More than 40% of 1,047 members responding to the 2016 survey revealed that they are very or highly satisfied in their work, while a further 39% reported being at least moderately satisfied. Just 6% say they derive little satisfaction.
Respondents with more than five years’ experience said they would recommend the profession to others. More than one-third (35%) said that they would advise others that it was a sector where practitioners can have a rewarding career.
In terms of salaries, two-thirds of respondents said they have received a pay increase in the past 12 months. Median earnings for IEMA members (£38,180) remain well ahead of those for full-time employees in the UK generally (£27,600) in 2015.
The relatively high earnings for environment and sustainability practitioners reflect a very well qualified profession. Half have an MA or MSc. The IEMA membership is also working increasingly in senior roles, with 59% in a management or leadership position.
On a less positive note, the profession’s gender pay gap has reached a five-year high, at 16.7%. The analysis shows that the gap starts to appear between ages 25 and 29 and becomes increasingly pronounced. The figure compares with an economy-wide gap in 2015 of 9.4%, which ONS said was the lowest since its annual survey of hours and earnings (ASHE) started in 1997.
However, younger women tend to earn slightly more than their male colleagues in the first few years of post-study employment, only falling behind between ages 25 to 29.
The survey also found:
- IEMA members working in business or industry tend to earn more (median annual salary of £40,000) than their public sector counterparts, whose pay (median annual salary of £34,000) continues to suffer from the effects of public spending cuts and government restrictions on pay.
- Two-thirds of members saw their total annual income increase in 2015, down from 73.5% in 2014. A quarter received no salary uplift in 2015.
- The median going rate for Graduate members starting out in the environment and sustainability profession is £24,500 a year. By contrast, the median salary for IEMA Fellows is £68,000.
- Some 93% of respondents have higher academic qualifications, with only 3% reporting no formal qualifications and half possessing a masters degree.
Full results of the survey are available here.