Paddy Fowler
1 October 2019

The 2019 Salary and Workplace Satisfaction Survey breakdown

This year, we expanded the remit of the IES Salary Survey to explore how satisfied our members are with their career and the benefits afforded to them in their place of work. The results of this year's survey are mixed. The positive results are that progress has been made in reducing the gender pay gap to 12.7 per cent from 15 per cent in 2016 and 85% find their work meaningful nd that they were making a positive contribution to the environment and society through their career choice.  However, there has been a slight decline in median salary compared to previous years when adjusted to account for inflation.

The salary of an environmental scientist

Over the last 9 years, the median salary for IES members has fluctuated with a slight downward trend. From the peak of a present day value of £41,960 in 2010 to today's median salary of £40,250; this decrease coincides correlates with that seen across the entire UK workforce from data collected by the Office for National Statistics (ONS). As is expected, the median salaries in each IES membership band increase as members progress from Associate, through to Member and finally to Fellow; each step representing a rise in annual salary of around £15,000. 

Focus on gender

Although this year's gender wage gap of 12.7 per cent was an improvement on 2016's and a continuation of the trend (decreasing from 34 per cent in 2014), but it is still higher than the UK average of 8.6 per cent. There are stark differences in the work being done by male and female respondents in the proportion of full and part time workers and the positions held.

Focus on ethnicity

This year, we have also included analysis on the ethnicity wage gap observed in the IES membership, a metric that we have previously not looked at in detail. The ethnicity wage gap for 2019 was 2 per cent between white-British respondents and minority ethnic groups, this is smaller than the UK-wide gap of 3.8 per cent between white (British and other) and minority ethnic groups. It should be noted, however, that direct comparisons cannot be drawn between these values as different methods of calculation have been used.

Should I become Chartered?

This is often the question on early career professionals minds, what value does Chartership hold as a professional environmental scientist? Simply put, quite a lot! It is clear to see that chartered members of the IES earn significantly more than our members who are eligible for Chartership but have not registered with us. The median salary for IES members who are eligible for Chartership but do not currently hold either Chartered Environmentalist (CEnv) or Chartered Scientist (CSci) was £38,390. The median salary for IES members holding CSci status, however, was £48,570 and for CEnv status, the median was £51,250. Incidentally, those members who choose to take up both CEnv and CSci status have a median salary of £60,000. Perhaps it is time to book into a CEnv in a Day or CSci Accelerated workshop.

Job satisfaction in the environmental sciences

Newly introduced to the survey this year, job satisfaction plays a vital role in the wellbeing of staff and is crucial in both staff performance and retention. We can see that, on average, professional environmental scientists hopes to stay in the sector for the foreseeable future. Furthermore, 85 per cent of respondents felt that their work was meaningful and that they were making a positive contribution to the environment and society through their career choice. Our members average 25 days holiday a year. 75 per cent of respondents received a pay rise over the last 12 months.

Read the full report for further details (member-only resource)