Starting salaries expected to increase 3.2 per cent in 2012: Robert Half

Technology, admin positions – including HR – to see largest gains
||Last Updated: 10/28/2011

Starting salaries are expected to increase an average of 3.2 per cent next year, according to the 2012 Salary Guides from Robert Half International.

Technology positions are projected to see the largest gains, with an anticipated 4.4 per cent increase in base compensation. Mobile applications developers are in particularly strong demand, given the proliferation of mobile devices. Business intelligence analysts are also in demand, as firms look to perform data analysis that can help them move their business in the right direction, said Robert Half.

Overall starting salaries for administrative professionals are expected to rise 4.3 per cent in 2012. Companies that had streamlined support staff are now adding experienced executive and administrative assistants, customer service representatives and HR assistants who can help to increase efficiencies, support key company projects and provide excellent customer service, said Robert Half. Growth in the health care and manufacturing industries also is fueling demand for administrative personnel with experience in these sectors.

"The hiring environment is becoming more competitive for professionals with specialized expertise in areas… As a result, some businesses are looking to raise starting salaries to attract the most in-demand professionals," said Lara Dodo, a Canadian regional vice-president at Robert Half.

Professionals in creative fields can expect average starting salary gains of four per cent in 2012, found the survey. Those with interactive skills, such as user experience (UX) designers, are especially sought after as firms look to improve their web presence and transition many of their marketing programs online.

Accounting and finance professionals can expect starting salaries to rise an average of 2.5 per cent, found the survey. Companies are hiring professionals who can identify and support growth opportunities, such as financial analysts and business systems analysts. Tax accountants who can help firms navigate complex corporate tax laws also are in demand, found the survey.

In the legal field, starting salaries are anticipated to rise 1.7 per cent, on average, in the coming year. Lawyers with two to four years of experience in high-growth practice areas — such as litigation, intellectual property and corporate law — are seeing the strongest demand.

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