10 promising jobs for 2010

Survey reveals finance, IT and admin jobs with highest starting salaries

Starting salaries in the accounting and finance, information technology (IT) and administrative fields are expected to remain relatively flat or see modest declines next year, but some positions will buck this trend, according to a new survey.

The 2010 Salary Guides from Robert Half International has identified 10 positions where national average salaries are holding strong or seeing slight gains.

"Companies will continue to scrutinize expenditures in the coming year and it is evident that this trend is also affecting starting salaries," said Kathryn Bolt, president of Robert Half International's Canadian operations.

"That said, many companies recognize the value in increasing their talent bench to capitalize on emerging opportunities. With a larger pool of top talent available, many organizations are investing in additional full-time personnel who were not previously available."

Starting salaries for accounting and finance positions are expected to decrease by an average of 0.4 per cent in 2010. In IT, starting salaries will remain relatively flat with an average decrease of 0.2 per cent. Administrative professionals will see the sharpest decline in starting salaries with a projected decrease of 2.2 per cent in 2010.

However, many firms continue to report recruiting challenges despite current labour market conditions, said Bolt.

"While many employers themselves have been more selective to avoid costly hiring mistakes, many are faced with competition for high performers and an unwillingness of professionals to leave secure positions," she said.

One possible solution is to supplement full-time employees with skilled temporary workers to help organizations manage business demands, while avoiding the need for future possible layoffs, she added.

Positions with the best prospects in finance, IT and administration

1. Senior financial analyst: A senior financial analyst at a midsize company ($25 million to $250 million in sales) is anticipated to earn $57,750 to $73,500 in starting salary in 2010.

2. Credit manager/supervisor: Base compensation for credit managers/supervisors working in large companies (over $250 million in sales) is projected to range between $67,000 and $94,250.

3. Senior accountant: Senior accountants at large companies are forecast to earn $56,250 to $74,500 in annual base compensation.

4. Accounting clerk: Base compensation for accounting clerks is projected to range between $31,750 and $42,500.

5. Network engineer: Network engineers can expect to see starting salaries in the range of $70,750 to $93,000 in the coming year.

6. Business systems analyst: These professionals can expect to see base salaries increase to the range of $73,500 to $97,750.

7. Systems engineer: Base compensation for these professionals is projected to range from $62,500 to $82,500.

8. Customer service representative: The salary range for a customer service representative is projected to be $28,750 to $37,500.

9. Executive assistant: Senior executive assistants are likely to see starting salaries in the range of $48,000 to $64,750.

10. Data entry specialist: Data entry specialists are forecast to earn between $26,750 and $31,750 in 2010.

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