The most promising jobs going for 2012

Professionals who provide commercial value will see a rise in remuneration

Jobs in specialist occupations are expected to dominate the jobs market in 2012, according to the2012 Salary Guide from recruitment specialist Robert Half UAE. The guide forecasts a dual job market, where roles requiring highly skilled professionals in the fields of finance, accounting, HR, IT and law will continue to be in demand, despite general uncertainty facing the economy and jobs market.

Companies recognise that they need to find ways to grow their business, but that they also need to prepare for possible new markets and industry developments, particularly in light of an increasingly stringent regulatory environment.

Professionals who provide commercial value, whether managing finance, identifying risk, improving efficiencies or contributing to business strategy will see increases in demand and remuneration in the coming year.

The 12 high-potential jobs for 2012 and their salary averages

1. Market Risk Managers: With ongoing financial market volatility, market risk managers are increasingly called upon to ensure investment and trading portfolios are not susceptible to equity, interest rate, currency and/or commodity risk. Starting salaries for entry-level professionals with up to two years of experience can range between $40,000 and $70,000 but can rise to $150,000+ for those with 10 years of experience or more.

2. IT Project Managers: Companies looking to improve efficiencies through investments in technology are looking for project managers to oversee large scale implementations for enterprise resource planning (ERP) systems and/or migration to cloud computing. IT project managers with six to nine years of experience should expect base remuneration in the range of $90,000 - $120,000.

3. Finance Managers / Directors: Throughout the downturn the finance function has risen to the fore, with the need for business-savvy leaders who understand the nuances of both the technical and commercial aspects of the business.

Finance managers with three to five years’ experience at large companies can expect starting salaries between $72,000 and $100,000, with remuneration rising to as much as $500,000 for finance directors/CFOs with more than 16 years of experience.

4. HR Directors: As companies look to grow and cultivate their existing and future workforce, HR directors who share the vision and strategy of the organisation are needed to ensure that their human capital assets and requirements meet business goals. HR directors with more than 10 years of experience will see remuneration between $150,000 and $200,000 in the coming year.

5. Compliance Managers: Local and multinational corporations need professionals who can help them comply with regulations, including IFRS and U.S. SEC mandates. Evolving regulations issued as a result of the financial crisis has created a shortage of professionals with the requisite compliance expertise. The starting salary range for a compliance manager with six to nine years of experience is forecast between $110,000 and $140,000.

6. Regional Legal Counsel / Legal Managers: Lawyers with six to nine years of experience working in-house managing regional or local teams should see average starting salaries of $164,000 to $245,000. These companies are recruiting counsel with experience in contracts, corporate governance, regulatory and litigation, among other specialisms, to help them meet their legal requirements.

7. Enterprise Architects: Companies looking to streamline business processes to provide an integrated, cost-effective system are looking for enterprise architects who display strong strategic and commercial vision. Enterprise architects with 10 to 15 years of experience will see starting salaries between $100,000 and $147,500.

8. Internal Auditors: In an era of increased financial scrutiny, companies looking to improve the effectiveness of their risk management, control and governance processes are seeking internal audit managers to provide insight and recommendations on business process. Internal audit managers at large companies with three to five years of experience can expect to earn between $52,000 and $57,000.

9. Operational Risk Managers: Many multinational and local corporations are looking for operational risk managers to prevent losses resulting from inadequate or failed internal processes, people and systems, or from external events. Operational risk managers highly versed in Basel III are increasingly in demand and those with six to nine years of experience can expect starting salaries between $95,000 and $120,000.

10.  Management Accountants: With the finance team playing a critical role in a company’s strategic direction, management accountants are required to help formulate policies as well as plan and control growth initiatives. Base salary ranges at large companies is expected between $72,000 and $98,000 for experienced qualified accountants with six to nine years of experience.

11.  Paralegals (in-house): Paralegals with three to five years of experience working in-house will see average base remuneration ranging between $65,000 and $98,000. Companies seek legal support professionals experienced with in-demand specialties who can handle a wide range of administrative tasks.

12.  Recruitment Managers (in-house): Increased hiring activity means that companies require skilled professionals to assist with the recruitment and selection of their industry’s top talent. Recruitment managers with six to nine years of experience can expect to earn between $75,000 and $90,000 this year.

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