Average starting salaries for accounting and finance professionals in the United States are forecast to rise 3.5% next year, according to the staffing company Robert Half.

Staff accountants, senior financial analysts and business systems analysts are in strong demand, the company noted, and these professionals can expect to see higher than average salary increases. The regulatory environment is driving hiring for risk, compliance and internal audit professionals.

Along with its 2015 Salary Guide for accounting and finance, Robert Half has also released annual salary guides for other industries and professions, including legal, technology, marketing, creative services and administrative professionals. The company’s research indicates that U.S. starting salaries for professional occupations are projected to increase an average of 3.8% next year. The largest expected gains in salaries among all the fields researched are in technology, with an anticipated 5.7% overall increase in the average starting salary for newly hired information technology workers. Accounting and finance and creative and marketing professionals can expect starting salaries to rise an average of 3.5%, according to the research. 

“Hiring demand is placing pressure on the supply of skilled workers in many specialties, particularly in the technology and financial fields,” said Paul McDonald, Robert Half senior executive director. “It’s crucial for businesses to benchmark salaries to remain competitive, especially in a market where skilled candidates know they are in demand.”

The guides offer compensation data and hiring trends for 2015, along with tips to recruit and retain top workers.

The 2015 Salary Guides from Robert Half are available at www.roberthalf.com/salary-guides.

Michael Cohn is editor-in-chief of AccountingToday.com 

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