Average salaries of carbon and climate change professionals were up four percent last year, according to a survey out today, but the proportion of participants with North American headquarters fell by seven percentage points.
Story amended – see correction below.
The 2010 Carbon Salary Survey, conducted by recruitment agency Acre and consultancy Acona, said that salary levels in the field were up across all regions of the world and in almost all sectors. Respondents worked in a variety of sectors, in jobs focusing on carbon management, energy management and efficiency, renewable energy, emissions reductions, carbon finance, climate change strategy and similar fields.
The survey was conducted as an online questionnaire, which was answered by 944 participants.
“Based on our findings, it would appear that the global recession has had relatively little impact on employment conditions within the carbon sector,” the report said.
This year’s report, however, was more weighted towards individuals in senior roles. The proportion of participants with ten or more years’ experience was rose from 11 percent in 2009’s survey, to 15 percent in 2010.
This year Australasia’s average salary pulled ahead of North America’s. The average salary rose 24 percent in Australasia, from $93,000 to $115,000, and by four percent in North America, from $100,000 to $104,000.
The proportion of survey respondents whose corporate headquarters are located in North America fell by seven percentage points between 2009 and 2010, from 27 percent to 20 percent, while rising slightly in Europe. “This could indicate a concerning sign that climate change and carbon are falling down the agenda of North American organizations,” the report said.
Comparing respondents by job function, the highest salaries were earned by those in legal services, who earned an average of $113,000 – but this was actually a $24,000 drop since 2009. The only other job functions to see salary drops were marketing and sales, which dropped by just $500, and the catch-all category of “other”, which dropped by $10,500.
While salaries are rising in all regions, bonuses fell in all geographic regions except Rest of Europe (the continent of Europe, minus the U.K.).
The survey also found that most salary growth has been among men. The average salary of a male climate change professional rose nine percent from $79,500 to $86,500, while the average female salary rose just three percent, from $64,500 to $66,500.
The proportion of women in the survey rose from 24 percent to 31 percent between 2009 and 2010. But women still make up less than a quarter of those carbon professionals in the sectors of utilities, renewable energy, engineering and oil, gas and natural resources.
This year, 76 percent of respondents said they feel the same or more secure in their jobs compared to 12 months ago.
Correction: The original version of this story was based on a preview copy of the report, which incorrectly stated the rise in average salaries (see the first paragraph). The rise was four percent, not seven percent as previously stated.