Your kid is 421 times more likely to be a PMP, study finds


November 30, 2017

A New York Times study finds that certain professions are more likely to trend in families — that is, what the mother or father does for a living is replicated by the son or daughter. Specifically to our industry, the study reports that pest control workers have parents who are pest control workers at a rate 421 times the rest of the population. This is higher than most of the occupations surveyed, the newspaper says.

Generally speaking, the Times reports, “working sons of working fathers are, on average, 2.7 times as likely as the rest of the population to have the same job but only two times as likely to have the same job as their working mothers … Daughters are 1.8 times as likely to have the same job as their mothers, and 1.7 times as likely to have the same job as their fathers.” Different occupations had different rates; as one might assume. For example, politics and acting were “dynastic” at a high rate, while fewer kids followed their parents into clerical work. Even the pest control rate should surprise few PMP readers — not having a relative in some aspect of the business seems to be an exception, not the rule.

The estimates were taken from General Social Survey data between 1994 and 2016. The study did admit one flaw: Parents were only asked what their current job was, so if they spent their career in steel work, the newspaper offers as an example, but are currently Wal-Mart greeters, the greeter job is what was reported. Still, the study underscores how important a parent’s livelihood is on a child’s life, going way beyond financial security.

“Children often pursue their parents’ jobs because of the breakfast-table effect: Family conversations influence them. They fuel interests or teach children what less commonly understood careers entail,” the article states. “In interviews, people who followed their parents’ career paths described it as speaking the same language.”


About the Author

Heather Gooch

Heather Gooch is the editor-in-chief for PMP magazine. She can be reached at or 330-321-9754.

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