In an industry as varied as the health and safety sector, collecting data for a salary survey is a mammoth task. Fortunately, IOSH Magazine have done the hard work for us. In their 2017 survey, 2,310 safety and health practitioners were quizzed to gain insight into pay, conditions and overall morale.
While over 90% of respondents were of UK origin, the survey encompassed countries such as the Republic of Ireland, the Middle East, Africa, continental Europe and the Far East. A variety of health and safety professions were covered; participants included assistants (3%), officers (27%), consultants (14.5%), managers (42%), heads of safety and health (8.5%) and directors (5%). Some 72% work within the private sector, while 23% and 5% worked in the public and charitable/third sector respectively. Now that we know who the survey was made up of, what can its results teach us?
The survey found that the average salary for a full-time practitioner stood at £40,000 - but we also saw a lot change at either end of the pay spectrum. For assistants, they can expect a salary ranging anywhere from £28,000 to £41,000. Meanwhile, for directors, salary spanned from £37,000 to £57,000. Moreover, of the survey sample, two males and one female safety manager in construction reported salaries over £150,000. Unsurprisingly, all three said that they were either quite or very satisfied with their jobs.
For the self-employed, the results looked slightly different. The average salary stood at £39,000 while those in the consultancy and construction sectors reported earnings ranging from less than £15,000 (three respondents), to two earning more than £100,000. However, due to the small sample size of just 102 respondents, we expect there to be more leeway than the survey suggests.
Gender pay gap
Thanks to the government led incentive for pay gap reporting, we are beginning to see encouraging changes in pay. However, the IOSH Magazine survey shows that there is still some way to go, with female practitioners being paid an average of 5% less than their male counterparts. In monetary terms, this equates to women being paid £40,000 while male respondents took home £42,000.
To put these results into context, 5% is around half of the results found by the UK’s Office for National Statistics from March 2016. It is also substantially lower than a recent survey by IEMA of environmental practitioners’ salaries, which determined the pay gap to be at 16.7%.
It bodes well to end on good news – according to the IOSH Magazine survey, health and safety is one happy sector. Almost four out of five participants reported moderate or high job satisfaction. This echoes results found in the UK Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development’s latest Employee Outlook poll, printed in May, which demonstrated an average job satisfaction rate of +48 (those satisfied minus those dissatisfied) for all occupations.
In terms of sector, both public and private workers reported a similar score, while those in the charity sector were found to be slightly higher, with an impressive 85% citing that they were either moderately or very satisfied with their role. Not to mention, workers across the board enjoyed a modest 1% pay rise in the last year.
Do you think these results echo the experience you’ve had in the sector?