Average Starting Salary for Professional Occupations up 3.8% in 2015

12.01.2014
HR & Safety

‘It’s crucial for businesses to benchmark salaries to remain competitive’

The 2015 Salary Guides from Robert Half show that U.S. starting salaries for professional occupations are projected to increase an average of 3.8% next year.

The largest expected gains in salaries among all fields researched are in technology, with an anticipated 5.7% overall increase in the average starting salary for newly hired IT workers. Accounting and finance and creative and marketing professionals can expect starting salaries to rise an average of 3.5%, according to the research.

“Hiring demand is placing pressure on the supply of skilled workers in many specialties, particularly in the technology and financial fields,” says Paul McDonald, Robert Half senior executive director. “It’s crucial for businesses to benchmark salaries to remain competitive, especially in a market where skilled candidates know they are in demand.”

The guides offer compensation data and hiring trends for 2015, as well as tips to recruit and retain top workers.

Overview of Findings

Accounting and finance. Average starting salaries for accounting and finance professionals in the United States are forecast to rise 3.5% next year. Staff accountants, senior financial analysts, and business systems analysts are in strong demand, and these professionals can expect to see higher than average salary increases. The regulatory environment is driving hiring for risk, compliance, and internal audit professionals.

Technology. Overall, base compensation for IT professionals in the United States is expected to increase 5.7% in the coming year. Mobile, security, and big data will be three drivers for technology hiring in 2015. Mobile applications developers can expect the highest salary increases among all technology roles.

Creative and marketing. Professionals in creative fields in the United States can expect average starting salary gains of 3.5% in 2015. Growth in the digital space, particularly mobile, is driving the demand for professionals such as digital marketing strategists and user-experience specialists. Businesses also seek content strategists, web designers, and front-end web developers.

Legal. In the legal field, U.S. starting salaries are anticipated to rise 3.0%, on average, in the coming year. Law firms are seeking mid- and senior-level lawyers in high-growth practice areas, such as litigation, general business and commercial law, and intellectual property. Paralegals also are in high demand by companies and law firms, and those with specialized skill sets can expect higher starting compensation.

Administrative and office support. Overall starting salaries for administrative professionals in the United States are expected to rise 3.4% in 2015. Demand for skilled executive and administrative assistants remains strong. There continues to be a need for support staff in healthcare, human resources, and customer service.

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