2012 survey sample

12th March 2012


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Details of the environment professionals polled for IEMA's 2012 practitioners' survey

The survey was conducted using an online questionnaire between 21 December 2011 and 9 January 2012. Invitations to complete the survey were emailed to 12,101 current members. Student members and those whose records are located outside the UK were excluded from the invitation as this research aims to analyse the situation in the UK rather than the international profession.

Respondents to the survey were asked to provide details of their 2011 salaries plus any extra earnings such as bonuses, overtime and commission payments. These have been combined in most analyses to provide a comparison of total annual income from employment.

Where possible, the tables show both the mean (average) and median figures for the earnings data. Where space only allows one figure, the median (the midpoint in the range of figures) is highlighted as it is the preferred measure used by pay statisticians because it reduces the influence of a few very high or very low figures, which can distort the mean average.

There were 2,324 individual responses, a 19.2% response rate. For the salary analysis, those who were unemployed or retired were removed from the sample, along with those who had not provided data on their earnings or who were not based in the UK. The remaining sample size for salary analysis after this filtering was 2,037, or 16.8% of those IEMA members eligible to participate.

Table 1 (below) provides a breakdown of the survey sample by sector and seniority in job role. The employment status – whether employed or self-employed – of IEMA members taking part in the survey indicates a notable change in the proportion of those who are self-employed, from 5.6% in last year’s survey to 7.9%. While this change is only one of 2.3%, it represents a 41% rise in the proportion of respondents reporting themselves as self-employed.

Since 2005, our data have shown a steady decline in the proportion of self-employed members and so this year’s finding marks a sharp reversal of this trend, and is a reflection of a wider trend in the UK labour market. Figures released by the Office for National Statistics in December 2011 showed that the number of self-employed people increased by 166,000 in the previous quarter to reach 4.14 million. This is the highest number of self-employed people since comparable records began in 1992.

Measured against the whole of IEMA’s UK membership, the survey respondents are a reasonable representation of the profession. The sample has a lower representation of Affiliate members – 14.4% of the sample compared with 22.8% of IEMA’s UK membership – and a higher proportion of Full members (12.6% compared with 6.3%). Associate members are also slightly overrepresented in our survey – 68.7% compared with 62.7% of the UK membership.

Respondents were asked to indicate their primary area of work. The five most common areas are identical to those reported in last year’s survey:

In terms of the industrial subsectors in which respondents work, those based in environment consultancies were the largest group, making up 17% of the sample. Based on the 2,037 responses, practitioners employed in manufacturing companies formed the next largest group, at 15.7%, followed by those working for public sector organisations (15.1%), in construction (12.5%) and for non-environment consultancies (7.9%).

Asked about additional professional accreditation, 11.9% report being Chartered environmentalists (seven in 10 of these members registered through IEMA) and 10.1% said they were auditors.


Read the full survey results:

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