Compensation for Support Staff Should Remain Little Changed in 2004

EDITOR'S NOTE: Your readers can order a free copy of the OfficeTeam 2004 Salary Guide by calling (800) 804-8367. Media requests should be directed to Maureen Carrig at (650) 234-6289.

MENLO PARK, CA -- Average starting salaries for administrative professionals are expected to remain at or near 2003 levels, according to the OfficeTeam 2004 Salary Guide. While compensation in some categories will see moderate declines, positions in healthcare and project coordination will rise in the year ahead as demand increases for skilled workers in these areas.

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.

"The hiring environment remains conservative, which has kept starting salaries relatively constant," said Liz Hughes, vice president of OfficeTeam. "High-demand specialties such as healthcare are most likely to see increases in base compensation as competition for highly skilled candidates rises."

Specialties in Demand

Steady growth within the healthcare industry fueled hiring activity within this sector in 2003, a trend that is expected to continue next year. Ongoing shifts in regulations impacting the healthcare field have increased the need for skilled workers who can readily adapt to changing job requirements. According to OfficeTeam research, medical office administrators will see the greatest starting salary increase of any single administrative job classification in 2004, with base compensation expected to rise 7.9 percent, to the range of $33,500 to $45,000 annually. "Healthcare organizations continue to rely heavily on medical office administrators for their ability to manage staff, budgets and the daily operations of a medical practice," Hughes said. Another healthcare position, patient registration/admissions clerk, should see starting salaries increase 7.3 percent, to be between $20,250 and $27,500.

In addition to healthcare positions, demand is expected to grow for project coordinators. These professionals play a significant role in tracking activity related to departmental deadlines, meetings and budgets. According to Hughes, there is increased demand for project coordinators in many industries, including construction, technology and transportation. Average starting compensation for project coordinators is expected to increase 2.5 percent in 2004, to range between $27,000 and $35,000.

Other key findings in the OfficeTeam 2004 Salary Guide

  • Base compensation for senior office assistants will increase 1.1 percent, to the range of $21,500 to $25,250 annually.
  • Office/facilities managers are expected to see a 0.4 percent increase in starting salaries, to the range of $27,500 to $34,500 per year.
  • Average starting salaries for data entry specialists will remain flat in 2004, ranging from $18,750 to $22,750 per year.
  • Executive assistants will see a 0.8 percent decline in starting salaries, to be between $28,750 and $36,000 annually.
  • Starting salaries for human resources assistants are expected to be in the range of $23,250 to $29,500, a 0.9 percent decrease compared to last year.
  • Starting salaries for administrative assistants will decrease by 1 percent to the range of $22,500 to $28,250 per year. 

Industry Trends 

Healthcare, mortgage and title, and nonprofit firms report consistent 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 2004 Salary Guide.

Starting salary information in the OfficeTeam 2004 Salary Guide is based on 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

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