Environmental consultants salary survey 2005: The in-depth analysis

Are you getting paid enough? Can you bost morale by showing your staff they are getting above the odds of might they be feeling short changed?

Here we break down the figures and provide a more detailed analysis of the edie and Environment and Business Salary Survey.

Director

Average basic salary for experience and qualifications
Years ExperienceMSc or equivalentPhD or equivalentChartered status
less than one---
2 to 5£15-20K
--
5 to 10£35-40K
-£45-50K
10 to 20£40-45K
£40-45K
£40-45K
20 to 30£40-45K
£25-30K
£40-45K
30+£40-45K
£50-60K
£35-40K

Average salary including bonuses and benefits for experience and qualifications
Years ExperienceMSc or equivalentPhD or equivalentChartered status
less than one---
2 to 5£20-25K
--
5 to 10£40-45K
-£45-50K
10 to 20£45-50K
£40-45K
£45-50K
20 to 30£45-50K
£25-30K
£45-50K
30+£45-50K
£50-60K
£35-40K

© 2005 Faversham House Group

For directors, the results suggest that academic and industry qualifications are not the be all and end all but that those earning the very best do tend to have both a PhD and a wealth of practical experience.

Perks also seem to be a director's due and almost across the board push the real term rewards of the job up by around £5,000 per year.

The data gives some reason to believe that benefits and bonuses have more impact on the overall package when people are new to the job and seem to be less of an incentive a few years in, or perhaps those in more secure positions have negotiated a package where the emphasis is on cash remuneration rather than side benefits.

Senior management

Average basic salary for experience and qualifications
Years ExperienceMSc or equivalentPhD or equivalentChartered status
less than one---
2 to 5£40-45K
-£50-60K
5 to 10£30-35K
£30-35K
£30-35K
10 to 20£40-45K
£45-50K
£40-45K
20 to 30£30-35K
-£35-40K
30+£35-40K
-£35-40K

Average salary including bonuses and benefits for experience and qualifications
Years ExperienceMSc or equivalentPhD or equivalentChartered status
less than one---
2 to 5£40-45K
-£60-70K
5 to 10£35-40K
£30-35K
£30-35K
10 to 20£45-50K
£50-60K
£45-50K
20 to 30£35-40K
-£35-40K
30+£35-40K
-£35-40K

© 2005 Faversham House Group

Senior managers, as might be expected, are well rewarded for their work and experience and a proven track record seems to be equally important as paper qualifications.

Interestingly there is some evidence from the survey to suggest that there is a drop off point and those approaching the end of their careers are not always being offered such an attractive deal as their younger counterparts, perhaps in recognition of the fact that the young blood has more options open in terms of job mobility and needs more incentive to stay in post.

Senior consultant

Average basic salary for experience and qualifications
Years ExperienceMSc or equivalentPhD or equivalentChartered status
less than one---
2 to 5£20-25K
£25-30K
£25-30K
5 to 10£30-35K
£20-25K
£25-30K
10 to 20£35-40K
£30-35K
£35-40K
20 to 30£25-30K
-£25-30K
30+£40-45K
-£25-30K

Average salary including bonuses and benefits for experience and qualifications
Years ExperienceMSc or equivalentPhD or equivalentChartered status
less than one---
2 to 5£25-30K
£25-30K
£25-30K
5 to 10£30-35K
£20-25K
£30-35K
10 to 20£35-40K
£30-35K
£35-40K
20 to 30£25-30K
-£30-35K
30+£40-45K
-£30-35K

© 2005 Faversham House Group

A similar phenomenon can be seen among the senior consultants, where those with a solid ten to 20 years of relevant experience are, on average, earning more than those who have been doing the job ten years longer.

The old hands do have something to look forward to, however, as the trend eventually reverses with those having 30 or more years experience earning more than any of their peers, one could speculate that this is because they are now running their own consultancy or reached the upper echelons of a well-established firm.

Perhaps surprisingly chartered status appears to be a more valuable bargaining chip than a PhD for consultants and while the PhD seems to be a good opening gambit, those educated to MSc level are often out performing their more academic contemporaries in terms of salary within five or ten years.

Junior consultant

Average basic salary for experience and qualifications
Years ExperienceMSc or equivalentPhD or equivalentChartered status
less than one£15-20K
--
2 to 5£20-25K
£15-20K
£20-25K
5 to 10£20-25K
£25-30K
£20-25K
10 to 20£25-30K
--
20 to 30£25-30K
--
30+---

Average salary including bonuses and benefits for experience and qualifications
Years ExperienceMSc or equivalentPhD or equivalentChartered status
less than one£15-20K
--
2 to 5£20-25K
£15-20K
£25-30K
5 to 10£25-30K
£25-30K
£25-30K
10 to 20£25-30K
--
20 to 30£25-30K
--
30+---

© 2005 Faversham House Group

The senior results are mirrored by those for junior consultants, with one notable exception.

