10 Promising Jobs For 2010

    Robert Half 2010 Salary Guides Reveal Compensation Not Likely to Increase
    For Most Positions, But Some Areas Offer Encouragement

    EDITOR'S NOTE: Please contact Kristie Perrotte for copies of the 2010
    Salary Guides from Robert Half International. Your readers can order free
    copies of the guides by visiting our Salary Centres (see About the Robert
    Half 2010 Salary Guides, Page 5) or calling (800) 803-8367.

TORONTO, Oct. 27 /CNW/ - 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 the 2010 Salary Guides from Robert Half International. Research for the guides provides insight into compensation and hiring trends within each field, and identifies 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."

Following is an overview of compensation trends, segmented by field, along with 10 positions showing steady or increasing compensation, according to the Salary Guides:

2010 Salary Trends: Accounting and Finance

Starting salaries for accounting and finance positions are expected to decrease by an average of 0.4 per cent in 2010. Businesses seek financial professionals who can help manage costs and enhance profitability. Companies also value personnel who possess deep technical expertise, are excellent communicators and collaborate effectively with colleagues across multiple departments.

    Positions with the best prospects include:

    1.  Senior financial analyst: Businesses need professionals who are able
        to evaluate financial plans, forecasts and budgets, and identify ways
        to improve profitability. 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: Companies need professionals who can
        contribute to the bottom line by reducing inefficiencies and
        enhancing profitability. As a result, credit and collections
        specialists who can evaluate credit risk, manage delinquent payments
        and help improve cash flow are in demand. Base compensation for
        credit managers/supervisors working in large companies (over
        $250 million in sales) is projected to range between $67,000 and

    3.  Senior accountant: Professionals with an accounting designation are
        sought to handle projects ranging from maintaining the general ledger
        system to analyzing and preparing financial statements. Individuals
        who can identify cost-saving opportunities are particularly valuable
        to their organizations. Senior accountants at large companies are
        forecast to earn $56,250 to $74,500 in annual base compensation.

    4.  Accounting clerk: Entry-level job seekers are required to help
        companies perform basic accounting procedures, including processing
        accounts receivables to assist in generating cash flow. Many
        companies who had made deep cuts are looking for individuals to help
        manage increasing workloads and assist with special projects. Base
        compensation for accounting clerks is projected to range between
        $31,750 and $42,500.

2010 Salary Trends: Information Technology

National starting salaries for IT roles are forecast to remain relatively flat with an average decrease of only 0.2 per cent in 2010. Professionals who are most in demand are able to tie IT initiatives to larger business objectives, helping their firms become more efficient and reduce costs. In addition, managers seek candidates with strong communication skills for projects that involve collaborating with peers in other areas of the company.

    Positions with the best prospects include:

    5.  Network engineer: Cloud computing, Voice over Internet Protocol
        (VoIP) and Software as a Service (SaaS) have significantly increased
        the complexity of and requirements placed on networks. Further, chief
        information officers interviewed for the fourth-quarter Robert Half
        Technology IT Hiring Index and Skills Report cited networking as the
        most in-demand skill set. Network engineers can expect to see
        starting salaries in the range of $70,750 to $93,000 in the coming

    6.  Business systems analyst: As IT and business processes become
        increasingly aligned, companies are leveraging the abilities of
        software/systems to improve efficiencies and reduce expenditures.
        Business systems analysts are in strong demand by companies to help
        bridge IT with the business and achieve overall objectives. These
        professionals can expect to see base salaries increase to the range
        of $73,500 to $97,750.

    7.  Systems engineer: As companies implement new technologies, technical
        services roles remain critical to the organization. Systems engineers
        are in demand to help companies develop and maintain technical
        infrastructure, hardware and system software components in support of
        a variety of IT projects. Base compensation for these professionals
        is projected to range from $62,500 to $82,500.

2010 Salary Trends: Administrative and Office Support

Starting salaries for administrative professionals are projected to decrease by an average of 2.2 per cent in 2010. However, demand is steady for administrative candidates with broad expertise and the ability to multitask, especially within teams that have been stretched thin and have redistributed work among fewer employees. In addition, firms want support staff who are confident as they approach unexpected situations, quick to learn new skills and able to help others adapt to change.

Positions with the best prospects include:

    8.  Customer service representative: In the current economy, hiring
        managers consider customer service the function most critical to
        their organizations' success, according to the 2009 Employment
        Dynamics and Growth Expectations (EDGE) Report from Robert Half and
        CareerBuilder. The salary range for a customer service representative
        is projected to be $28,750 to $37,500.

    9.  Executive assistant: Companies with leaner teams are looking for
        employees to take on a wider range of duties. Executive assistants
        who can wear many hats, support multiple managers and adapt readily
        to change are in particular demand. Senior executive assistants are
        likely to see starting salaries in the range of $48,000 to $64,750.

    10. Data entry specialist: As companies hire professionals to help manage
        workflow and assist with special projects, those skilled in high-
        volume data entry will be in greater demand. Increasingly, these
        professionals need to work interdepartmentally while juggling
        multiple priorities. Data entry specialists are forecast to earn
        between $26,750 and $31,750 in 2010.

Bolt noted that many firms continue to report recruiting challenges despite current labour market conditions. "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. Supplementing full-time employees with skilled temporary professionals allows companies to manage business demands while avoiding over-hiring and the need for possible future layoffs."

About the Robert Half 2010 Salary Guides

The new Robert Half Salary Guides include the 2010 Salary Guide for accounting and finance, produced by Accountemps(R), Robert Half(R) Finance & Accounting and Robert Half(R) Management Resources; the Robert Half Technology 2010 Salary Guide for technology professionals; and the OfficeTeam 2010 Salary Guide for administrative positions.

The guides are produced annually by Robert Half to offer hiring managers information on prevailing salaries in their geographic areas and insight into the latest employment trends. This year for the first time, the 2010 Salary Guides will be accompanied by online Salary Centres featuring up-to-the-minute information and analysis on the employment environment and Robert Half's new Salary Calculators. The Salary Calculators allow users to quickly access the starting salary range for their specified position and location and can be accessed at www.roberthalf.com/SalaryCentre, www.rht.com/SalaryCentre and www.officeteam.com/SalaryCentre for the accounting and finance, information technology, and administrative fields, respectively.

Robert Half International has more than 360 staffing locations worldwide and offers online job search services on its divisional websites, all of which can be accessed at www.rhi.com.

SOURCE Robert Half International (Canada)

For further information: For further information: Kristie Perrotte, (416) 350-2330, kristie.perrotte@rhi.com

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