Environment and Sustainability roles continue to prove as satisfying as they are varied, with more than two thirds of IEMA Members surveyed reporting high levels of satisfaction.

According to the latest results published today by IEMA from the annual Practitioners’ Survey, 70.1% of Members said they are either satisfied or very satisfied in their roles in environment and sustainability management. As a group the 41.7% of the respondents who consider themselves “career changers” - those who started professional life in non-environmental roles - are even more satisfied to have made the change, with 77% saying they are either satisfied or very satisfied. The reported levels of satisfaction have remained stable year-on-year since 2012.

The range of skills needed to work in an environment and sustainability role continues to be varied, demonstrated by the fact that 84% of professionals work across multiple work areas.

Further results from the survey, carried out since 2007, reveal that almost six in ten (58.9%) environment and sustainability professionals experienced a pay rise during 2013, a figure which has increased by 2% from the previous year. For those who received a pay rise – in a profession where the average annual pay for a practitioner working in business and industry is £43,025 - the median increase in earnings stands at 3%.

Tim Balcon, CEO of IEMA, says: “I think these statistics not only demonstrate just how rewarding a career in environment and sustainability really is, but really drive home how environment and sustainability skills are being valued. With the economy so dependent on environmental skills, it’s great to see that many are seeing their unique contributions reflected in their pay.”

The 2014 Practitioner Survey also found that IEMA Members are typically highly qualified. Half of all respondents (49.8%) has at least a Masters degree as their highest academic qualification.

The Environment and Sustainability profession remains buoyant in line with the recovering economy, with 96.7% in employment, up 0.6% on 2013’s results. Those in work report stability in their roles, with 64.6% remaining in the same position as the previous year and a further fifth (19.2%) moving into a more senior role. The proportion of self employed practitioners has also risen for the third consecutive year, up by 0.8% to 9.3% over the last 12 months.

Tim Balcon believes that the overall stability and profile of the Environment & Sustainability profession is good news for the coming year: “IEMA members are incredibly talented and ambitious, their ability to work across many work areas coupled with their level of qualifications justifies that. As organisations worldwide are finally waking up to the value of environmental skills I truly envisage that the influence and achievements of IEMA Members will become even more apparent and appreciated than ever before. The future of the profession is looking bright.”

The March issue of 'the environmentalist' features a Special IEMA Practitioners' Survey Suppement, which can also be accessed by IEMA Members here.

Monday 17th March 2014