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VIA Robert Half International:

Research conducted for the “2010 Salary Guides” from Robert Half International is painting a surprising picture about the salary landscape for the new year. Starting salaries in the accounting and finance, information technology and administrative fields are expected to remain relatively flat or see modest declines in 2010. But base compensation for certain positions will buck the trend, in some cases even increasing over 2009 levels. Here are 10 jobs, segmented by industry, with the best prospects for 2010:

Accounting and finance

1. Tax accountant: Companies seek tax accountants who can help their organizations achieve bottom-line savings through effective tax management strategies. Businesses also need their guidance to comply with tax regulations. Tax accountants with one to three years of experience at large companies, defined as having more than $250 million in sales, are expected to see an average national starting salary of $46,500 to $61,500.

2. Compliance director: Companies need professionals who can help them comply with U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission mandates and prepare for the potential transition to international financial reporting standards. New regulations that are issued as a result of the financial crisis may generate further demand for professionals with the requisite compliance expertise. The starting salary range for a compliance director at a small company, defined as having up to $25 million in sales, is forecast to be $83,750 to $108,500.

3. Credit manager or supervisor: Companies need professionals who can reduce inefficiencies and enhance profitability. As a result, credit and collections specialists who can evaluate credit risk, manage delinquent payments and help improve cash flow are in demand. Base compensation for credit managers or supervisors working in small companies is projected to range between $42,500 and $57,500.

4. Senior financial analyst: Businesses need professionals who are able to evaluate financial plans, forecasts and budgets, and identify ways to improve profitability. A senior financial analyst at a midsize company, defined as having $25 million to $250 million in sales, is expected to earn $57,750 to $74,000 in starting salary in 2010.

Information technology

5. Network administrator: Cloud computing, Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) and Software as a Service (SaaS) have significantly increased the complexity of and requirements placed on networks. Further, network administration remains an in-demand skill, according to chief information officers interviewed by Robert Half International. Network administrators can expect to see starting salaries of $54,500 to $80,250 in the coming year.

6. Information systems security manager: Protecting the confidentiality, integrity and availability of information from internal and external breaches is crucial for companies of all sizes, making security professionals integral to the IT department. The salary range for an information systems security manager is expected to be $96,500 to $130,750.

7. Systems engineer: As companies implement new technologies, technical services roles remain critical to the organization. Systems engineers are in demand to help companies develop and maintain technical infrastructure, hardware and system software components. Base compensation for these professionals is projected to range from $64,250 to $93,250.

Administrative and office support

8. Medical records clerk: As more hospitals and health care organizations transition from paper to electronic medical records, facilities will seek medical records clerks who can help supervise the scanning and processing of patient data. These individuals can expect to earn a starting salary of $23,750 to $31,500 in 2010.

9. Customer service representative: In the current economy, hiring managers consider customer service the function most critical to their organizations’ success, according to the 2009 Employment Dynamics and Growth Expectations (EDGE) Report from Robert Half and CareerBuilder. The salary range for a customer service representative is projected to be $22,750 to $30,750.

10. Executive assistant: Companies with leaner teams are looking for employees to take on a wider range of duties. Executive assistants who can wear many hats, support multiple managers and adapt readily to change are in particular demand. These individuals are likely to see starting salaries of $35,000 to $47,000.