HR Consultant Jobs: Education and Career Facts

Explore the career requirements for human resources consultants. Get the facts about job duties, education requirements, job outlook and salary to determine if this is the right career for you. Schools offering Human Resource Management degrees can also be found in these popular choices.

What is an HR Consultant?

A human resources (HR) consultant helps a company utilize its employees' talents to the fullest extent. They play many important roles in an organization and serve as the link between management and employees. Some of their duties may include recruitment, hiring, overseeing employee benefit programs, and handling workplace disputes. Read over the chart below for an overview of education requirements, job duties and potential earnings for an HR consultant.

Degree Required Bachelor's degree
Education Field of Study Business administration, human resources
Key Responsibilities Help companies improve work conditions of employees and act as a mediator between employees and management
Certification Required Certification is optional
Job Growth (2014-2024) 9% (for all human resources managers)*
Median Salary (2015) $104,440 (for all human resources managers)*

Source: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

What Does a HR Consultant Do?

A human resources consultant advises a company on how to best use an employee's skills. As a human resources consultant you're expected to confer with top executives on how to enhance morale and employee productivity by providing training options, limiting the company's turnover rate, helping the company to utilize the skills their employees have and improving the working conditions for employees. A human resources consultant is the mediator between the employees and management and helps to open up the lines of communication between the two.

What Kind of Education and Skills Will I Need?

According to December 2011 job postings from CareerBuilder.com and Monster.com, most employers will want you to have at least a bachelor's degree in human resources or a business-related field as well as 2-10 years of related human resources experience. A master's degree in human resources or some related business field would also give you extra experience and knowledge but isn't a requirement for most employers in this field.

Human resource consultants must have excellent written and communication skills, an ability to listen actively to the concerns of their clients, great judgment and decision-making skills and an ability to analyze various systems within the company. To build on your consulting knowledge, the Association of Management Consulting Firms University program offers webinars on how to be a successful consultant.

What Certification Options Are There?

While voluntary, there are certification choices specific to this career. If you have 2-4 years of professional experience, you can earn The HR Certification Institute's Professional in Human Resources certification. The Institute of Management Consultants offers a Certified Management Consultant designation for those who have achieved excellent standards of competence as consultants.

What Are the Job Outlook and Salary Expectations?

According to the U.S Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), overall employment for human resource managers in general was expected to grow 9% between 2014-2024. About 19,230 individuals were employed in management of companies and enterprises in 2015. The BLS reported the median wage of human resource managers in general to be $104,440 as of May 2015.

What Are Some Related Alternative Careers?

Individuals with a similar educational background may be interested in a variety of other careers as well. They may wish to pursue a career as a compensation and benefits manager, which focuses primarily on dealing with employees' wages and company benefits. A labor relations specialist is another option. This job involves creating work contracts between companies and employees that detail wages, healthcare, and pension plans.

To continue researching, browse degree options below for course curriculum, prerequisites and financial aid information. Or, learn more about the subject by reading the related articles below:

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