One of the least satisfying aspects of working in pest management is on-the-job stress. Less than half (46 percent) of employees were satisfied with the amount of stress they experienced working in the industry, found the 2019 PCT/NPMA Workplace Survey.

Seasonal work stress makes it hard to achieve a work-life balance, admitted Sara Cromwell, human resources manager, Abell Pest Control. “Balancing the needs of the employees and the customer can be difficult. Companies need to be mindful of that and what they’re asking of their employees,” she said.

On employer-review websites Glassdoor and Indeed, the pressure to complete heavily scheduled routes is a common complaint. It’s something Rachel Alexander Mendes experienced at her previous workplace. “Now I know I’ve got enough time to do the job right the first time,” said the senior pest management specialist who currently works at Advantage Pest Control in Toronto. “I have job satisfaction knowing that I’m given the appropriate tools and time to do my job the way it needs to be done,” she added.

Even if the pay is less, the slower pace of winter work is a welcome relief for Alec Rogers, a pest control technician at Neff Exterminating in Taylor, Ariz., because he can spend more time with his family. “My wife and I, we actually kind of enjoy it after the rat race of the summer,” he said.

Some companies schedule routes for their service personnel; others like Terminix Service leave that task up to employees. “They take the lead in making their own schedules; there’s flexibility in the day, which I think a lot of our people really enjoy; the flexibility and independence,” said the firm’s Rion Cobb.

Rogers definitely enjoys being a “free agent” not tied to the office and taking on different types of pest control jobs. “It’s kind of different every day,” he said of the experience.

On average, pest management employees worked 46.4 hours in a typical week, and 56 percent were satisfied with the amount of work that was required or expected in their jobs, found the survey.

Still, if given a chance, nearly a third (31 percent) of employees would rather work more hours and receive more income.