Salaries to Remain On the Rise In 2016

April 12, 2016 – While most 2016 pay raises will average around three percent, certain engineering, information technology, manufacturing & logistics, and office & administration jobs can expect compensation increases of six to nine percent, according to the just-released Randstad U.S. annual salary guide.

Randstad’s guides unveil compensation ranges for top positions in numerous geographic regions around the country and cover engineering, finance & accounting, healthcare, human resources, information technology, life sciences, manufacturing & logistics, and office & administration.

Some salary guides pinpoint jobs that show pay increases as much as triple the national average. For example, the following jobs in engineering, information technology, manufacturing & logistics, and office & administration showed the highest year-over-year national median salary increases:

  • Engineering: electronics / computer engineer (8.31 percent); mechanical engineer (7.38 percent); quality engineer (7.36 percent);
  • Information Technology: network engineer (7.21 percent); software engineer (5.48 percent); project manager (3.87 percent); 
  • Manufacturing & Logistics: electromechanical technician (9.29 percent); assistant plant manager (8.05 percent); maintenance manager (6.65 percent); 
  • Office & Administration: office manager (6.68 percent); call center representative – general calls (4.55 percent); accounts receivable supervisor (4.50 percent).

The salary guides also highlight today’s most in-demand jobs: 

  • Finance & Accounting: senior accountant; cost accountant; finance (financial planning and analysis) manager; 
  • Healthcare: allied health; travel nursing; physicians; 
  • Human Resources: human resources generalist; human resources business partner; learning and development manager;
  • Life Sciences: drug safety associate; clinical study manager; regulatory affairs CMC manager.

With salaries increasing and companies across many sectors in hiring mode, expect to see more employees jumping ship for higher pay. According to several recent surveys, a quarter of U.S. workers plan to change jobs this year.


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According to a study released by Penna48 percent of people claimed the main reason for a job change was that they were searching for better pay and benefits.

Workers looking for higher pay comes as no surprise and various studies have pointed to expected salary increases in the coming year.

According to the Korn Ferry Hay Group 2016 Salary Forecast study, workers are expected to see wage increases of 2.5 percent, the highest in three years.

In other parts of the world, salaries are also increasing. The Korn Ferry Hay Group report found that salaries in Asia are forecasted to increase by 6.4 percent, Europe is set to see an average salary increase of 2.8 percent, North America will experience growth of 2.7, the Middle East will be up 5.3 percent, Africa will increase 6.5 percent, and Latin America will jump 11.4 percent.

“This year’s global salary forecast shows that for the majority of countries real wage increases in 2016 are set to be the highest in three years,” said Philip Spriet, global managing director for productized services at Hay Group. “Differing macro-economic conditions means there are stark variations globally, but overall decent pay increases, coupled with extremely low (and in some cases, zero) inflation, mean that the outlook is positive for workers.”

Another recent survey by the Hay Group found that workers in the oil and gas, chemicals and life sciences industries out-earn their peers in other industries. On the other end of the spectrum, employees in retail earn well below the average pay of their peers, when looking across all industries.

The report found that toward the top of the list of highest paying industries around the globe, the chemicals (nine percent above the average) and life sciences (eight percent above the average) industries pay higher than average wages across the board. Despite current downward trends in the oil and gas industry, Hay Group analysis found this sector to be the top payer at the global level, coming in at 22 percent above the average pay across all industries. At the bottom end of the scale, the retail sector typically pays 12 percent below the average, while the construction and services industries both pay four percent less than the overall average.

“As global economies continue to grapple with weak consumer spending, it’s little surprise we see industries more reliant on hourly wage labor at the bottom of our ranking, worldwide,” said Ben Frost, a consultant at Hay Group. “Comparatively, industries where labor is concentrated in highly technical roles, including engineering and scientific functions, have fared much better as far as employee pay is concerned.”

In the U.S., the life sciences industry emerges at the top of the Hay Group analysis, paying 30 percent more than the average pay across all industries and title levels. Not surprisingly, recruiters feeding leadership to the sector say persistent talent shortages and the need to develop and retain employees with critical business and technology skill sets will continue to challenge global life sciences companies, driving up wages. Strategies for leadership, talent and human resources are undergoing dramatic change as a result.

“As on the global level, we’re seeing highly technical STEM-focused roles paying off for workers in the U.S., while government roles hold the bottom slot in our study,” said Mr. Frost. “On the healthcare, property and casualty insurance and health insurance side, these industries necessarily include a large number of administrative rolls, in claims processing and similar functions, which tend to drive down the overall pay levels seen in our analysis.”

Contributed by Scott A. Scanlon, Editor-in-Chief, Hunt Scanlon Media 

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