Among the most in demand positions: hedge fund accountant. According to a press release from recruiter Robert Half International, hedge fund accountants contribute to the production of client portfolio statements and net asset value calculations for hedge fund clients.
Professionals who possess three to seven years of experience in fund administration or investment management will see starting salaries rise 6.5% next year, to a range of $46,250 to $64,500, according to the report.
“Demand remains strong for highly skilled accounting and finance professionals, particularly those whose functional expertise is complemented by excellent communication and technology skills,” said Max Messmer, chairman and CEO of Robert Half International and author of Job Hunting For Dummies, in the release.
Other in-demand positions for 2008, according to Robert Half International include:
Internal auditor — Companies seek internal auditors, particularly those who possess the certified internal auditor designation, to help improve internal control over financial reporting and meet the compliance mandates of regulations such as the Sarbanes-Oxley Act. National average starting salaries for internal audit managers at large companies (more than $250 million in sales) are expected to climb 6.7% in 2008, to a range of $81,500 to $109,500 annually.
Senior accountant — Senior accountants with at least three years of experience and public accounting expertise are sought to perform core accounting tasks, including maintaining the general ledger system and analyzing and preparing financial statements. The greatest gains in starting compensation for senior accountants are expected at midsize companies ($25 million to $250 million in sales), with starting salaries projected to rise 5.4% over 2007 levels, to between $49,250 and $63,000 per year, on average, according to Robert Half.
Financial analyst — As firms expand, companies need financial analysts to assist with budgeting, forecasting, and financial modeling, according to the report, which goes on to note that demand for these professionals is especially acute at the management and senior levels. Base pay is forecast to jump 5.8% for managers with large companies, to between $74,750 and $99,000. Average starting salaries for entry-level professionals at large companies are expected to rise 6.9%, to between $38,250 and $47,500 annually.
Public accountant — Demand continues to grow for public accountants as firms look for professionals to deliver diverse service offerings. According to Robert Half, average starting salaries for senior managers and directors at midsize firms are projected to increase 7.7% in the year ahead, to between $88,250 and $129,250. At small firms (up to $25 million in sales), professionals with one to three years of experience can expect a 7.7% increase in average starting salaries, to a range of $44,750 to $53,250.
The 2008 Salary Guide from Robert Half International is based on an analysis of the thousands of job placements managed by the company’s U.S. offices and includes an overview of the hiring environment and national average starting salary ranges for positions in accounting, finance, banking and financial services.