Human Resources Manager Career Path


Human Resources Manager Or Director

MSc | Shaping your own career path with Human Resource Management

Why this career track is great: Personal Satisfaction

Some companies have a human resources manager, while others have an HR director. Regardless of the title, human resources managers and directors have similar roles. HR managers and directors get the benefit of directly interacting and helping employees. They also work with the chief HR officer to plan, coordinate, execute, and manage HR activities. They are involved in guiding employees through the hiring process, explaining benefit programs, training employees, handling labor disputes, and other administrative tasks that are important to workers within a company. Human resources managers and directors are also called upon to serve as consultants on various issues. These issues could include equal employment opportunities, labor laws, and sexual harassment. They have a direct influence and positive impact on the people in a company. Helping others leads to many social benefits and the satisfaction of having a real impact on your fellow human beings. The median annual income for an HR manager or director position is $116,720, and top income earners can make up to $205,720.

A Guide To The Human Resources Career Path

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If youâre good with people, passionate about fair and equal working conditions, and tend to be an advocate for others, you may have considered a career in human resources .

Perhaps more than any other role, human resource professionals have the power to help shape company culture and set policy in organizations. With this power, however, comes significant responsibility. HR professionals can have an outsize role in dictating how a company runs, shaping everything from company culture to how the organization retains employees and achieves its long-term goals.

If youâre wondering how to get started with a career in human resources, this article will discuss roles within the HR career path and provide a strategy for mapping out your climb up the human resources ladder.

Choose Your Degree Based On The Human Resources Job You Want

In human resources, there are two career paths: generalist and specialist. Someone who chooses a generalist career path will seek out jobs that involve all functions of human resources, while a specialist will choose a job dedicated to one of those functions.

Lets look at how your career can progress as a generalist, starting as an HR coordinator, or how you can branch-off your career into a specialist role dedicated to functions like recruiting, benefits or training.

Human Resource Coordinator

A human resource coordinator is the most entry-level job for HR professionals. This role focuses on the administrative side of human resources, posting job listings, reviewing resumes for baseline qualifications and processing employee paperwork.

  • Median Salary: $45,950 per year _Coordinator/Hourly_Rate” rel=”nofollow”> Payscale)

A human resource coordinator will typically have an associates or bachelors degree in human resources. If you enter this career with an associates degree, you may need more experience, education or certifications to compete for advancement opportunities.

Human Resource Specialist

Human resource specialists are trained in all facets of human resources and perform tasks throughout all areas of the departmentfrom recruiting to onboarding and benefits to compensation.

  • Median Salary: $60,880 per year

Human Resource Manager

  • Median Salary: $113,300 per year

VP of Human Resources

  • Median Salary: $136,056 %2C_Human_Resources_/Salary” rel=”nofollow”> Payscale)

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General Hr Responsibilities And Duties

An HR business partner is a professional that works directly with an organization’s leadership to develop a solid HR agenda that supports the companys goals. HR careers require individuals to be interpersonal and analytical. Entry-level HR professionals’ primary focus is recruiting employees, screening potential job candidates, assisting in new hire orientation, payroll, and administrative tasks.

HR professionals are responsible for staffing, benefits, compensation, safety, labor relations, and payroll. They focus on creating a safe and professional environment for everyone in the workplace.

Earning a degree in human resources is the first step to playing an instrumental role in any successful business, which is why the demand for HR professionals is so high. Whether youre interested in recruiting, training, or administration, theres an HR job that suits you.

Is Human Resources A Good Career Option

6 Tips for Navigating Your Human Resources Career Path

Human resources careers offer job opportunities across almost every industry, including healthcare, finance, and nonprofit work. These professionals work closely with employees, resolving disputes, enforcing company policies, and training new hires. This field provides room for advancement from positions like human resources associates to managers of entire human resources departments.

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Occupational Employment And Wage Statistics

The Occupational Employment and Wage Statistics program produces employment and wage estimates annually for over 800 occupations. These estimates are available for the nation as a whole, for individual states, and for metropolitan and nonmetropolitan areas. The link below go to OEWS data maps for employment and wages by state and area.

Human Resource Management Mba Program Curriculum

Every college and university that offers an MBA in human resources has different admission and core coursework requirements. Some schools offer online classes with flexible schedules to accommodate your full-time work schedule. An example of some of the courses you will take include:

Employment law and ethics

Related Resource: Is an HR Degree Worth It?

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Seek A Leadership Role

As you hone your skills as a HR professional, look for ways to take on increasingly greater responsibility. You might do this by discussing your role and ambitions with a supervisor, or seeking a formal promotion when one becomes available. Some people also consider exploring other companies when they are ready to take on a leadership role, depending on what kinds of openings are available at a particular time.

