than 20 people. 800 businesses employ 20 to 199 people and 60 businesses employ more than 200 people. The vast majority of larger employers are in the cleaning sector (85%).

Source: ABS, Counts of Australian Businesses, Jun 2012 to Jun 2016

Typical features of the workforce

190,000 people work in the sector. The Department of Jobs and Small Business projects that the total number of people working in the sector will rise by about 6% to 202,000 by November 2020.

Source: Department of Jobs and Small Business, Industry Projections - Five Years to November 2020.

  • Over half the employees in this industry work part-time (56%)
  • The workforce is older than the national average, with the main age group being 45-49 years
  • Occupational growth is polarised, with very strong growth predicted in the Pest Control sector, but a decline is predicted in the Cleaning sector
  • Approximately 62% of the workforce do not have formal qualifications
  • Priority skills for this industry include language, literacy, numeracy, and customer service

Source: Artibus Innovation

Emerging sectors, future growth

In the cleaning sector, the main change has been the development of more environmentally friendly products. Technological change has not had a big impact. Cleaning continues to be very labour-intensive and is predicted to remain so in the future.

The pest control sector has experienced a general tightening of standards over the past five years and operators must now successfully undertake nationally accredited training. The future of this sector is likely to focus on prevention, and a greater awareness of the environmental impact of using chemicals. Global and local factors will be important, including: global warming; longer pest seasons; increased survival of pests over winter; growing urbanisation; dense availability of waste; central heating; human population increases; and increased global travel.

Source: Artibus Innovation

The fire protection sector has seen significant research and development of new security and fire systems, particularly of more sophisticated systems, including the new biometric areas which involve fingerprint, iris and facial recognition access and control systems. Regulation of the sector is increasing, with many compliance standards for products and installation, and registration requirements for specific installation procedures.

Source: Artibus Innovation

Licensed occupations and registrations

Fire protection includes installing, inspecting and maintaining fire protection equipment and fire safety systems. Fire protection technicians require an Extinguishing Agent Handling Licence and a Halon Special Permit. These are administered by Fire Protection Association Australia.

Pest controllers are licensed by state and territory governments. The Australian Pest Control Association website contains a summary of pest control licensing with relevant links here.

The use of pesticide chemicals is regulated by the Australian Pesticides and Veterinary Medicine Authority

Key Occupations


Pest Management Technician

Fire Protection Installer

This industry is positioned in the following groups


Property Maintenance & Management

Work Type

Practical & Manual

Analytic & Scientific

Helping & Advising

Organising & Clerical

Ready to see where Cleaning, Pest Control and Fire can take you?

Career Pathways

Cleaning, Pest Control and Fire has career pathways from Certificate II through to Diploma. Look at the Property Services Job Pathway Chart to see what is of interest.

Job Pathway Charts

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Support Services

Further Research Links


Industry information is published by peak level associations, government and major employers.  Accessing industry association sites, including member lists, is a good way of building up an understanding of an industry.  Visiting employer websites and looking for careers or employment menus helps identify how employers recruit and the skills they are recruiting.

Use Google to search for the associations and organisations listed below.


  • Australian Environmental Pest Managers Association
  • Facility Management Association of Australia
  • Fire Protection Association of Australia

Careers Sites