Alive and kicking

Mark Twain once quipped, "The reports of my death are greatly exaggerated." Such words could also serve as a response to the naysayers who complain about the general decline of the environmental industry and the accompanying downward spiral of environmental professionals' salaries.

In an effort to find out for ourselves the current fiscal health of our industry, we conducted our annual salary survey among our readers - who, by the way, had to be among the living to participate. Managing Editor Ingrid Truemper presents the results of our examination of the environmental profession in our cover story "1999 Salary Survey."

Echoing the funereal outlook of some industry analysts, many of our survey participants pointed out that trends like rampant mergers and acquisitions and a more relaxed regulatory environment are adversely impacting salaries in the field. Yet, at the same time, other survey respondents cited positive developments such as brownfield revitalization efforts and remediation projects at U.S. Department of Defense and U.S. Department of Energy sites, which are creating attractive business opportunities.

Along the same lines, financial analyst Steve Maxwell points out in his article "The top environmental service companies" that many businesses are thriving, even in the present competitive environment. He notes that impressive earnings in the water and instrumentation sectors prove that lucrative niches in the environmental field still exist.

These examples demonstrate that the environmental industry is very much alive with opportunity, despite recent developments that make some sectors, such as consulting, less profitable than they were in the past. Armed with determination and imagination, motivated environmental professionals should be able to succeed in today's changing business climate.

And the winner is...
We are proud to say that Environmental Protection won a top award in this year's Midwest regional competition of the American Society of Business Press Editors. The 21st annual contest covered material published in 1998. Environmental Protection won third place for editorial excellence in the Signed Editorial, Over 80,000 Circulation category for my January 1998 editor's note, "Hot-Dogging in Washington." We'd like to thank all the politicians in Washington, D.C., whose interesting highjinks inspired the column.

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This article originally appeared in the 08/01/1999 issue of Environmental Protection.

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