Earnings by IEMA membership level

17th March 2014


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The IEMA practitioners' survey 2014 reveals how environment professionals' level of IEMA membership impacts on their rate of pay

Total annual earnings, including salary, bonus, overtime and commission payments, for survey respondents vary between IEMA membership levels. Total median annual earnings range from £25,000 for an IEMA Graduate – someone who has graduated from higher education in the past two years – to £66,100 for a Fellow, the highest level of professional recognition offered by the Institute.

Table 2 provides a breakdown of total earnings encompassing members’ salary and bonuses – all non-salary pay is grouped as “bonus”. It reveals that an environment professional’s median salary level rises in symmetry with ascending levels of IEMA membership, although the increases at each level are not equal.

There are three IEMA membership levels between Graduate and Fellow – Affiliate, Associate and Full, and annual salaries rise with each ascending membership level. Affiliate members can expect to earn an annual median salary of £35,000, compared with £37,700 for an Associate and £45,000 for a Full member. These rises in income are commensurate with the level of experience and knowledge expected of environment professionals who have achieved the different membership designations.

An IEMA member’s environmental career starts with Affiliate membership – anyone is eligible for Affiliate IEMA membership and there are no entry exam or experience requirements. Associate membership is one step up and is widely recognised as the minimum professional achievement for anyone working in an environment role with responsibility for environment issues. However, at £2,700, the typical median annual pay differential between an Affiliate and Associate member is not large, in contrast to the £7,300 of additional income that a Full member can expect.

The relatively high earnings enjoyed by practitioners who have secured Fellow status signifies that the individual has demonstrated substantial achievement in the field of environment management and assessment. The application for Fellow membership is rigorous and entails a written submission, as well as an assessment undertaken by two membership assessors, so it is understandable that those practitioners who have been judged worthy to use the suffix FIEMA should command the highest salaries in the labour market.

As table 2 shows, annual bonus payments also rise with seniority of membership, ranging from a median bonus payment of £1,000 for a Graduate to £5,000 for a Fellow. For Associate members, who comprise by far the largest proportion of IEMA members, the median bonus payment for 2013 was pegged at the halfway point of this range, at £3,000.

The median total earnings reported for each membership level this year are all higher than those recorded in the 2013 survey, although the scale of the change differs between status. For example, total earnings for Affiliate members are now just 0.6% higher than in last year’s poll, while Fellows and AIEMA do slightly better, reporting earnings that are 1.5% and 4.7% higher respectively than in 2013.

Read the full survey results:

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