What Is Human Resource Management?

Human resource management (HRM) is the part of an organization that works with the employees. Essentially, human resource managers act as liaisons between workers and executives; however, the role of human resource professionals has continued to change and expand over time. Read on for more information about typical HRM duties and how to enter this career field. Schools offering Human Resource Management degrees can also be found in these popular choices.

Human Resource Management Defined

The function of human resources has changed from its historically administrative role to its current responsibility for helping to lead and direct the company. For example, human resources personnel frequently work with executives to discuss strategic planning, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS). As an HRM professional, you may have a specialized function, like recruiting manager, payroll manager of employee relations manager. Human resource personnel usually handle the following activities:

  • Hiring
  • Compensation
  • Benefits
  • Performance management
  • Safety
  • Wellness
  • Communication

Important Facts About Human Resource Management

Key Skills Organization, time management, service oriented, good judgment and decision making, critical thinking, problem solving, clear spoken and written communication
Work Environment Company management, manufacturing industries, government agencies, healthcare organizations
Professional Certification Voluntary certification is available
Similar Occupations Compensation and benefits manager, human resources specialists, labor relations specialists, training and development managers, administrative services managers


Many schools offer associate's, bachelor's, and master's degree programs, as well as professional certificate programs, in human resource management. Some schools offer Bachelor of Science and Master of Science degrees, while other schools offer Bachelor of Business Administration and Master of Business Administration programs with the option to specialize in human resources. You can obtain entry-level jobs with a bachelor's degree and experience in the field, although top management positions in human resources generally require a master's degree, according to the BLS. The following list provides typical courses present in all degree levels:

  • Foundations of human resource management
  • Labor relations and employment law
  • Employee benefits
  • Job evaluation systems and performance management
  • Compensation
  • Selection, recruitment and placement
  • Organizational development and change

Employment and Salary Outlook

According to the BLS, an average job growth rate of 13% that would create 13,600 jobs is expected in the human resource management field from 2012-2022. Although stiff competition for available jobs is predicted, you may stand out in the field if you hold a master's degree and certification. You can earn certification through the International Foundation of Employee Benefit Plans or the Society for Human Resource Management.

As of May 2014, the mean annual wage of human resource managers was $114,140. Several industries have much higher mean annual wages; for example, the average salary in the motion picture and video industry was $153,910, and that for the information services industry was $166,250 in 2014.

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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