The Margin: Looking for a killer job? New York City is seeking to hire a ‘rat czar.’


If you really hate rats, New York City may have the perfect career opportunity.

The city is looking for a director of rodent mitigation — in short, a “rat czar.” It’s a position that will require “the drive, determination and killer instinct needed to fight the real enemy — New York City’s relentless rat population,” according to the job posting

The job, which is being advertised with a salary range of $120,000 to $170,000, comes with a long list of tasks to address, from designing a “robust and meaningful strategy on rat mitigation” to being “the face of the city’s” efforts.

As the job posting says, “New York City’s rats are legendary for their survival skills, but they don’t run this city — we do.”

New York’s pest problem has become a bigger issue in recent months. Some say the sudden surge in construction as the city recovers from the pandemic is a major cause, since all that moving of dirt effectively brings the rats out into the open. 

“You’re disrupting their homes,” said Timothy Wong, a New York City pest-management executive, in an interview with the Pest Control Technology website

Another oft-cited factor: The city’s pandemic-era outdoor-dining program, which has allowed restaurants to build sheds and other structures to accommodate patrons who would prefer not to eat indoors. Some say the outdoor facilities naturally attract rats. 

The city has passed recent legislation to fight its rat problem, including a bill that deals with construction sites. 

“Rat-free streets are vital to vibrant neighborhoods and our city’s economic recovery,” said New York City Mayor Eric Adams, in a statement. 

If you want the “rat czar” job, just keep in mind that you’ll have to meet several qualifications, including being a resident of New York City and having demonstrated “experience in policy, urban planning, project management, operations, or government,” according to the posting.

Oh, and a few more things the city requires of applicants for the position: “swashbuckling attitude, crafty humor and general aura of badassery.”

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