3.7 per cent average increase to starting salaries in professional occupations in 2015

Biggest gains in technology: Survey
|hrreporter.com|Last Updated: 10/08/2014

Canadian starting salaries for professional occupations are projected to increase an average of 3.7 per cent next year, according to the 2015 Salary Guides from Robert Half.

The largest expected gains are in technology, with an anticipated 5.2 per cent overall increase in the average starting salary for newly hired IT workers. Creative and marketing, and accounting and finance professionals can expect starting salaries to rise an average of 3.9 and 3.4 per cent, respectively, according to the research.

Accounting and finance
Average starting salaries for accounting and finance professionals are forecast to rise 3.4 per cent 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, said Robert Half. The regulatory environment is driving hiring for risk, compliance and internal audit professionals.

Overall, base compensation for IT professionals is expected to increase 5.2 per cent 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, found the survey.

Creative and marketing
Professionals in creative fields can expect average starting salary gains of 3.9 per cent in 2015. Growth in the digital space, particularly mobile, is driving the demand for professionals such as digital marketing strategists and user-experience specialists, said Robert Half. Businesses also seek content strategists, web designers and front-end web developers.

In the legal field, starting salaries are anticipated to rise 2.6 per cent, 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, found the survey. 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 are expected to rise 3.3 per cent in 2015, said Robert Half. 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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