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Salaries Expected to Rise By 3.4 Percent in 2012


Companies may still be struggling to make ends meet, but they are committed to rewarding employees by offering higher salaries.

Average salaries are expected to rise by 3.4 percent in 2012, according to the newly released 2012 Salary Guides from Robert Half International.

Technology jobs are projected to see the largest gains, with an anticipated 4.5 percent increase in base compensation.

With businesses looking to expand their capabilities and transition to cloud computing, the research found that systems and networking engineers are in particularly strong demand. Additionally, given the spread of mobile devices, the study revealed mobile applications developers also are seeing increased demand for their services.

Besides the technology sector, accounting and finance professionals are expected to see some of the largest starting salary increases.

According to the study, 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, the research shows.

"Businesses seek professionals who can help them enhance their technology and accounting infrastructures," said Max Messmer, chairman and chief executive officer of Robert Half International, in a prepared release. "For many firms, the question isn't whether to implement improvements, but how quickly they can find the talent to do so."

Other fields with projected salary increases are:

  • Administrative and Office Support – Administrative assistants who can increase efficiencies, support key company projects and provide excellent customer service are specifically in demand.
  • Legal Field – Attorneys with four to nine years of experience in high-growth practice areas — such as litigation, labor and employment, real estate, and corporate law — also are seeing greater demand for their positions.
  • Marketing – Those with interactive skills, such as user experience designers, are especially sought after as firms look to improve their Web presence and transition many of their marketing programs online.

Since 1950, Robert Half has produced its salary guide to offer business owners, hiring managers and professionals information on prevailing starting salaries in their geographic areas and insight into the latest employment trends. The Best Job Interview Questions You Should Ask


Chad Brooks

Chad Brooks is a Chicago-based freelance writer who has nearly 15 years experience in the media business. A graduate of Indiana University, he spent nearly a decade as a staff reporter for the Daily Herald in suburban Chicago, covering a wide array of topics including, local and state government, crime, the legal system and education. Following his years at the newspaper Chad worked in public relations, helping promote small businesses throughout the U.S. Follow him on Twitter.