Experts reflect on why pest control is a great industry

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June 2, 2021

By

June 2, 2021


Photo: Scherzinger Termite & Pest Control

Eric Scherzinger joins Scherzinger Termite & Pest Control technicians for some old-school classroom training. Photo: Scherzinger Termite & Pest Control

We asked Pest Management Professional‘s columnists and editorial advisory board members why someone should consider a career in the professional pest control industry. Here are some of the experts’ responses from our June 2021 print edition — we had to cut them down for space, plus we have even more that have since come in. This was a topic these pros were very passionate about!

Please take a minute to answer our latest one-question poll on this topic and let us know why you feel pest control is a great industry: Reader poll: Pest control careers

PMP’s Editorial Advisory Board and Regular Contributors

Greg Baumann: “Pest management used to be considered just controlling pests. If someone is analytical, likes people, enjoys challenges, likes to learn new things, and is gratified when they help someone, pest management is perfect for them.”

Dennis Jenkins: “The pest control industry has had a long history of industry growth. Opportunities in our field range from administration staff to sales staff to field staff. Industry growth is a constant, as more people choose to use a professional rather than control pests on their own. And once a person has been in the field for a period of time, many choose to open their own companies. You would be hard-pressed to find another industry with more opportunity than the professional pest control industry.”

Pete Schopen: “It is recession-proof. Look at how many businesses fell on hard times during the pandemic; yet the pest control industry was as solid as ever in 2020.

Mark Sheperdigian, BCE: My short answer is, if you enjoy meeting people and you don’t like staying in one place all the time, this is the job for you. My personal short answer is, because it’s a great career! I love people and I love bugs, and this industry has them both! I couldn’t be happier. My ‘elevator speech’ — designed to be able to deliver to job prospects in the time it takes to ride an elevator — is: It’s a wonderful career! You get your own vehicle and no one is looking over your shoulder, but you’re not unsupported because we’re digitally connected. The scenery is always changing; you meet new people every day. You’ll go everywhere and see everything being made. You get to look off the tallest buildings and venture into the deepest sub-basements in the city, and you’ll go into the homes of all sorts of people. You’re paid on commission, and not limited to an hourly rate. It’s a stable job because, even during a recession, there are always pests. And no doubt about it, this job is unique.

Dr. Hamilton Allen, BCE: Three motives immediately come to mind. The first is that the industry is filled with opportunity. We have come a long way from spraying baseboards for cockroaches. Yes, pest management professionals are the face of the industry, but there are human resource, business development, technical, and public health career pathways in this industry. What began as a personal insect fascination has now grown into a full-fledged career, during which I have traveled across the United States to work with great people while solving pest issues for commercial and residential customers. Secondly, pest management is a resilient, essential, and ever-changing industry. We are emerging from a historic pandemic, and our industry was responsible for providing hundreds of thousands of jobs. Further, to help manage COVID-19, we quickly pivoted to provide sanitation/disinfection for customers worldwide. Lastly, there is job security in a growing industry. Currently, the global pest control industry is valued at $20 billion (USD), and it is projected to reach $30 billion (USD) by 2027. The last, and most important, component is the people: the people you get to work with and the individuals we get to serve. I have met hundreds of great people in my short career — and each day I get to help someone reach their goals or provide them with a level of safety. It’s been a great ride so far.”

Michael Broder: “A career in pest control gives you a stable position where each day is unique. It allows you to be creative and adaptive in developing long-term programs and relationships with customers as we protect their homes and properties against pests.”

Foster Brusca: “So many aspects of the pest control industry make it a great career for anyone. It is a profession that provides new and exciting opportunities each and every day. It is more than just killing nasty pests and getting dirty while crawling under a house; it is about protecting people, property, and our food supply. A career in pest control has many attractive benefits, like having a flexible work schedule and opportunities for career advancement. Not only does this industry provide endless opportunities for growth, but it also provides a stable income that will allow anyone to have a good quality of life for themselves, as well as for their families.”

Doug Foster: “This is a good question, one we constantly have to answer when looking for workers, promoting our industry and how we serve. Pest control provides the ultimate opportunity to serve. While it’s not for everyone, pest control has many benefits, including good wages, work that matters, recession resistance, and the ability to work without direct supervision. Although there is room for improvement, most companies, along with the National Pest Management Association, have done a great job of promoting our industry and its contribution to our overall standard of living.”

Paul Hardy: “Pest management offers anyone opportunities. What is required is hard work, an ability to continue to learn your trade, and honesty for treating customers and employees as you would your grandmother.”

Eric Scherzinger: “The endless possibilities! As a tech, supervisor or someone in the field, there is something new every day and you get to see amazing things, such as the inner workings of buildings and factories that you would never be able to see otherwise. There are so many career paths that allow you to continue to learn and grow. You can get promoted into different positions, as well. It’s satisfying work because you are truly helping people and protecting their property and health.”

Kurt Scherzinger, ACE: “A career in pest management is rewarding, as you get to protect health and property every day. The bonus is no day is the same.”

Desiree Straubinger, BCE: “In the 19 years I have been in the industry, pest control has branched out to include many other types of business. Each of these types of business offers a career path that can be catered for the individual entering the industry. This provides vast amounts of opportunity to all types of individuals to grow their careers in ways that are meaningful to them.”

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