The 2014 IEMA survey: the details

17th March 2014

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Gemma Cosby

More information on the environment professionals polled in IEMA's 2014 practitioners' survey

The 2014 practitioners’ survey was conducted via an online questionnaire between 16 December 2013 and 13 January 2014. Student members were excluded from the invitation to participate because the research aims to analyse the pay and conditions of members who are working, rather than those still studying.

Respondents to the survey were asked to provide details of their 2013 salaries plus any extra earnings, such as bonuses, overtime and commission payments. These have been combined in most analyses to provide a comparison of total annual income from employment.

Where possible, the tables show both the mean and median figures for the earnings data, but where space only allows one figure we have used the median – the midpoint in the range of figures. Pay researchers favour the median because it reduces the influence of a few very high or very low figures, which can distort the average.

Email invitations to complete the survey were sent to 12,783 IEMA members. There were 2,120 individual responses, a 17% response rate – a slight increase on the 16.7% response rate recorded in 2013. For the salary analysis, members who were unemployed, based outside the UK or retired were removed from the sample, along with those who had not provided data on their earnings. The sample size for salary analysis after this filtering was 1,717 (unless otherwise stated).

When the make-up of survey respondents is compared with the profile of IEMA’s UK membership, the 2014 survey sample is a reasonable replication of the wider membership. Affiliate members are slightly under represented in the sample – 12% of respondents compared with 24% of the UK membership. Graduate members are also slightly under represented, accounting for 5% of the UK membership and 2% of the survey participants. Meanwhile, Associate and Full members are over represented, making up 59% and 7% of the UK membership and 68% and 16% of the salary base, respectively.

More than four respondents in 10 (43.8%) reported that IEMA is their only professional body. For a further 23.3%, IEMA is their main professional body, although they belong to more than one. One-third of respondents report being a member of another professional body which they consider to be their main one.

Between 2005 and 2010, the results of the annual practitioners’ survey revealed a steady decline in the proportion of respondents reporting that they were self-employed. However, in the 2012 survey, there was a sharp reversal of this trend, with an increase in self-employment from 5.6% in 2011 to 7.9%. This trend continued in the 2013 poll, with 8.5% of respondents classifying themselves as self-employed. The rise in the proportion of IEMA members reporting self-employment status continues in this year’s survey, with 9.3% of respondents saying that they are self-employed.

The growth in self-employment has been a feature of the broader UK labour market since the onset of recession in 2007/08 and the fall in the number of job vacancies. Part-time and temporary employment has also been on the increase.

The sectors where IEMA members are based, meanwhile, remain in line with the findings of previous practitioner surveys. Those working in business and industry form the biggest group, making up 48% of survey respondents. Practitioners employed in consultancies form the next largest group, at 30.3%, followed by those working in the public sector (14.8%), education, academia or research (4.4%) and the voluntary sector (2.5%).

The majority of IEMA members work for large or very large employers – 50.4% are based in firms employing more than 1,000 people, while 18.1% work for organisations with between 251 and 1,000 employees. By contrast, just 12.2% of respondents work for medium-sized organisations (between 50 and 250 employees) and 13.7% are based in small or micro workplaces (fewer than 50 employees). A further 5.6% of members are sole traders.

Read the full survey results:

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