What's the hiring outlook for your occupation this year? What are the hottest industries and most in-demand skills? Which professionals are projected to see the greatest gains in starting salary?
For the answers to those questions and similar ones, look no further than the "2014 Salary Guides" from Robert Half. The "Salary Guides" feature average starting salary information for more than 700 roles in the accounting and finance, technology, creative and marketing, legal and administrative fields.
Overall, starting salaries for professional occupations in the United States are expected to increase an average of 3.7 percent in 2014, according to Robert Half's in-depth research. Generally speaking, the hiring environment has improved for many job seekers. In fact, professionals with the right mix of specialized skills are receiving multiple employment offers and counteroffers.
Following are industry-specific insights into some of the most noteworthy salary trends and positions to watch in 2014:
IT is indeed the "it" industry. Information technology professionals will see the biggest year-over-year starting salary increases (5.6 percent, on average) among the fields researched by Robert Half. Mobile applications developers ¬are in especially high demand due to people's seemingly insatiable desire for handheld devices and all things digital. The starting salary range for mobile app developers is expected to be $100,000 to $144,000, up 7.8 percent from 2013. Software developers and business intelligence analysts can anticipate higher-than-average increases as well.
> Find a job in the tech industry
Accounting and finance
The average starting salary for a newly hired accounting and finance professional is forecast to climb 3.4 percent this year. Analytical abilities are prized. Financial and business systems analysts are valued because organizations rely on these professionals for strategic guidance when considering upgrading and expanding their operations. Internal auditors are sought due to compliance concerns related to regulatory requirements. Also noteworthy: The outlook for entry-level accountants is brighter.
> Find a job in the finance industry
Creative and marketing
Creatives can expect average starting salaries to go up 3.3 percent. Creative agencies and in-house departments alike need help developing compelling and visually appealing content, particularly for small screens. But a dearth of digital expertise remains. The supply of creative professionals with standout interactive and mobile design skills is not keeping pace with the demand. As a result, user experience designers and mobile designers are well-positioned in today's employment market.
> Find a job as a product marketing manager
Administrative and office support
Starting pay for administrative and office support professionals is projected to increase an average of 3.3 percent. Executive and administrative assistants and customer service managers are in demand. Technical know-how and social media savvy are important for these roles, but soft skills such as communication ability, flexibility and a positive attitude are also key. The need for talented support staff is particularly pronounced in the areas of healthcare and human resources.
> Find an administrative job
Base compensation for legal positions is expected to rise 2.7 percent, on average, this year. Mid- and senior-level associates with portable books of business are highly sought by law firms looking to bolster lucrative practice groups or invest in new service offerings. Lawyers and legal support professionals with experience in the hottest practice areas -- healthcare, litigation and general business and commercial law -- are in top demand.
> Find a legal job
Want to know what your skills are worth? You can access all of the "2014 Salary Guides" at www.roberthalf.com/salary-guides. A salary calculator for each industry can be used to quickly customize national salary ranges for your position and location.
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Robert Half is the world's first and largest specialized staffing firm with a global network of more than 400 staffing and consulting locations worldwide. For more information about our professional services, visit roberthalf.com. For additional career advice, read our blog at blog.roberthalf.com or follow us on social media at roberthalf.com/follow-us.