Talent may be cheap right now, but if that new hire works out, don't expect the bargain to last. Even in a weak labor market, salaries rise--often steeply--as employees gain experience. Inc. asked PayScale, the Seattle-based salary and compensation data provider, to calculate the annual increase in employee compensation, based on seniority, for 20 different job descriptions, from office manager to Web developer.
Salaries for outside sales managers rise continuously the longer they work at a company, because "they have the experience and contacts to shpeherd big deals," according to Al Lee, PayScale's research director. A marketing manager's pay will increase steadily, too. Meanwhile, the pay of inside sales reps and customer service reps rises much more slowly.
More than in most other sectors, technology professionals see their pay rise steadily with experience. For the first 5 years of an employee's tenure, an IT manager's salary will typically lag; around year 7, however, his or her pay increases catch up with and even eclipse other tech folks. Meanwhile, at year 5, a database administrator begins to earn at a much higher rate.
For most administrative positions, compensation climbs fastest in the first few years. Human resources managers see their pay rise steadily, and at much higher rates than office managers or administrative assistants, whose annual pay increases do not fluctuate. Recruiters, many of whom develop specific expertise that garners big pay hikes, see their income spike especially after their 7th anniversary on the job.
Companies tend to reward project managers early in their careers but, as the years pass, internal consultants see their salaries jump. The pay for an accounting manager levels off after year 7, while controllers see their pay increase in steps. As a group, financial analysts are among those most likely to seek other positions. No wonder: Their salaries barely budge after five years on the job.