Human Resources Career Outlook

Human Resource Career Paths – 7 Career Paths in Human Resources

The career outlook for human resources professionals depends on a worker’s job title, location, education level, and experience. The Bureau of Labor Statistics reported that human resources specialists earned a median annual wage of $61,920 in 2019. The number of these positions is projected to increase by 5% between 2018 and 2028, which is in line with the growth rate for the average occupation in the U.S.

The table below describes the salary outlook as a function of a worker’s experience for a few common human resources careers.

Median Annual Salary for Human Resources Careers

Job Title

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Pepperdine University’s Online Masters In Human Resources

The online Master of Science in Human Resources program from Pepperdine University prepares students to connect talent management with business strategy. No GRE/GMAT scores are required for admission.

  • No GRE/GMAT scores required to apply
  • Complete in as few as 16 months
  • AACSB-accredited

See our full list of 41 accredited online masters in human resources programs.

Vp Or Hr Or Chief Human Resources Officer

Description: As the head of human resources, CHROs support the organization-wide HR plans, policies, and strategies around human capital. This role works with other members of the C-suite to develop HR plans affecting the entire company.


  • 10-20 years of HR-related experience
  • M.A. or M.S. degree in HR or an MBA


  • Oversee management succession and organizational change
  • Develop and implement recruiting, compensation, retention, and benefits plans
  • Oversee talent acquisition and career and leadership development

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Why Become A Human Resources Manager

There are many reasons to become a human resource manager. Wages are relatively high, with BLS pay data estimating HR managers make $126,230 a year, as of May 2021. Compared to occupations similar to HR managers that require the same entry-level educationa bachelors degreeHR managers command higher median pay than most, according to the BLS. Furthermore, the BLS projects employment of HR managers will increase 9 percent from 2020 to 2030, while the average for all occupations is 8 percent. Beyond economic considerations, the position may also be gratifying on a personal level, as HR managers are responsible for ensuring the smooth functioning of an organizations staff and operations.

While becoming an HR manager has its perks, it may not be the ideal position for everyone. Qualifications include a bachelors or masters degree in HR or a related field, which may present a barrier to entry for those uninterested in formal education. The bureau notes the position also requires a variable amount of work experience in a related occupation, which may not be ideal for those who prefer a more structured career path.

Choose From 10+ Customizable Human Resources Manager Resume Templates

How to Become a Successful HR Manager in Any Industry

Zippia allows you to choose from different easy-to-use Human Resources Manager templates, and provides you with expert advice. Using the templates, you can rest assured that the structure and format of your Human Resources Manager resume is top notch. Choose a template with the colors, fonts & text sizes that are appropriate for your industry.

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An Mba In Human Resource Management

Human resource managers must also ensure that productivity is consistent and that employees are meeting the needs of stakeholders and stockholders. One thing to look at is your knowledge and skill set. What does your MBA Stack look like?

Some HR managers enroll in the MBA in Human Resource Management programs because they want to learn more about the requirements of those on both sides of the executive suite door. The more you know about this industry will better put you in the front, so make sure you have looked over the Human Resource Management Stack and all the other talent stacks that aid the success of a long, abundant HR Management Career.

Now, lets look at the ten high-paying MBA in Human Resource Management Career Paths available today and the average salary you can expect.

Earn An Advanced Degree In A Field Such As Business Administration

While there are no advanced degree requirements to become a human resource manager, doing so will teach you valuable skills to help you stand out from other applicants, and increase your appeal to employers. You may decide to earn any of the following advanced degrees:

  • Associate’s degree. Getting your associate’s degree in human resources will take approximately two years to complete. You may earn an associate’s degree in business, management, communication, or a related field.
  • Bachelor’s degree. A bachelor’s degree may teach you about the legal implications, theories, and practices necessary to give you a comprehensive understanding of human resources. Consider earning your bachelor’s degree in business administration, human resources, business, economics, or a similar topic.
  • Master’s degree. Many human resource managers complete a Master of Business Administration degree, focusing on human resource issues. You may earn an MBA in human resources or a similar field.

What type of degree should you pursue to become a Hr Manager?

89% of people working as a Hr Manager earned a Bachelor’s Degree

What skills do you need to be a Hr Manager?

  • Strategic Thinking

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Top Human Resources Manager Employers

We’ve made finding a great employer to work for easy by doing the hard work for you. We looked into employers that employ human resources managers and discovered their number of human resources manager opportunities and average salary. Through our research, we concluded that Lowe’s Companies was the best, especially with an average salary of $94,331. The Home Depot follows up with an average salary of $93,080, and then comes Walmart with an average of $98,342. In addition, we know most people would rather work from home. So instead of having to change careers, we identified the best employers for remote work as a human resources manager. The employers include PerkinElmer, Blackhawk Network, and Pentair

Chief Human Resources Officer

How to Get a Career in HR Management

The chief human resources officer is responsible for demonstrating leadership and excellent oversight on behalf of the company. Professionals in a role like this develop an HR strategy that lays the foundation for an overall business plan and are responsible for the whole body of employees. This includes hiring, training, orientation, and overall employee quality of work. They also consistently monitor employees’ performance to ensure theyre meeting the organizations standards. CHROs direct the department of human resources through analysis, relations, and evaluation. This position earns a median salary of $256,400.

