What is the Average Salary of a Human Resources Manager?

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A human resources manager, or HR manager, is a key player in any sizable company. Such a manager oversees the people that make a company able to do its business, ensuring that the right ones are hired and that, once hired, they remain efficiently productive. Such a manager also helps to ensure that the people who work at a company act within the confines of the law and of ethical imperatives that may not have the force of law but are nonetheless important in making sure that things go as they ought. Because they do so much, they can expect to be compensated well for their services – and they often have control of compensation packages, in terms of both salary and benefits.

General Job Requirements

The United States Bureau of Labor Statistics notes that getting a job as an HR manager typically requires a four-year degree – with some asking for a master’s – and several years of experience in lower-level human resources jobs. Degrees specifically in human resources are available at many institutions, and at all levels from the associate’s through the doctorate; others offer business degrees with majors, emphases or concentrations in human resource management. The Bureau also notes that those whose degrees are in other fields may be able to capitalize on minors in human resources to move into personnel management positions within more specialized firms.

Experience is another factor in preparation for managing human resources. Typically, employers look for prior management experience, even if not specifically in human resources. They may also look for prior experience in human resources; the Bureau notes that many come to manage human resources after having been human resource or labor relations specialists, working as the very same people a human resources manager would expect to oversee. The specific job title would seem to be less important than the kinds of experiences gained, either in leading people or in navigating the demands of ensuring that personnel are treated well and fairly.

The Payout

According to the Bureau, an HR manager in 2012 could expect to make nearly $100,000 annually, some three times the overall median wage across all occupations and several thousand dollars a year more than the average earnings of management occupations. Even the low end of the HR manager salary range is reasonably good; more than $59,000 annually is not bad money in most parts of the United States. The upper end is quite good, indeed, with the top ten percent of the job earning more than $173,000 each year.

It is not only in terms of direct salary that managers of human resources do well. They can expect, per the Bureau, to keep regular full-time business hours, working in an indoor office environment. Since they are the people in charge of making sure that the workplace environment is conducive to productivity, they are also in position to secure superior furnishings for their own work spaces, which helps them to carry out their duties without ill effects. Some travel may be involved, whether for recruiting or for professional development, but such travel is usually either paid for by the company or compensated for after the fact.

There are other excellent jobs, to be sure, in HR and elsewhere. Working as a human resource manager, though, is an attractive option, well worth pursuing.

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