The 2012 Salary Guide from Robert Half International shows that overall starting salaries for administrative professionals are expected to rise 3.4% this year.
Among the biggest gains:
- Senior executive assistants (EA) can expect a starting salary between $44,250 and $60,000—a gain of 4.5%. (Add 10% or more for EAs supporting C-level executives in big firms.)
- Executive assistants can expect between $37,750 and $50,750—or a gain of 4.4%.
- Senior administrative assistants can expect between $34,500 and $43,000—or a gain of 4.4%. (Add 6% for Certified Administrative Professional; 8% for Microsoft Office Specialist certification.)
Other news from the study:
- Managers are refilling critical support roles, having seen a productivity loss from reduced administrative staff levels. Experienced assistants are in particularly strong demand.
- Health care hiring remains strong, fueled by a shift to electronic medical records.
- Demand for skilled administrative professionals is strong. Nearly half of surveyed HR managers said it’s difficult to find them these days.
What do recruiters say they’re looking for:
- Flexibility. Companies are coping with a lot of change. Managers want staff who can adapt to changing workloads and responsibilities.
- Communication. Admins have to be articulate and polished in their interactions. Writing abilities are evermore important, given the greater emphasis on email and social media.
- Technical expertise. Managers want admins to be so proficient with software so they can assist and train others. Microsoft Office skills remain in demand, as are skills with social-media tools.
- Can-do mindset. Managers want staff members who can fix problems.
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