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Labor Relations Training Programs

The field of labor relations is often studied through degree programs in business, economics or human resources management. Review undergraduate and graduate degree options that could help you prepare for a career in labor relations, and explore the classes you'd take as a student. Get more information about the job duties of labor relations professionals.

What Is Labor Relations?

Labor relations professionals facilitate communication between an organization and its employees. Managers in this field are responsible for overseeing negotiations and collective bargaining efforts. This often requires labor relations specialists to have an in-depth understanding of labor law and negotiation techniques. If you work in this field, some of your job duties could include talking with labor unions to determine salaries, benefits, pensions, healthcare programs and contract stipulations for employees.

Field OverviewInvolves negotiations, collective bargaining and contract stipulations between employers and employees
Degree OptionsBachelor of Arts, Bachelor of Science, Bachelor of Business Administration, Master of Business Administration
Course TopicsBusiness law, accounting, negotiation tactics, ethics, strategic management
Median Salary (2018)  $113,300 (for all Human resources managers
Job Outlook (2016-2026) 9% growth (for all Human resources managers)    

Source: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics 

What Degree Programs Are Available?

If you want to study labor relations at the bachelor's degree level, you could enroll in a Bachelor of Business Administration (BBA) degree program with a concentration in labor relations. This concentration is often found within BBA programs in economics. Bachelor of Science and Bachelor of Arts in Labor Relations programs are also available. Online bachelor's degree programs are available, and they may require you to have completed an associate's degree program or other level of postsecondary education.

If you want to continue your education, you can do so in a Master of Business Administration (MBA) degree program. Labor relations concentrations are often included in programs that focus on human resources management. This is a 2-3-year course of study that leads to a terminal degree in business and could make you eligible for executive positions.

What Classes Could I Take?

Bachelor's degree programs in business with a concentration in labor relations commonly require you to take general education courses in addition to learning about labor relations and economics. BBA degree programs typically offer training in other fundamental areas of business as well, such as human resources management, marketing, finance, accounting or management. The following are examples of classes you might find in the curriculum:

  • Statistical methods for business
  • Business law
  • Microeconomic theory
  • Negotiation tactics
  • Corporate finance
  • Business communication
  • Strategic management

Bachelor of Science and Bachelor of Arts degree programs cover many of the same labor-related concepts, but you might take fewer courses in business practices and more broad-based core courses. Your labor relations studies issues of race, ethics, affirmative action and collective bargaining. MBA programs can train you for upper-level positions in labor relations.