Within five years junior consultants appear to hit a glass ceiling and, taking into account bonuses, salary progression grinds to a halt, perhaps giving some indication of when it is time to climb up the career ladder and start applying for senior consultant posts.

This would seem to be easier said than done, however, as there were respondents who classed themselves as junior consultants with over 20 years experience in the field.

Marketing/business development

Average basic salary for experience and qualifications
Years ExperienceMSc or equivalentPhD or equivalentChartered status
less than one£15-20K
--
2 to 5£20-25K
£20-25K
-
5 to 10£30-35K
-£30-35K
10 to 20£35-40K
£20-25K
£35-40K
20 to 30-£25-30K
£35-40K
30+£30-35K
--

Average salary including bonuses and benefits for experience and qualifications
Years ExperienceMSc or equivalentPhD or equivalentChartered status
less than one£15-20K
--
2 to 5£20-25K
£20-25K
-
5 to 10£30-35K
-£30-35K
10 to 20£40-45K
£25-30K
£40-45K
20 to 30-£25-30K
£35-40K
30+£30-35K
--

© 2005 Faversham House Group

According to respondents junior marketing staff are not the best paid employees in the industry, but the data shows there is light at the end of the tunnel for those who stick at it with those who have been in the role for over five years getting paid well above the average national wage.

It does not appear to be a career path where scientific qualifications carry much weight and professional qualifications appear to be only a slightly more worthwhile goal to pursue.

For the big money, the emphasis is squarely on experience and being able to demonstrate past success.

Scientist

Average basic salary for experience and qualifications
Years ExperienceMSc or equivalentPhD or equivalentChartered status
less than one£15-20K
£25-30K
-
2 to 5£20-25K
£25-30K
£25-30K
5 to 10£20-25K
-£20-25K
10 to 20£25-30K
£30-35K
£30-35K
20 to 30-£25-30K
-
30+-£30-35K
-

Average salary including bonuses and benefits for experience and qualifications
Years ExperienceMSc or equivalentPhD or equivalentChartered status
less than one£15-20K
£25-30K
-
2 to 5£20-25K
£25-30K
£30-35K
5 to 10£25-30K
-£25-30K
10 to 20£25-30K
£30-35K
£30-35K
20 to 30-£25-30K
-
30+-£30-35K
-

© 2005 Faversham House Group

Scientists, on the other hand, will find a PhD can make an enormous difference to salary, particularly at entry level. Early in their career a particularly well-qualified scientist may find their earning power is on a par with those with as much as ten years more experience who left university with an MSc.

A Royal charter will also prove useful towards the beginning of a career, resulting in a salary on average £5,000 more than that of a PhD qualified scientist or £10,000 more than someone with a MSc.

The impact of an impressive qualification seems to plateau as scientists get more experience under their belts and the gaps between MSc, PhD and a charter begin to close.

All respondents with more than 20 years of experience had a PhD or equivalent qualification, perhaps reflecting the practice of fitting a thesis around work over a long period.

Technician

Average basic salary for experience and qualifications
Years ExperienceMSc or equivalentPhD or equivalentChartered status
less than one£15-20K
--
2 to 5£15-20K
-£20-25K
5 to 10---
10 to 20--£25-30K
20 to 30---
30+---

Average salary including bonuses and benefits for experience and qualifications
Years ExperienceMSc or equivalentPhD or equivalentChartered status
less than one£15-20K
--
2 to 5£20-25K
-£25-30K
5 to 10---
10 to 20--£25-30K
20 to 30---
30+---

© 2005 Faversham House Group

Of all the technicians who responded to the survey, just one had more than five years' experience, suggesting many are not looking for a lifelong career in the environmental consultancy and join the ranks of other professions or use the position as a 'foot in the door' and move into other jobs within the sector.

Perhaps because of this experience did not play a hugely significant role in determining pay.

Professional qualifications, however, made a major difference.

Other

Average basic salary for experience and qualifications
Years ExperienceMSc or equivalentPhD or equivalentChartered status
less than one£15-20K
--
2 to 5£20-25K
£20-25K
-
5 to 10£25-30K
£15-20K
£25-30K
10 to 20£30-35K
£40-45K
£15-20K
20 to 30£30-35K
-£35-40K
30+--£35-40K

Average salary including bonuses and benefits for experience and qualifications
Years ExperienceMSc or equivalentPhD or equivalentChartered status
less than one£15-20K
--
2 to 5£20-25K
£25-30K
-
5 to 10£25-30K
£15-20K
£30-35K
10 to 20£30-35K
£45-50K
£15-20K
20 to 30£30-35K
-£35-40K
30+--£35-40K

© 2005 Faversham House Group

And then there is everyone else! Due to the broad and varied nature of the jobs covered by this category, the figures are difficult to interpret.

If there is a trend to be found among the figures, however, it is simply what common sense would suggest: the more experienced and qualified a worker, the more they are likely to be paid.

By Sam Bond

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© Faversham House Group Ltd 2005. edie news articles may be copied or forwarded for individual use only. No other reproduction or distribution is permitted without prior written consent.