Earnings by industrial sector

17th March 2014

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Paul Eckett

Learn how environment professionals' rate of pay differs in different sectors with the results of the IEMA practitioners' survey 2014

Figure 1 shows the median total annual earnings for environment professionals in each broad industrial sector. IEMA members working in business and industry earn significantly more than colleagues in other sectors – £43,025 in 2013 compared with the next highest earners in education, academia or research, who take home a median annual salary of £38,000.

Table 1 provides a more detailed breakdown of the mean and median total annual earnings for practitioners based in a selection of industrial subsectors. As expected, IEMA members based in the private sector dominate the league of top earners.

As was the case in previous years, practitioners working in mining and quarrying, which includes oil and gas extraction, enjoyed the highest annual salary in 2013, at £57,000. The next highest earnings were recorded for environment professionals working in the electricity, gas, steam and air conditioning supply sector (£52,000), followed by those in transportation and storage (£46,250).

The 2014 survey results also reveal that, as in 2013, practitioners working for county councils tend to earn the lowest incomes, at £30,689, followed closely by those employed by borough and district councils (£31,000) – not surprising given that the public sector has experienced a two-year government-imposed pay freeze.

Where meaningful comparison is possible, environment professionals taking part in the IEMA survey earn significantly more than employees working in their respective sectors generally. For example, the UK government’s ASHE – annual survey of hours and earnings – reveals that median annual pay for employees in mining and quarrying is £39,523. Similarly, employees working in manufacturing typically earn £27,433, according to the ASHE.

The only sector that generally does not always offer significantly greater incomes for environment professionals is public administration and defence. The ASHE shows that median annual pay for all employees is pegged at £30,387 in this section of the economy.

Read the full survey results:


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