Three new "special advisers" have been hired, taking the total to 13 – one more than the number who served the Labour-LibDem administration under Jack McConnell.
The wage bill for the taxpayer-funded temporary civil servants will be £933,000 this year, another all-time high.
The Government defended the appointments, claiming the cost was lower, allowing for inflation, than when Labour and the LibDems left office in 2007.
However, opposition MSPs claimed ministers were "out of touch" to increase their complement of spin doctors and advisers while other public sector jobs were being slashed.
The new special advisers –known as "Spads" – are Colin McAllister, a former spin doctor who is returning to the Government after a spell with the NHS, Alexander Anderson, recruited from the SNP's press office at Westminster, and Delancy Johansson, a Norwegian- speaking Edinburgh University graduate who specialises in international relations.
They are due to replace Kevin Pringle, Alex Salmond's long-serving political spokesman who has taken a job planning for the referendum at SNP headquarters, and Colin Pyle, another former adviser who joined the Yes Scotland campaign as head of development.
Key special advisers remaining with the Government include Stuart Nicolson, Mr Salmond's new political spokesman, and Alex Bell, the First Minister's head of policy.
Mr Salmond also has a chief of staff, Geoff Aberdein, while Deputy FM Nicola Sturgeon has her own adviser, Noel Dolan.
Special advisers are regarded as temporary civil servants.
They are paid out of public funds but are not bound by strict civil service rules designed to ensure political impartiality.
Six of Mr Salmond's new team will be spin doctors dealing directly with the media, while the others will advise ministers on policy. The Government's estimated wage bill is for the current financial year, six months through, suggesting costs may rise next year.
But a spokeswoman said: "The cost of employing the Scottish Government's team of special advisers has been cut in real terms since 2006-07 by around £54,000."
She claimed the cost of Jack McConnell's team was equivalent to £987,368 at today's prices.
When he became First Minister in 2007, Mr Salmond hired nine special advisers – six of them were full-time – at a cost estimated at about £500,000.
At the time he emphasised his Government was leaner than its predecessor.
Under the Scotland Act, the Scottish Government was originally permitted to hire a maximum of 12 advisers. However, the cap was lifted in 2010 following a change at Westminster.
Labour MSP Paul Martin MSP, said: "Alex Salmond has started his own job creation scheme – adding to his own army of advisers, building up for the battle he's always wanted – to break up Britain.
"While public spending is being slashed, the fact that he is adding to his team of spinners shows just how out of touch he has become."
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