Carbon and climate change professionals are earning around four per cent more than last year, and the vast majority feel secure in their jobs, despite the gloomy economic outlook and sluggish jobs market.
That is the conclusion of a major new report from specialist green recruitment agency Acre and consultancy Acona, which polled 944 sustainability professionals and found that average salaries are continuing to climb.
The global 2010 Carbon Salary Survey found the overall average salary for carbon and climate change executives reached $79,000 (£49,000), an increase of $3,000 on 2009.
Green professionals in the UK fared better still, boasting an average salary of $81,000 (£50,200).
The study echoes the research the two companies conducted last year on corporate social responsibility (CSR) professionals, which concluded that salaries in the sector had risen 10 per cent during the recession.
The latest survey suggests wage packets are continuing to rise, although the report’s authors admitted the 2010 poll reached a higher percentage of professionals in senior roles than in previous years, which may have boosted average salary levels.
The report found that 26 per cent of participants earned more than $100,000 (£62,000), up from 24 per cent last year, while 48 per cent earned between $40,000 (£24,800) and $100,000, down from 52 per cent last year.
Around three-quarters of respondents also said they feel the same or greater levels of security in their jobs compared with 12 months ago.
Australia and America offered the highest wages to carbon professionals, while the oil and gas industries and legal services offered the top salaries.
The survey also revealed that the geographic shape of the industry has shifted, with participants increasingly working for UK and European-based organisations to the detriment of North American firms. The number of organisations boasting climate change and carbon professionals with headquarters in North America dropped from 27 per cent to 20 per cent.
“This could indicate a concerning sign that climate change and carbon are falling down the agenda of North American organisations,” the report said, citing ongoing fears that the US will fail to pass meaningful climate change and energy legislation.
Writing in the report’s conclusion, Paul Burke, senior partner at Ancona, suggested the global recession had had “relatively little impact on employment conditions within the carbon sector”.