2006 Salary Survey: The Numbers Game (Cont.)

Jul 01, 2006

Not surprisingly, several participants commented on energy issues. A female governmental employee from Hays, Kan., stated, "The petro-energy crisis has finally gained the spotlight, and I see this as the greatest impact." Focusing on the implications of this development, a male environmental professional from Denver, Colo., stated, "Environmental professionals will be instrumental in enabling us to shift from a carbon-based economy to the renewable-based economy."

A number of respondents described what they viewed as the Bush administration's negative effect on the profession. A male consultant from Philadelphia, Pa. gave a typical response, "George Bush is trying to relax environmental laws, and that will decrease the amount of monitoring and treatment system work." In a similar vein, a male environmental professional from West Chester, Pa., said, "If the Republicans stay in office and enforcement remains light, the amount and quality of environmental work for seasoned professionals will continue to decline."

One prediction had negative implications for in-house environmental professionals. A female consultant from Baton Rouge, La., observed, "I see companies cutting back on plant-based environmental professions and outsourcing to consultants." Yet, on the flip side, a male manager from Bay City, Mich., commented, "As the baby boomers retire, demand may actually increase in the coming years."

Additionally, our survey participants cited a wide range of other issues that will have strong impacts on the profession. A male manager from, St. Paul, Minn., pointed out, "Global warming will see growing importance. Reducing greenhouse gases will rise to the top of transportation and industrial sector radar screens." Looking in a different direction, a male consultant from Gainesville, Fla., stated, "The green building/sustainable design business is finally becoming main stream because it makes economic sense." A female manager from San Diego, Calif., said a growing trend was "international regulations, such as WEEE/RoHs," while a male manager from Dallas observed that "e-waste and packaging" were moving to the foreground in importance.

Percentage of Respondents by Certification

If You Could Go Back in Time?
We asked the survey participants the question, "If you had it to do all over again, would you enter the environmental field?" Overall, the great majority of the respondents indicated that they enjoy a high level of job satisfaction in the environmental profession and would do it all over again if given the choice.

Many respondents appear to approach their jobs as a means to promote a higher good for our society. For example, a male consultant from Stamford, Conn., said "I feel that I am making the world a better place. I love what I do." Another respondent, a female employee of a public utility from Everett, Mass., commented, "Working to protect the environmental is as important as protecting the life that depends on it." Similarly, a male consultant from Bellevue, Wash., stated, "It's important work; we need to save what is left of our planet for future generations."

"Environmental professionals are needed to balance the two extremes (extreme environmentalists and extreme industries) and provide good economics and good environmental stewardship," said a male employee for a public utility located in Lincoln, Neb.

Other respondents commented on the aspects of their jobs that bring them personal pleasure. A male academic from Los Angeles said, "The rewards have been reasonable -- you will not be wealthy or poor. I love the application of science, good ethics, and meeting so many people." Along similar lines, a male consultant from Idaho Falls, Idaho, stated, "I like the multidisciplinary scientific opportunities in the environmental profession, coupled with teaching, legal, construction, business, and sales requirements."

Many respondents mentioned they were attracted to the variety they found in their jobs. A male consultant from Westbrook, Maine, said, "The work is dynamic and also changing -- never a routine, mundane workday." Sharing a similar outlook, a male consultant from Phoenix, Ariz., sa