As people look to the coming year with hopes of continued economic recovery and increased job creation, new research may hold clues as to what the most promising professional positions will be in 2011. According to the Salary Guides just released from Robert Half, 11 roles representing several fields – including accounting and finance, technology, legal and administrative – show promising increases in starting salaries and growing demand among employers.
“The common thread among the jobs highlighted in our research is that they help businesses improve efficiency and profits, and foster a more positive customer experience,” said Max Messmer, chairman and CEO of Robert Half International. “The most successful job candidates bring multiple skill sets, a track record of success and a strong sense of accountability to their roles.”
1. Performance analyst – Among nearly 130 finance and accounting positions listed in the 2011 Salary Guide, performance analysts are expected to see the largest jump in starting salaries. Average starting compensation is projected to rise 5.1 per cent to the range of $56,250 to $86,750. Many Canadian employers seek talented professionals who can prepare portfolio, benchmark and statistical reports; maintain and update performance databases; and evaluate return on investment for the company.
2. Controller – Average starting salaries for controllers at midsize companies ($50 million to $100 million in sales) are expected to climb 4.9 per cent, to the range of $85,500 to $113,750. Organizations are adding controllers and assistant controllers to oversee accounting operations, enhance accounting and internal control systems, and assist with growth initiatives.
3. Public accountant – Professionals in midsize/small firms can anticipate a 2.2 per cent gain in base pay, to a range of $65,500 to $84,250. Demand is consistent for staff that can perform a broad range of accounting, auditing, tax and consulting activities.
4. ERP business analyst – Base compensation for these professionals – who tailor enterprise resource planning software – is projected to increase 9.3 per cent next year, to a range of $80,000 to $105,000. ERP enables organisations of all sizes and types to improve efficiency and cut costs. Companies need analysts who can guide better decision-making processes in a constantly changing business environment, help reduce costs and better evaluate internal/external clients.
5. IT auditor – Base compensation for IT auditors – within the consulting and systems integration segment – is projected to increase 9.1 per cent next year, to a range of $74,500 to $97,000. Employers are seeking these professionals who make recommendations for systems operations and process improvement, as well as develop risk-based audit plans.
6. Lead application developer – As firms evaluate more complex data and create custom applications, they require skilled developers who can design methods for handling, processing and evaluating material. Lead application developers can expect base compensation in the range of $78,750 to $109,000, a gain of 7.1 per cent over 2010.
7. Lawyer – Lawyers with four to nine years of experience at midsize law firms should see average starting salaries of $96,500 to $183,250, a 4.0 per cent increase over 2010. These firms are recruiting experienced lawyers who can bring a significant book of business to support their development in lucrative practice areas such as litigation, healthcare, and corporate law.
8. Law clerk – Law clerks with four to six years of experience at small/midsize law firms will see average starting salaries ranging from $44,500 to $54,750, a 3.7 per cent increase over 2010 projections. Law firms seek legal support professionals with experience in in-demand specialties who can handle a wide range of administrative tasks.
9. Executive assistant- Starting salaries for executive assistants can expect to see a rise of 4.9 per cent, to the range of $42,750 to $54,000. Demand is consistent for these assistants who have strong technical expertise, project coordination experience, and exceptional communication skills.
10. Medical data entry specialist – As the healthcare field continues to expand, organisations look for medical data entry specialists with industry background to help store, retrieve and update files; and analyze information. Base compensation is expected to rise 3.7 per cent, to a range of $28,500 to $35,000.
11. Senior administrative assistant – Companies that cut support roles during the downturn are adding back staff to help make departments more efficient and productive. Senior administrative assistants with advanced technical skills, specific industry expertise and staff supervision experience are in demand, and should see starting salaries grow 3.9 per cent, to a range of $38,000 to $48,250.