Admin and office support to see major boost in starting salaries

Salaries for administration and office support set to outpace other professions in Scotland in 2018

Demand for highly-skilled professionals means those in the accounting and finance and administration sector are set to experience significant starting salary increases in Scotland.
According to the Robert Half 2018 Salary Guide, the competitive market for high-performing talent within accounting and finance is set to drive salaries for financial controllers (3.7%) and risk associates (3.3%) in Scotland higher in 2018.
Similarly, skilled administrative professionals in Scotland are also expected to see an increase in salaries over the next year. HR business partners and executive assistants are set to see salaries rise by 3.7% and senior administrative assistants by 3.1%.
Ed O’Connell, Director, Robert Half UK, said: “In the year ahead, businesses will be navigating a number of local, regional and international factors, such as Brexit, automation, digital transformation and meeting data regulations.
“However, the latest figures show Scotland has a reason to be cautiously optimistic with an established professional and business services sector supporting growth. However, like all regions, Scotland is grappling with a skills shortage and employers are willing to pay a price for those with the right skills to support their business goals in an effort to win the war for top talent.”
Table one: average salary increases in Scotland, by professional occupation in 2018
Average starting salary increases
Administrative and office support
Accounting and finance
National average


Administration and office support
In line with growth plans, businesses are recruiting mid-level administrative and office professionals with the industry experience and systems knowledge in areas such as Microsoft, SAP and CRM to provide specialist support. Permanent, professional-level employees can expect to see a salary increase and often a bonus structure linked to the success drivers of the position.
Table two: administration and office support highest salary rises by role in Scotland
Top three
2016 UK average
2017 UK average
% change
Executive assistant
£28,420 – £38,220
£30,380 – £38,710
HR business partner
£30,870 – £49,245
£32,585 – £50,470
Senior administrative assistant
£17,640 – £29,400
£18,130 – £30,380


Accounting and finance
Financial controllers and risk associates who can combine technical skills with commercial awareness and business acumen are sought after as firms focus on improving the overall productivity of the finance function. There is also growing demand for CFOs who can transform finance and introduce greater automation. On the whole, starting salaries within finance and accounting will increase over the next 12 months and those professionals with specialist skills or industry-specific experience are likely to benefit from the greatest increase.
Table three: accounting and finance highest salary rises by role in Scotland
2017 Scotland average
2018 Scotland average
% change
Financial controller (SME)
£40,670 – £52,185
£43,610 – £52,920
Risk associate (large company)
£46,060 – £56,840
£47,040 – £59,290
Senior financial controller (large company)
£58,310 – £73,500
£60,270 – £75,460
CFO / Group finance director (SME)
£84,280 – £100,000+
£84,770 – £100,000+



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