Earnings by seniority in sector

22nd March 2011

Related Topics

Related tags

  • Skills ,
  • Training ,
  • CPD ,
  • Qualifications



The IEMA pay and benefits survey 2011 reveals the differing levels of pay of environment professionals

Almost half the survey sample (47% of respondents) are employed in business and industry, excluding consultancy, which accounted for another 30.9%. Nearly one in five (18.4%) works in the public sector, while academic or research institutions employ 3.6% of those polled.

Figure 1 shows the median total annual earnings by broad job level in both the private and public sectors and reveals, predictably, that higher earnings are associated with more senior positions across all sectors.

Figure 1: Median annual earnings by seniority in sector

The education sector, including academic research institutions, follows this trend over the researcher-to-professor progression, with median salaries between that of a middle manager and coordinator/specialist in private sector business. The figures for education earnings need to be treated with more caution than the other sectors since the samples are very small, especially for the more senior posts.

Table 1 reinforces the picture suggested by figure 1: that practitioners in the private sector, whether they are employed by consultancies or manufacturing or service businesses, have higher total earnings than their public sector counterparts. This is in line with official data; the government’s annual survey of hours and earnings found a median salary of £24,695 for all private sector workers in April 2010, while the median for the public sector was £23,680.

Table 1: Average annual earnings data by seniority in sector
Total earnings
Sector/base Senioriity Mean Median
Business and industry Overall £44,135 £39,303
38 Executive director £81,899 £77,000
200 Senior manager £57,452 £52,000
364 Middle manager £42,943 £40,000
321 Coordinator/specialist £36,402 £34,000
61 Assistant/junior position £24,740 £24,000
Consultancy Overall £37,524 £32,500
152 Director/partner/associate £53,297 £50,000
213 Senior/principle consultant £37,383 £36,000
282 Consultant/specialist £29,129 £25,600
Public sector Overall £34,540 £31,532
101 Senior/principle officer £45,550 £39,000
226 Middle-ranking officer £33,052 £31,000
66 Junior officer £24,563 £24,628
Education/academia/research Overall £34,540 £35,000
7 Professor/senior lecturer £47,714 £49,000
10 Lecturer £34,395 £35,075
9 Researcher £23,557 £30,000
29 Facilities/estates £35,100 £36,000
21 Other £34,152 £31,700

Research by pay analysts the Hay Group has found that the differential between private and public sector jobs widens at senior levels, a finding that is also reflected in our survey. For example, a senior/principal officer in the public sector can expect to earn £39,000, which is comparable to that of a middle manager in business and industry, who typically earns £40,000. This conclusion is also supported by the data in the next section, which looks at average earnings by industrial sector.

Read the full survey results:


Subscribe to IEMA's newsletters to receive timely articles, expert opinions, event announcements, and much more, directly in your inbox.

Transform articles

Career profile: Kimberley Lasi, CEnv, MIEMA

Senior consultant, EcoAct

3rd April 2024

Read more

At a School of Management careers event at Cranfield University, one of our IEMA-approved university partners, we spoke to students from a range of postgraduate courses, from supply chain to marketing and management.

28th March 2024

Read more

To make real change on sustainability, it’s time to redefine leadership models, writes Chris Seekings

1st February 2024

Read more

Caris Graham (she/her) is Diverse Sustainability Initiative officer at IEMA

1st February 2024

Read more

Lisa Pool reflects on the highlights of the past year and what they mean for the future

1st February 2024

Read more

The percentage of women working in the built environment sector rose significantly last year although people from ethnic minorities find it up to six times harder to be recruited, according to a major survey.

17th January 2024

Read more

Media enquires

Looking for an expert to speak at an event or comment on an item in the news?

Find an expert

IEMA Cookie Notice

Clicking the ‘Accept all’ button means you are accepting analytics and third-party cookies. Our website uses necessary cookies which are required in order to make our website work. In addition to these, we use analytics and third-party cookies to optimise site functionality and give you the best possible experience. To control which cookies are set, click ‘Settings’. To learn more about cookies, how we use them on our website and how to change your cookie settings please view our cookie policy.

Manage cookie settings

Our use of cookies

You can learn more detailed information in our cookie policy.

Some cookies are essential, but non-essential cookies help us to improve the experience on our site by providing insights into how the site is being used. To maintain privacy management, this relies on cookie identifiers. Resetting or deleting your browser cookies will reset these preferences.

Essential cookies

These are cookies that are required for the operation of our website. They include, for example, cookies that enable you to log into secure areas of our website.

Analytics cookies

These cookies allow us to recognise and count the number of visitors to our website and to see how visitors move around our website when they are using it. This helps us to improve the way our website works.

Advertising cookies

These cookies allow us to tailor advertising to you based on your interests. If you do not accept these cookies, you will still see adverts, but these will be more generic.

Save and close