The survey enabled us to build an up-to-date picture of what the salaries and benefits our members receive in their employment look like, taking into account their various circumstances e.g. location. In addition to this all members were asked to self-assess their level of responsibility.
This year’s trends
The results this year did not show many differences in pay and reward trends from the previous survey in 2013, as would be expected. For example, it’s no surprise that as a person’s age and level of qualification increases, so does their level of responsibility and average salary. However, in addition to building up a picture of the trends in members’ salaries, this year we also focused our attention on finding out more about members’ job satisfaction and what they look for and prioritise in their employment.
This year’s highlights
Members with chartered status are generally found to be in positions with a higher salary than those without chartership. Although age tends to play a part in when members apply for chartered status, this trend holds true throughout all age brackets between 30 and 65, and Chartered Chemists are found to have significantly higher earning potential.
Within the British Isles, members with the highest average income were found to be in the Republic of Ireland, closely followed by those who work ‘in the field’ and do not have a permanent work base. Unsurprisingly, members based in South East England and Greater London are not far behind. A more detailed breakdown of salaries by location, along with age and experience, can be found in the report.
The survey results show that the gender pay gap may show signs of closing, as there is a marked decrease, in comparison with the results of our last survey in 2013. The fact that the gap appears to be closing at the lower end of the age range may be due to the fact that employers are more flexible in how they enable their employees to work, for example by offering flexible working hours.
We hope that the overall trend of a closing gap will continue in years to come, across the whole age range. The trend in pay by gender is something that we will be closely monitoring in future surveys, as we want to support both male and female members throughout their careers.
Overall, almost two in three members are satisfied with their salary and benefits, with over 80% reporting that they wish to remain with their current employer. Those who are not satisfied report that they receive fewer or lower levels of benefits than those who are. Almost six out of ten members report that the organisation they work for offers flexible working conditions; a benefit which is highly valued by employees. This is reflected in the survey: maintaining a worklife balance is a resounding priority that members look for, closely followed by fair financial remuneration. In addition to this, over half of our members place the benefit of flexible working hours as being most important within any future employment.
This is the 41st edition of the survey, through which we provide the chemical sciences community with up-to-date information on levels of salary and benefits packages. We care about our members and want to provide the best support we can for them in their career progression.
The inclusion of more questions focusing on the benefits packages offered in employment has helped us to paint a better picture of what members want and what services we can develop to support them. We hope that the survey will also support employers in identifying what shifts they may look to take to recruit and retain the best staff to take their businesses forward.
The survey was run in partnership with an external market research agency, Research by Design, who assisted us in collating responses in the strictest confidence. The full report is already available to our members who took part in the survey and will be available to all Royal Society of Chemistry members – free of charge – from 1 November on our careers pages. There will also be a Tableau dashboard available for members to compare their pay and reward with members
of a similar demographic (for non-members this is available for £250).