What are the highest paid industries in the CR & Sustainability profession?

04 January 2021 by Acre
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​​Some of the highest paid industries for CR & Sustainability (CR&S) professionals include natural resources, industrials and manufacturing, a new salary survey reveals.

The CR&S Salary Survey 2020, conducted by Acre, Carnstone and Flag, noted that the average salary for a career in the natural resources sector is $153K (compared to $135KK in 2018 when the survey was last published). Those working in industrials are paid $149K on average, compared to $95K in 2018, while the average salary in manufacturing is now $119K.

The industrials sector saw a dip two years ago (having dropped to $95K from $115K in 2016) but professionals have seen the average salary begin to rise once more. Sustainability professionals working in the aviation, health and technology sectors are also among the highest earners (earning between $119-$121K on average).

Tanith Allen, Head of Sustainability Recruitment– Infrastructure & Manufacturing, Acre, said: “Higher risk/higher carbon sectors often sit in a more challenging position when it comes to climate and sustainability. Many are B2B’s and need to respond to increasing downstream pressure from public-facing brands, who are challenging their supply chains when it comes to key issues such as emissions and human rights. They can also be under more scrutiny when it comes to relationships with civil society and NGOs than their B2C counterparts. Not only does that require a more credible or senior individual to represent the organization externally, therefore commanding a higher salary, but also typically works with (or is part of) more senior internal stakeholder groups such as the executive committee.”

Paul Burke, Senior Partner at Carnstone, said: “That natural resources continues to top the salary league table isn’t really surprising given that the sector pays well in general and those with the relevant experience and knowledge are in relatively short supply. The prominent position of industrials perhaps reflects increasing scrutiny from investors and interest in the Circular Economy. Combined, these two factors have raised the profile of sustainability and people with the right skillsets are now in far greater demand.”   

For more details about the highest paid industries for CR&S professionals or to gen up on the narrowing of the CR&S gender pay gap, click here to download a copy of the full report.

If you would like to discuss salary benchmarking for yourself or for a member of your team, please contact cr@acre.com or +1 917 475 0461.


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