How Do I Become a Human Resources Manager?

Explore the career requirements for human resources managers. Get the facts about job duties, salary, degree requirements and career outlook 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 a Human Resources Manager?

Human resources managers usually have a bachelor's degree and start out as human resources specialists. They have a number of important responsibilities and duties, including managing company employees, dealing with workplace disputes, setting wage and benefit packages for employees, and handling employee recruitment and hiring. Read on for information regarding education requirements and job duties related to the position, as well as voluntary certification.

Degree Required Bachelor's degree
Field of Study Human resources, business administration
Key Responsibilities Supervise work of human resources personnel, consult with executives, mediate disputes
Certification Certification is voluntary
Job Growth (2014-2024) 9%*
Median Salary (2015) $104,440*

Source: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

What Education Is Required?

Most human resources managers have earned at least a bachelor's degree, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS). You might pursue a bachelor's degree in human resources or human resource management or enroll in a bachelor's degree program in business and specialize in human resources. These degree programs can be completed in four years and might feature online classes. Coursework might include workplace safety, conflict management, labor relations and business ethics. Since dealing with people is a crucial part of a human resources manager's job, the BLS recommends taking classes in psychology and sociology to gain a better understanding of human behavior.

Is Certification Available?

Many human resource management professional organizations offer voluntary certification programs to further career advancement. One example is the Professional in Human Resources (PHR) certification granted by the HR Certification Institute. To earn this designation, you must have two years of relevant professional experience if you've earned a bachelor's degree or four years of experience without a degree. You must also pass a 225-question exam that the HR Certification Institute administers.

What Job Responsibilities Will I Have?

After college, you might find a position as an entry-level human resources specialist. You'll perform many administrative tasks, such as entering data, screening applicants, scheduling interviews and coordinating new hire orientations. After gaining work experience, you might be able to qualify for a job as a human resources manager.

As a human resources manager, you'll handle issues between managers and employees and enforce company policies and legal requirements to resolve conflict. You'll answer benefit and compensation questions asked by newly hired and current employees. Some companies have employees who are union members, so you might play a role in representing management during contract negotiations and labor disputes. You'll also help create and implement employee programs to create a better work environment.

What Are Some Related Alternative Careers?

If you are interested in more specific careers within the human resources field, there are a number of other jobs you may want to consider. For example, you could become a compensation and benefits manager, which involves setting wage and establishing the pay structure for company employees. You may also want to become a labor relations specialist. This job involves creating and reviewing labor contracts for employees. Both of these careers require at least 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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