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Environmental professionals

Like many other industries, those working in environmental associated professions have seen a freeze in salaries during 2010-11. Nonetheless those working in these fields have a high rate of job satisfaction with 50% of those asked intend to stay in their current roles for the foreseeable future.

Average salaries range between £25,000 and £45,000 and like other industries these tend to be higher in London and the South-East, with a median of £40-45,000, whilst median salaries in the north are around £35-40,000.

Sub-sectors within these professions also saw differences, with those working in water supply and sewerage receiving higher salaries at a median of £40-45,000. Others working in waste and remediation and consultancy had a median of £35-40,000.

Benefits packages may also include:

  • Mobile phone
  • Pensions scheme
  • Computer/laptop
  • Flexitime
  • Work from home option
  • Health insurance
  • Company car/car allowance
  • Performance-related bonus
  • Holiday allowance (usually between 21-25 days).

Many of those who have become chartered also received a pay rise as a consequence as well as ongoing support (including financial) whilst training. Source: ENDS report 2011 via Energy Institute

Energy professionals

The salary rates for energy professionals can vary considerably depending which sector of the energy industry you work in.

Those in the oil and gas industry tend to earn the highest average salaries (ranging from around £25,000+ to well over £100,000 for the highest technical skills in shortage areas such as engineering and project management). Nuclear skills are also in relatively short supply and can attract good salaries well above the UK average.

Even some sectors of the renewables industry are showing very strong growth both in numbers of people employed and the salaries they attract with offshore wind and biofuels paying increasingly higher average salaries (above £40,000).

Those employed in the utilities sector, often in power generation, can earn well above £25,000 with averages approaching £60,000 for technical/engineering and business/commercial skills. Although energy efficiency is in general the lowest paid sector, even here the demand for those with specialist skills in demand management, emissions and buildings compliance and energy engineering can command salaries well in excess of £50,000.

In the UK the regional differences in salary often reflect where the energy industry is based so that salaries again tend to be highest in London and the South East (for commercially-based roles) and Scotland (for oil and gas and renewables roles). However there are other strong regions where energy is a major contributory factor to the local economy including the North West, the Midlands, the East of England and the South West.

Benefits packages will include all the usual requirements of around 20-25 days’ annual leave, pension, performance related bonus, health insurance and flexible working.

It is also one of the industries most likely to offer you the opportunity to travel for work and support your future training and development. Some of the larger organisations will have other schemes that support working families who need childcare, subsidised restaurant/catering, gym membership, time off for volunteering and subsidised transport or season ticket loan.

A survey undertaken by the Energy Institute and Hays Energy in 2012 suggested that the energy industry offered a high level of job satisfaction (over 75%) and a satisfactory or good work/life balance (86.5%).

Previous surveys by the Engineering Council, Society of the Environment and others have shown that those who gain professional membership qualifications such as chartered status in addition to any degree or postgraduate qualifications will earn higher salaries over the course of their working career.

Energy professionals can gain chartered status in Energy Management, Engineering, Science and the Environment.

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