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New Grads to Face Active Hiring Market, Higher Starting Salaries

Average starting salaries for entry-level financial reporting accountants are $54k-67K. Internal auditor starting salaries average about $50-55K.


Professionals newly joining the workforce in 2024 can expect an active hiring market, according to research from talent solutions and business consulting firm Robert Half. In a recent Robert Half survey, 65% of companies said they plan to hire entry-level professionals, generally defined as individuals with 0-2 years of experience, in early 2024.

The Outlook for Entry-Level Professionals

Hiring Plans by Field
Administrative and customer support     76 %
Legal75 %
Marketing and creative72 %
Finance and accounting66 %
Human resources57 %
Technology56 %
Hiring Plans by Company Size
Small (less than 100 employees)69 %
Midsize (100-999 employees)67 %
Large (1,000+ employees)61 %

“Bringing in workers who are in the early stages of their career is a smart hiring strategy,” said Dawn Fay, operational president of Robert Half. “Recent grads and entry-level professionals can help drive innovation by delivering fresh ideas and new skills.”

Advice for the Class of 2024
Robert Half offers the following tips for professionals new to the workforce:

  1. Know your worth. Do your homework on the going pay rate for similar roles in your field. Consider perks such as flexible work as part of the overall compensation package.
  2. Practice negotiation. Negotiating salary is critical to securing fair compensation for your skills and experience. Be realistic, flexible and rehearse negotiating with a trusted mentor or friend with experience in the business world.
  3. Find the best culture fit. Research employers that offer the workplace culture that suits your personality and where you will thrive. During the interview process, ask questions about mentorship opportunities, recognition programs, workplace collaboration and leadership styles.
  4. Focus on growth opportunities. Despite being new to the workforce, keep your eye on the big picture. Consider employers that will invest in your career growth through professional development and training opportunities.

“When you do land a job, you want to start off on the right foot,” Fay said. “Ask questions, make connections, voice challenges and volunteer for projects. This shows you are thinking about how you can contribute to long-term organizational goals.”

Ten In-Demand Roles for Entry-Level Professionals
The 2024 Robert Half Salary Guide features employment trends and starting salaries for hundreds of positions. Below is a snapshot of in-demand entry-level positions with salary ranges in the fields Robert Half serves.

PositionAverage Starting Salaries (25th – 50th Percentile)
Entry-level financial reporting accountant$54,250 – $67,250
Entry-level business analyst$52,250 – $60,750
Entry-level financial analyst$51,250 – $59,500
Entry-level internal auditor$50,250 – $55,500
Marketing coordinator$47,500 – 57,250
Junior paralegal$44,750 – $48,750
Entry-level staff accountant$44-500 – $54,250
HR assistant$40,500 – $44,750
Help Desk Support (tier 1)$39,250 – $47,500
Entry-level administrative assistant$37,500 – $39,750
*25th percentile: New to the role, with little or no experience; requires more than casual instruction or supervision to perform day-to-day duties
*50th percentile: Has the experience to consistently perform core responsibilities without direct supervision; very comfortable with processes and subject matter associated with the role