MENLO PARK, CA -- Average starting salaries for administrative professionals will continue to stabilize in 2003, according to the OfficeTeam 2003 Salary Guide. Base compensation within the profession as a whole will decrease 1.5 percent next year, with moderate increases forecast for in-demand positions in health care and customer service.

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 employment environment continues to be favorable for hiring managers, who have a larger selection of qualified applicants for each position," said Liz Hughes, executive director of OfficeTeam. "Companies are taking additional time and involving more people in the hiring process to ensure that each new employee is a good fit for the role."

Specialties in Demand

According to OfficeTeam research, health care administrators will see the greatest starting salary increase of any single job classification in 2003, with base compensation expected to rise 3.2 percent, to the range of $31,250 to $41,500 annually. "As the rapid growth of the health care industry continues, demand will remain strong for administrators, whose duties involve managing the day-to-day operations of a physician's office or hospital service area," Hughes said.

Average starting salaries for customer service managers are expected to increase 2.7 percent in 2003. "Customer service managers play a role in promoting a positive image of the company by handling client requests and problems efficiently," Hughes noted. "Firms are seeking customer service professionals with proven abilities in training and supervising staff, as well as working with other department managers to update policies and procedures for client service."

Other key findings in the OfficeTeam 2003 Salary Guide

  • Base compensation for medical records clerks will rise 1.8 percent, to the range of $19,250 to $23,000 annually. 
  • Average starting salaries for executive assistants will remain flat in 2003, ranging from $29,000 to $36,250 per year.
  • Starting salaries for administrative assistants will decrease by 0.5 percent to the range of $23,000 to $28,250 per year.
  • Starting salaries for office assistants are expected to be in the range of $19,000 to $22,500, a 0.6 percent decrease compared to last year.
  • Sales assistants will see a 3.6 percent decline in starting salaries, to range between $23,500 and $29,500 annually.  

Industry Trends 

Companies in the health care, financial services and construction 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 2003 Salary Guide.

Starting salary information in the OfficeTeam 2003 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 www.officeteam.com

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