Professionals and top execs set for huge increments

PETALING JAYA: Professionals from the information and communication technology (ICT) sector, accounting and finance industry, banking, logistics and sales have a lot to cheer about this year – their salaries are set to rise by as much as 30% compared with last year.

The Robert Walters Global Salary Survey 2011 for Malaysia has revealed that a wage increase of between 5% and 30% would sweep across these industries this year, partially influenced by inflation rates and market conditions.

The take-home salaries could, in fact, be much higher as these figures are exclusive of bonuses, other benefits and allowances.

Highly-qualified employees with five to 10 years’ experience are expected to benefit from this salary increase as firms in these industries are scrambling to hire and retain the best talents.

“The job market has gradually moved to become more employee-driven. Some firms are even willing to offer premiums to attract good local and foreign talent with niche skills,” Robert Walters country manager Sally Raj told The Star yesterday.

“Salary reviews can range from 5% to 15% depending on market conditions.

“The real jump in salary scale can be seen among sought-after talent – going from 10% to 30%,” she said.

For example, a 29-year-old top investment banker with some six years of working experience can earn up to RM180,000 per annum on his basic salary, she added.

Robert Walters, which has a presence in 20 countries, is among the world’s major professional recruitment consultancies.

It is to release the findings of the survey today.

According to the survey, the banking sector will see the biggest salary boom as the wage bracket for investment bankers with five to eight years of work experience increased from RM180,000 to RM288,000 per annum this year, compared with RM157,000 to RM240,000 last year.

Private equity bankers with the same number of years in work experience also saw their salaries upped from RM160,000 to RM264,000, compared with RM126,000 to RM240,000 last year.

In the ICT industry, software, voice and network engineers are expected to see up to a RM5,000 increase in their annual earnings and business application specialists, up to RM10,000 this year.

In the accounting and finance sector, cost controllers and auditors may stand to earn up to RM10,000 more while wages for account managers in charge of taxation and pricing may make some RM20,000 more.

Malaysian Employers Federation executive director Shamsuddin Bardan said while the average wage increment was expected to be around 5.5%, sectoral increases would be evident as these key industries had been given emphasis by the Government.

“Talents, especially in the 12 National Key Economic Areas (NKEA), will be in demand,” he said.

National ICT Association of Malaysia (Pikom) chairman Wei Chuan Beng said the ICT sector, which is one of the NKEAs, would see expansion with demand for highly-qualified and experienced talents to grow rapidly.

The Malaysian Institute of Accountants (MIA) estimates that about 2,500 locally-recognised accounting graduates with an estimated 1,200 members of professional accountancy bodies recognised by the Accountants Act will join the workforce this year.

“Present development which is taking place in various industries, especially changes and development in corporate governance, tightening of accounting regulations, pressure of globalisation and technology advancement across industries are contributing factors towards this trend of expansion,” the MIA said in a statement.