Salaries for finance and accounting jobs expected to increase in 2014

Graduates looking to enter the workforce in the finance sector will likely be met by increasing salaries in the coming year. A recent report suggests that many finance careers will see significant increases in their average starting salaries during 2014. 

Despite continued economic struggles in the U.S., the latest Salary Guide published by staffing firm Robert Half suggests that finance and accounting jobs will see a 3.4 percent increase in starting salaries during 2014. The report indicates that many businesses have felt the need to increase starting salaries in order to be more competitive in their hiring practices, as well as to improve retention rates among current employees.

"Offering competitive compensation is crucial for both attracting top talent to your organization and encouraging your best people to stay," said Max Messmer, chairman and CEO of Robert Half. "And periodically benchmarking your salaries is key to ensuring you remain on the mark."

General accountant managers at mid-sized companies, for example, can expect to be offered starting salaries between $70,750 and $94,500, according to the firm. That represents a 4.1 percent increase over figures reported in the previous Salary Guide. General accountant managers at large and small companies will see comparable increases, with their starting salaries increasing by exactly four percent each. Other positions, such as financial analyst jobs, are projected to experience similar increases as well.

Individuals working accounting jobs are perhaps earning increased salaries due to the high demand for workers who can handle these positions. The latest "Hot Careers" report, published by the University of California San Diego, found that accountants and auditors would be among the most in-demand workers throughout all of 2013. In fact, the position is among the "hottest" positions in the country, according to the report.

The UC San Diego report indicated that the sheer demand for more workers to fill accounting careers earned it a place in the top five list of hottest careers in the U.S. They cited a projected growth rate in the field of 16 percent by 2020, and also noted that the average annual salary for accounting and audit careers has increased by roughly $10,000 in the past three years. The report identified salary growth as one of the main reasons this career can be extremely promising for young finance workers, supporting the conclusions reached by the Robert Half report.