MENLO PARK, CA -- Average starting salaries in the administrative field will remain little changed in the United States next year, according to the newly released OfficeTeam 2002 Salary Guide. Base compensation is predicted to decline 0.4 percent in 2002, compared to a 3.9 percent increase that was forecast this time last year.

OfficeTeam is the world's leading staffing service specializing in highly skilled temporary office and administrative professionals. The company's annual salary survey is based on extensive research, as well as local and national employment data gathered from OfficeTeam locations throughout the United States and Canada.

"Economic conditions have led to more stable compensation levels," said Liz Hughes, executive director of OfficeTeam. "With a greater number of skilled professionals available in the current market, hiring managers are becoming more specific in their requirements. In addition to strong administrative skills, firms seek individuals with a stable employment history, solid work ethic and versatility."

Specialties in Demand
According to OfficeTeam research, senior customer service specialists will see the greatest starting salary increase of any single job classification in 2002, with base compensation expected to rise 3.8 percent, to the range of $25,000 to $30,000 annually. "The quality of a company's customer service often distinguishes it from competitors," Hughes said. "Senior customer service specialists play a pivotal role in setting performance standards for staff, communicating proactively with clients and responding to customer requests."

Average starting salaries for senior data entry specialists are expected to increase 2.7 percent in the year ahead. "Companies rely on senior data entry specialists for their efficiency and accuracy in completing projects for multiple managers," Hughes noted.

Other key findings in the OfficeTeam 2002 Salary Guide:

  • Base compensation for administrative assistants will rise 2.0 percent, to the range of $23,000 to $28,500 annually.
  • Average starting salaries for executive assistants will hold steady, increasing just 0.4 percent to the range of $29,000 to $36,250 per year. 
  • Starting salaries for mail assistants will remain flat in 2002, ranging from $18,500 to $21,500.
  • Sales assistants will see a 1.3 percent salary decline, to the range of $24,500 and $30,500 annually.
  • Starting salaries for word processors are expected to remain relatively flat at the range of $22,500 to $26,500, a 0.5 percent decrease compared to last year. 

Industry Trends
Companies in the financial services, health care and pharmaceutical industries report particularly strong demand for support staff, according to OfficeTeam research. However, employment opportunities vary by geographic region. A complete regional analysis of hiring trends and selected local salary variances is included in the OfficeTeam 2002 Salary Guide.

Starting salary information in the OfficeTeam 2002 Salary Guide is derived from the thousands of job orders handled in the United States each year by OfficeTeam staffing managers. Continuing or ongoing salaries are not reported since too many factors -- such as seniority, work ethic, performance and training -- impact a full-time employee's compensation as a work history develops.

Businesses nationwide consult the OfficeTeam Salary Guide each year to determine starting salaries for administrative staff. The U.S. Department of Labor uses the guide in preparation of its Occupational Outlook Handbook, one of the best-selling government publications.

OfficeTeam has more than 300 locations worldwide and offers online job search services at www.officeteam.com.

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