Earnings by industrial sector

22nd March 2011

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How does your sector pay? Learn how environment professionals' rate of pay differ in different sectors with the results of the IEMA pay and benefits survey 2011

Figure 2 shows the median total annual earnings, including bonuses and other extra-salary payments, for environmental professionals in each industrial sector.

It reveals that practitioners working in the extractive industries and banking and financial services have the highest earnings, with a margin of at least £8,050 over the next highest industry – transport, storage and communications.

Table 2 shows the average earnings for the sectors included in figure 2 and reveals that six of the top seven earning groups are in the private sector, and four of the bottom seven are either in the public sector or a charitable organisation.

This suggests that even before the coalition government’s first Budget last June and the outcome of its Comprehensive Spending Review in November, which have ushered in years of austerity in the public sector – including a two-year wage freeze for public servants earning more than £21,000 – earnings are lower, on average, for environmental practitioners working in public sector organisations.

Table 2: Average annual earnings by industrial sector
Base Industrial sector Sector Mean Median
41 Mining and extractive industries (including oil and gas) Private £63,222 £54,500
24 Banking, finance, insurance services Private £59,188 £50,050
67 Transport, storage and communication (including telecommunications) Private £45,054 £42,000
300 Manufacturing - all types Private £43,190 £39,000
90 Water, gas and electricity supply Private £42,919 £38,500
260 Construction Private £42,987 £37,625
58 Education Public £36,199 £36,000
36 Quango/non-departmental public body Public £36,535 £35,979
33 Military Public £37,608 £35,600
162 Consultancy - other Private £39,360 £34,125
35 Central government Public £45,979 £34,000
355 Consultancy - environmental Private £36,641 £31,750
60 Environmental regulator Public £33,742 £31,516
147 Local government (including planning) Public £32,363 £30,000
50 Charitable organisation Charity £29,062 £29,900

Average earnings in the different IEMA regions are illustrated in table 3.

There is little variation, particularly when using the median average, with earnings ranging between £32,825 in west Scotland to £38,000 in the southeast of England – just under a 14% differential.

The mean salaries show a much bigger variation – around 29% – but this simply reflects a larger number of either low or higher earners in a particular region. The mean average for north Scotland, for example, is significantly higher than for other regions, even in Scotland. But this is because of the presence of a few particularly high earners in the area, which raises the average.

Also, the findings for some regions should be treated with caution because of the relatively low number of respondents completing the questionnaire.

Table 3: Total annual earnings by region
Region Base Proportion Mean Median
Scotland North 54 2.6% £47,695 £35,600
Scotland Central 127 6.0% £36,842 £35,000
Scotland West 44 2.1% £33,048 £32,825
North West 239 11.4% £38,355 £35,000
North East 75 3.6% £36,017 £35,000
Yorkshire and Humber 175 8.3% £36,292 £34,000
Midlands 310 14.8% £40,492 £36,000
East England 151 7.2% £38,867 £36,000
South East 561 26.7% £43,431 £38,000
South West 247 11.8% £40,403 £34,616
Wales 93 4.4% £36,583 £32,840
Northern Ireland 24 1.1% £38,640 £35,000

(NB: To ensure the comparison of median salaries calculated for industry sectors is based on a reasonable number of responses, sectors which accounted for less than 1% of the survey sample were excluded. The sector with the lowest number of responses is financial services with 24. The groups included in figure 2 account for 82% of the salary sample.)

Read the full survey results:


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