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Survey reveals average OSH salaries in 2024

A recent survey carried out by IOSH magazine has revealed a picture of how the OSH profession is remunerated and highlights differentials between membership grades and between male and female practitioners.

Salary survey thumb

The survey, promoted on the IOSH magazine website, was open from 5 January to 15 February and 2725 OSH professionals responded – 17% more than the 2333 who replied to our last pay survey in 2022. Almost 97% are IOSH members.

Here's an overview of the highlights.


The spread of qualifications held by OSH professionals has changed little since our last survey, with only a 1% or 2% change for each qualification. The proportion of respondents with bachelor’s degrees has risen by just over a percentage point to 17.7%.

Only around one in five of the 447 respondents who hold a NEBOSH construction certificate work in the construction sector, probably reflecting the mobility of practitioners who start in the building industry into other sectors, but also perhaps the need to understand OSH in construction for those managing sites in other sectors. A facility to note other qualifications than those listed in Figure 5 revealed that 71 (around 2.5%) hold Level 4 or 5 National or Scottish Vocational Qualifications (NVQs or SVQs) in OSH.

Membership levels

The figures suggest that it pays to be an IOSH member. The median salary for full-time non-member respondents (albeit based on a relatively small sample of 89 people), is £40,000, a fifth below the median for the whole survey and almost a third lower than the median for Chartered Members working full time.

In the Chartered grade, which is directly comparable with our previous survey, the median salary is £59,000, 11% higher than the £53,000 in 2022, though the two samples were not a matched group of practitioners. Those in the new Certified grade earn an average £50,000 in line with the median for the whole sample; in 2022 the figure for the old equivalent GradIOSH membership was £44,000, 13% lower.

Around one in 10 (10.8%) said safety practitioners at their workplaces are incentivised by their employer to gain Chartered Member status, most commonly with a pay rise. In answer to whether their pay has risen since becoming Chartered Members, 296 said that their earnings have increased, around one in three of those in our sample with Chartered status.

More than 96% of OSH practitioners in our poll were IOSH members, the bulk of them in the Technical, Chartered and the recently introduced Certified grades. Asked which other professional bodies they are members of besides IOSH, participants’ most common response (42.5% of respondents) is the Institute of Environmental Management and Assessment (IEMA), reflecting the frequency with which OSH and environmental management responsibilities are conjoined by employers.

Average pay

The average pay levels we quote are median averages, the midpoint in the range of all pay rates.

The survey allowed participants to state their annual pay to the nearest thousand pounds – converted, if they are paid in another currency – from £15,000 to £80,000. Above £80,000 we offered bigger steps of £10,000, up to £100,000 and then of £25,000 up to £150,000. Two dozen respondents reported earning above £150,000, a third fewer than in our 2022 poll. At the lower end, 29 said they are paid under £15,000. At the lower end, the outliers almost matched the whole sample for age and gender, but at the upper end, those paid more than £150,000 were all male.

The average salary for all full-time employed practitioners is £50,000, and half of all full-time respondents earn between £42,000 and £66,000. The average earnings for self-employed respondents are higher at £65,000; this figure comes with the caution that there was only a small sub-sample of freelance practitioners (69 or 2.5% of all respondents) who participated in the survey.

Wage increases

The median increase for all employed respondents was 3%, but around a third of respondents (32.5%) received rises of 5% or more. In our 2022 survey, when inflation rates had only recently risen above 4% for the second time in almost 10 years, only 8.6% of respondents reported pay increases at this level. Despite these higher levels for some practitioners, the most commonly reported award was no increase at all; almost three in 10 people in our poll had their pay frozen in the previous 12 months.


The small majority of respondents who have access to a company pension scheme most commonly report that they are offered money purchase arrangements in which the money they receive in retirement will be dictated by variations in the financial markets in the years before. Final salary arrangements which pay a predictable income based on years worked with an organisation, have become rarer, and are only accessible to one in five, mostly older respondents.

Around one in six of the private-sector respondents have access to shares in their company on tax-friendly terms. A few respondents mentioned private medical insurance. Around one in 10 employed participants in our poll (9.8%) said they have no entitlement to any of the benefits listed.

We also asked whether respondents have the option of hybrid working or flexible hours arrangements in their current work; 62% say they do. We do not have any comparison from before the COVID-19 pandemic of 2020-21, but it is likely that the percentage would have been far lower before the enforced period of home working showed employers and employees the potential for flexible working in many jobs. As Figure 9 illustrates, more than two-fifths of practitioners rated flexibility as one of their top three elements in their job.

For the full survey analysis, an interview with the head of the Recruitment and Employment Confederation, plus a video capturing the survey highlights, head to IOSH magazine's dedicated salary survey section.