Workload and job satisfaction

17th March 2014

Related Topics

Related tags

  • Skills ,
  • Training ,
  • CPD ,
  • Qualifications ,
  • Ethics


Jill Bennett

The IEMA practitioners' survey 2014 examines environmental professionals' workloads and how happy they are in their roles

Survey respondents were asked to indicate their primary area of work (figure 9). The findings show that members’ most-cited primary area of work is now environment management, having been health, safety and environment (HSE) management for the previous two years.

In the 2012 practitioners’ survey, HSE management was the main work area for 20.3% of members and environment management was cited by 18.1%. Last year, HSE management was reported as the primary work area by 18.9% of members with environment management coming a close second at 18.5%. In this year’s survey, environment management is revealed as the primary work area for 20.6% of survey respondents, compared with 17.4% who cite HSE management. Next year’s survey will confirm whether or not this is a continuing trend.

The 2014 survey also explored members’ primary area of work according to the broad industry sector and subsector in which they are based. The findings highlight some key differences between the sectors; for example, consultancy (both environment and engineering) shows a high rate of environmental impact assessment (EIA) as a primary work area, with 31% of practitioners working in engineering consultancies and 27% of those based in environment or sustainability consultancies citing EIA as the key focus of their work. This compares with almost 2% of members based in business and industry and 7% of those working for the public sector who report that EIA is a primary area of their work.

This trend is reversed in the profile of practitioners citing HSE or environment management as their primary work area, with practitioners based in business and industry much more likely to have these disciplines as their main job focus. For example, 35% of practitioners based in manufacturing and 26% of those based in construction or civil engineering indicate that HSE management forms their primary area of work, compared with just over 4% of professionals working in engineering and environment/sustainability consultancies.

The public sector shows a more even distribution across the five primary work areas, with environment protection/regulation/legislation being the single largest primary area of work, reflecting the role of the regulators in the public sector.

In addition to looking at primary areas of work, the survey investigated the number of areas of work falling within the job remit of environment practitioners. The results provide a strong indication of the multidisciplinary nature of members’ work, with practitioners working across seven different work areas on average.

The survey results also reveal that the majority of environment professionals are happy in their work – more than two-thirds (70.1%) say that they are either satisfied or very satisfied in their role (figure 10). This level of job satisfaction has remained stable for the past three years, despite the additional work pressures that many practitioners may have faced during the harsh economic climate.

According to IEMA members’ feedback, this contentment is due, in the main, to intrinsic factors associated with being employed as an environment practitioner, primarily the interesting and challenging nature of their work.

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

UK off track for net zero by 2030, CCC warns

Only a third of the emission reductions required for the UK to achieve net zero by 2030 are covered by credible plans, the Climate Change Committee (CCC) has warned today.

18th July 2024

Read more

Three in five British adults want more public involvement in the planning system, which could be at odds with Labour’s plans to boost economic growth, IEMA research has found.

3rd July 2024

Read more

Ahead of the UK general election next month, IEMA has analysed the Labour, Conservative, Liberal Democrat, and Green Party manifestos in relation to the sustainability agenda.

19th June 2024

Read more

Disinformation about the impossibility of averting the climate crisis is part of an alarming turn in denialist tactics, writes David Burrows

6th June 2024

Read more

Rivers and waterways across England and Wales are increasingly polluted by sewage spills. What is causing the crisis and what is being done to tackle it? Huw Morris reports

31st May 2024

Read more

IEMA submits response to the Future Homes Standard consultation

31st May 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