Skip to main content

Press Releases

New Release Paragraph

Read about our latest research, including results from our ongoing surveys of senior managers and workers, and company announcements.

Robert Half Releases 2012 Salary Guides
Research Reveals Starting Salary Projections, Positions in Demand

MENLO PARK, Calif., Oct. 13, 2011 /PRNewswire/ -- The newly released 2012 Salary Guides from Robert Half International show U.S. starting salaries will increase an average of 3.4 percent next year. Technology positions are projected to see the largest gains among all fields researched, with an anticipated 4.5 percent increase in base compensation. Accounting and finance professionals can expect starting salaries to rise an average of 3.5 percent, according to the research.

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

Following is an overview of hiring trends in the fields covered by the Salary Guides:

Accounting and Finance  

The 2012 research forecasts an average starting salary increase of 3.5 percent for accounting and finance positions. 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.


Overall, base compensation for information technology (IT) professionals is expected to increase   4.5 percent in the coming year. Systems and networking engineers are in particularly strong demand as businesses look to expand their capabilities and transition to cloud computing. Mobile applications developers also are seeing demand for their services, given the proliferation of mobile devices.  

Creative and Marketing

Professionals in creative fields can expect average starting salary gains of 3.5 percent in 2012, the research suggests. Those with interactive skills, such as user experience (UX) designers, are especially sought after as firms look to improve their web presence and transition many of their marketing programs online.


In the legal field, starting salaries are anticipated to rise 1.9 percent, on average, in the coming year. Lawyers with four to nine years of experience in high-growth practice areas -- such as litigation, labor and employment, real estate, and corporate law -- are seeing greater demand, the research shows.

Administrative and Office Support

Overall starting salaries for administrative professionals are expected to rise 3.4 percent in 2012. Companies that had streamlined support staff are now adding experienced executive and administrative assistants who can increase efficiencies, support key company projects and provide excellent customer service. Growth in the healthcare industry also is fueling demand for administrative personnel with experience in this sector.

About the 2012 Salary Guides

The newly released Salary Guides include:


All of the guides can be accessed at Salary calculators that can be used to determine average starting salaries in hundreds of local markets also can be accessed via the links to the Salary Guides above.


Since 1950, Robert Half has produced Salary Guides to offer business owners, hiring managers and professionals information on prevailing starting salaries in their geographic areas and insight into the latest employment trends. Companies consult the annual guides to determine appropriate compensation for accounting and finance, technology, creative and marketing, legal, and administrative professionals at all levels. In addition, the U.S. Department of Labor's Bureau of Labor Statistics has used the guide when preparing its comprehensive Occupational Outlook Handbook.

Information in the guides is based on the thousands of job searches, negotiations and placements managed each year by Robert Half's staffing and recruiting managers, along with the company's ongoing surveys of executives. Continuing or ongoing salaries are not reported because many external factors -- such as seniority, work ethic, job performance and training -- impact the salaries of full-time professionals as work histories develop. 

About Robert Half International

Robert Half International has more than 350 staffing locations worldwide and offers online job search services on its divisional websites, all of which can be accessed at

SOURCE Robert Half International

For further information: Michael Weiss, +1-650-234-6383,