The more highly-qualified occupational health professionals are, the higher their earnings are likely to be. But male OH staff are more likely to earn high salaries than their female colleagues, a survey carried out by Occupational Health Review has found.
More than 150 occupational health professionals were surveyed, with questionnaires sent to subscribers of Occupational Health Review and Occupational Health magazines and to members of the British Occupational Hygiene Society, in April and May of this year.
Its findings include the following:
- The median full-time salary for an occupational health professional in 2004 is £32,000
- Practitioners in the private sector can expect to earn a median salary of £33,000, while pay is slightly lower in the public sector, at £31,200
- Women in the sector typically earn 81 per cent of the equivalent male wage
- Most OH professionals have an annual salary increase. In 2004, this stood at a median of 3 per cent across all occupations. However, this is often based on individual performance and is not up for negotiation with the individual concerned.
- The newest recruits to OH can expect a basic annual salary in the region of £23,500. Someone with more than 15 years' experience can expect to earn around £35,279
- One-third (33 per cent) of the sample benefit from additional payments from schemes such as individual bonuses and company profit share.
- The median payment under these schemes was £2,000.
-Most OH professionals are expected to work 37 hours per week, but in reality seven in 10 employees work in excess of this, with no extra pay.
- OH professionals are most likely to be in receipt of a final salary pension from their employer
- The typical benefits package in the OH field includes private medical insurance, a mobile telephone and a company car
- Occupational health workers typically receive 27 days off in annual leave, but can boost this by working in the public sector, where holiday increases to 30 days per year.
- Employees typically receive five days training per year, most of which is paid for in full by their employer.
The most commonly held qualification for an occupational health professional was a NEBOSH certificate (held by 25 per cent of respondents), followed by an OH degree (21 per cent) and a certificate in occupational hygiene at 20 per cent