Earnings by industrial sector

25th March 2013

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Learn how environment professionals' rate of pay differs in different sectors with the results of the IEMA practitioners' survey 2013

Nearly half (49.5%) of the 1,701 IEMA members taking part in the 2013 practitioners’ survey and whose responses have been included in the salary analysis are based in business and industry. This compares with 28.9% in the consultancy sector, 15% in public services, 3.9% in academia, education or research, and just 2.7% in the third sector.

When the annual earnings for environment professionals based in these five broad sectors are analysed, the highest are found in business and industry. Annual median pay for practitioners working in business and industry is £40,000, compared with £34,000 for consultancy and £32,400 for the public sector.

Figure 2 shows the median total annual earnings, including bonuses and other extra-salary payments, for environment professionals in a selection of industrial sectors. It reveals that sectors with some of the biggest environmental challenges do not necessarily pay environment professionals the largest salaries.

The obvious exception is the mining and quarrying sector, which includes oil and gas extraction. At £62,000, IEMA members in this sector command by far the highest median earnings (table 1).

The next highest earnings were recorded for environment professionals working in management consultancy firms, who typically earned £48,000 a year. This is much higher than the £31,000 annual pay for practitioners working for wholly environment-focused consultancies.

Other sectors that present significant challenges for environment professionals but do not offer earnings in line with the mining and quarrying sector include water supply, sewerage and waste management (£35,500). The lowest-paid practitioners are in the public (£32,400) and charitable (£30,000) sectors.

A comparison with the UK government’s 2012 ASHE – annual survey of hours and earnings – shows that environment professionals enjoy significantly more generous incomes than employees working in these sectors generally.

For example, the median annual pay for manufacturing is £26,898 compared with £39,250 for an IEMA member based in this sector. Similarly, median annual earnings for employees working in construction are £28,398, according to the ASHE, compared with £41,500 for environment professionals in construction or civil engineering.

Read the full 2013 practitioner survey results:


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