Carbon Professional Salaries Inch Higher Despite Recession

Carbon Professional Salaries Inch Higher Despite Recession

Image CC licensed by Flickr user karsten.planz

The economy may still be down in the dumps, but job prospects in the climate change and carbon space represents a bright spot on an otherwise dismal employment landscape.

Climate change professionals are seeing their salaries inch up at a greater rate than the overall job market in the U.S., according to a recent survey. Workers in this sector saw their pay grow by 4 percent, compared to 2.4 percent for all U.S. salaries.

Global participants in the second annual Carbon Salary Survey 2010 from recruiting company Acre Resources and consulting firm Acona reported an average annual salary of $79,000, about $3,000 higher than last year. What's more, these jobs appear to offer participants stability and fulfillment, with 73 percent reporting satisfaction and 76 percent feeling secure in their positions.   

"This year's Carbon Salary Survey points to a worldwide market that remains encouragingly resolute in the face of difficult economic circumstances," Andy Cartland, Acre Resources' managing director, said in a statement last week. "Continuing from last year's survey there is definite proof that the mainstream economy is 'greening' as the sector continues with its positive growth."

The companies define the climate change and carbon space as the areas that include renewable energy, climate change strategy, carbon management, energy management and efficiency, emissions reduction projects, carbon finance and brokering, climate-related law or regulations, and sustainability. Energy efficiency was cited as the top activity for survey respondents.

The study included 944 participants, 32 percent of whom live in the U.K., followed by 20 percent from the rest of Europe, 17 percent from North America, and 8 percent from Australasia. The remaining participants hailed from South America, Africa, Asia and the Middle East. Women accounted for 31 percent of participants, compared to 24 percent last year. The largest group -- 34 percent -- worked as consultants.

Participants from Australasia boasted the highest average salary of $115,000, followed by North America at $104,000. Most reported receiving no bonuses.

"However, the results also show that our 2010 survey reached a higher percentage of professionals in more senior roles than in 2009 (the number of participants with 10 or more years' experience in carbon increased from 11 percent to 15 percent), which may have impacted in the average salary levels," the report said. "Taking this into consideration, and from anecdotal evidence from within the industry, we believe the salaries presented here are representative of the 2010 climate change market."

Image CC licensed by Flickr user karsten.planz