Fierce competition dominates the labor market for financial positions. That’s always true. But before you get visions of a Hunger Games-style death match waiting for you at the next job fair, take heart. According to a report prepared by the industry experts at Robert Half, the increased competition is now between employers, not those looking for employment.
In fact, the company reports a “short supply” of qualified talent in the finance and accounting industry, leading to a situation where applicants can afford to get choosy about where they work. They can also potentially look forward to multiple job offers and active attempts by current employers to keep them from straying to other firms.
Here are five job titles Robert Half has identified as among its “Hot Positions” for 2019 and the salary situation for them:
The title of “controller” covers a variety of positions. So much so it becomes difficult to nail down a precise salary hierarchy. Various industries and slight differences in job titles – Assistant Controller to Corporate Controller to Divisional Controller, etc. – make subtle differences in the overall compensation structure.
In general, Robert Half gives the low-end annual salary of a Controller position somewhere in the mid-$90,000 to low-$100,000 range. On the high end, the position can garner a paycheck in the low $200,000s.
Experience pays in the financial analyst position. The low-end salary for a newbie in the industry runs about $42,500, according to Robert Half. However, even inexperienced analysts can garner in the low $80,000 range for a highly skilled candidate.
Meanwhile, the pay scale increases as experience and managerial acumen increases. Senior Financial Analysts bring in $67,750 on the lower end of the spectrum and nearly $130,000 on the higher end. Meanwhile, Directors can draw upwards of $200,000 on the high end.
As with the Financial Analyst position, Internal Auditors see a steep increase in pay as experience piles up. For instance, Robert Half estimates the low-end salary for an Internal Auditor with less than a year of experience at $38,250 per year. Meanwhile, the next level (one to three years of experience) brings in $58,250 on the low end and $95,000 on the high end.
Senior Internal Auditors bring in about $75,000 on the low end, according to Robert Half. That rises to $120,250 on the high end.
Payroll can be a thankless specialty (people only notice when there’s something to complain about). This extends to the pay scale as well, with many of the positions relatively poorly paid. Payroll Clerks bring in just $32,250 on the low end, while Payroll Administrators only bump up to $38,500, according to Robert Half.
However, at the manager level, things improve somewhat. The Payroll Manager position brings in $59,250 on the low end and more than $125,000 (an average of $126,250 to be exact) on the high end. Lesson: Payroll only really pays when you’re in charge.
Senior Accountant/Staff Accountant
Robert Half lists both Senior Accountant and Staff Accountant among the hot positions in the finance industry. In terms of salary, though, there are significant differences based on experience, specialty and specific job title.
In general, forensic accounting has the highest pay scale, with $76,000 on the low and $144,750 as the average for top performers in the field. Tax Accountants also do relatively well. For a position requiring one to three years of experience, the low-end salary sits at around $58,500. The high end moves just above the six-figure mark, coming in at $101,000.
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