HR Manager Jobs: Career and Salary Facts

Find out about the types of jobs you could pursue in human resources. Read on to learn more about career options along with job outlook and salary information. Schools offering Human Resource Management degrees can also be found in these popular choices.

What Is an HR Manager?

A manager in human resources has a few career choices available. They may wish to pursue a career as a training and development manager who creates and updates program course materials designed to help employees acquire the skills needed to successfully perform their jobs. Individuals could also work as compensation and benefits managers who develop the pay structures that determine how much employees make and what types of benefits they receive. A third option is that of a general human resources manager. These professionals might oversee employee training and compensation in addition to the hiring and firing new staff.

While each of these careers has different duties and responsibilities, professionals in human resources often work with employees and company management, acting as a sort of liaison between the two. Take a look at the table below for an overview on these careers.

Training and Development Managers Compensation and Benefits Managers Human Resources Managers
Degree Required Bachelor's degree; master's degree may be required Bachelor's degree; master's degree may be required Bachelor's degree; master's degree may be required
Education Field of Study Business administration, human resources Business administration, business management Business administration, human resources
Certification Optional certification available and preferable Optional certification available and preferable Professional certification available and may be required
Job Growth (2018-2028)8%* 3%* 7%*
Median Salary (2018) $111,340* $111,340* $113,300*

Source: *U.S. Bureau of labor Statistics

What Jobs Are Available for HR Managers?

Every company, small or large, performs human resources management tasks. Larger companies establish human resources departments that employ coordinators, benefits and training specialists, compensation analysts, managers and directors. Some companies have several departments, such as recruitment or occupational analysis. The duties you might perform will vary considerably, depending on your area of specialization.

If you worked as a HR generalist at a small company, you would assume all administrative responsibilities of a company's human resources. If you worked at a large company, you might specialize as an employment and placement manager, recruitment specialist or compensation, benefits and job analysis specialist. Your daily activities might include benefits administration, equal opportunity employment advisement, employee relations' support, recruitment, termination and disciplinary activities.

As a compensation and benefits manager, you could design and monitor benefits plans. You could also ensure fairness in a company's compensation structure. Other duties might include negotiating the terms of benefits, performing research and analysis of compensation plans, constructing and enforcing personnel policies, completing reporting procedures related to government regulation and offering employee assistance for benefits selection.

Training and development drives a company's success. HR managers who specialize in training and development evaluate training staff, design and implement new training programs and manage training budgets. HR managers may also perform in other capacities, including employee assistance, labor relations and equal opportunity employment.

What Education or Certification Will I Need?

Human resources professionals must understand the psychology of their workforce. As a result, taking an interdisciplinary approach to education is beneficial. A bachelor's degree is typically the minimum job requirement for human resource managers; however, many employers prefer candidates with master's degrees. Bachelor's degree programs combine business administration or operations courses with technology, finance and liberal arts classes. Master's degree programs build a deeper foundation with courses in organizational behavior, business strategies and human resource management.

The Society for Human Resource Management offers four HR certifications, including the Professional in Human Resources and Senior Professional in Human Resources designations ( You must have 1-4 years of experience and successfully complete an examination to obtain certification. The International Foundation of Employee Benefit Plans (IFEBP) also offers four levels of certification, including the Certified Employment Benefit Specialist (CEBS) designation ( You'll need to take up to eight courses through the IFEBP and pass examinations to earn the CEBS designation.

What Can I Expect to Earn?

The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that compensation and benefits managers earned a median salary of $121,010 in 2018 ( Training and development managers reported earnings of $111,340 during the same year. Human resources managers earned $113,300 in 2018. Your annual salary depends on the company, location and area in which you specialize.

What Are Some Related Alternative Careers?

If you're interested in human resources, you might also want to consider a career as a labor relations specialist. These professionals interpret and oversee labor contracts, which generally deal with issues like wages and employee benefits. You may also want to consider a career as an administrative services manager. This job involves coordinating and directing various services within an organization, like mail services and record keeping. Both career options typically require a bachelor's degree.

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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