CTA: Get the Chief Human Resources Officer Career Guide

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Consider Your Professional Interests

If youre an HR manager considering switching careers, start by thinking about your professional interests. Determine the interests, work preferences, aptitudes, and drives that keep you motivated and enthusiastic about your work. Finding a job that matches your interests can be made easier by being aware of your professional interests. When you enjoy what you do, it can keep you motivated, lower your stress levels, and motivate you to persevere in the face of obstacles at work. Additionally, keeping track of your HR-related professional interests can help you decide if applying for a specialty role is the right move for you.

Human Resources Qualifications And Skills

Success in the HR field requires certain strengths and skills. Developing those can help you garner respect and advance to increasingly higher positions of authority.

  • Clear communication is important as you must know how to speak or write in a way that gets your message across
  • Confidentiality is the understanding the importance of discretion and knowing when to speak up about a matter and when to stay quiet
  • means having the confidence to weigh options and make a decision that will affect others
  • Personal compassion shows that you care and have concern for others
  • Objectivity is being able to see the big picture and make choices based on facts not feelings
  • Organization is vital to keep details and files in order
  • Team leadership includes having the skills to manage a group of employees and cast a vision
  • Versatility is knowing how to switch from one task or responsibility to another on a regular basis

You may possess some of these skills already, but you dont have to be natural at all of them to become a great human resources manager. Through education and effort, you can work on strengthening your HR qualifications.

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What Is The Hr Manager Career Path

Human resources managers are HR professionals, responsible for managing human resources and the ongoing operations in the HR department. This includes both the administrative and strategic aspects of Human Resource Management .

Their administrative duties include keeping records, processing payroll, and benefits administration. Strategic duties include developing and implementing policies and procedures, recruiting and training employees, and employee relations.

In larger organizations, HR managers specialize in one or more areas of HRM. For example, a recruitment manager focuses on recruiting, while an employee relations manager focuses on managing conflict resolution.

HR managers are in high demand, and with good reason. The base pay for an HR manager is $70,282 according to Indeed. Theyre the ones who make sure that employees get a productive environment at work. The human resources manager works with the HR assistant, HR specialist, employee engagement specialist, and training and development specialists to provide an inclusive work environment.

To become an HR manager, you need a minimum bachelors degree in human resources with comparable experience. We also recommend joining online courses at the HR university to help you in landing an HR manager job.

Education For Human Resources Managers

Master of Business Administration [MBA] (Human Resource Management ...

Human resources managers usually need a bachelor’s degree. Candidates may earn a bachelor’s degree in human resources or in another field, such as finance, business management, education, or information technology. Courses in subjects such as conflict management or industrial psychology may be helpful.

Some higher level jobs require a master’s degree in human resources, labor relations, or business administration .

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Human Resources Information Systems Manager

These managers supervise a companys human resources information system . They maintain internal HR database files and create tailored reports to satisfy the business managements and staffs needs. The operational effectiveness of the HR division must be ensured by the systems a business has, according to HRIS managers. HRIS managers must be competent in installing, implementing, altering, and upgrading HR software and instructing staff members on how to utilize it.

Duties of this top MBA in human resource management career path include:

  • Effective implementation, upkeep, management, and optimization of the HRIS systems.
  • Identify areas for process automation, security, and operational application efficiency.
  • Conduct workflow analysis and participate in designing new features and system enhancements to ensure that all process and system requirements are recognized, assessed, tested, and implemented.

Annual Salary: $93,384

Requirements For Hr Success

Though many see human resources as an “easy” career, it’s far from it. There are a lot of big decisions to make and many different personalities to manage. But, perhaps the reputation for simplicity comes less from the job itself and more from the relative ease of moving into an HR career.

Usually, a Bachelor’s degree in business administration is enough to make the transition into an entry-level HR position, even if you’ve spent the last five years in sales or accounting. That’s because many corporations look for mature and experienced employees to fill HR roles.

To progress, you can go for a Master’s Degree in Human Resources. And, of course, there are certifications you can obtain as well.

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Hr Careers Within The Strategic Profile

These are roles that operate across multiple functions or lines of business, such as the local HR Executives and the global CoE leadership teams. The positions you can take up within this profile include Head Talent, Shared Services Manager, Employee Relation Executive, or Chief Human Resources Officer.

A professional in a Strategist role is a key contributor to the business strategy and a partner in shaping the future of the organization. They craft the HR strategy and ensure that the business has the human capital needed to thrive now and in the future. These are typically professionals who have already gained significant experience across a variety of HR roles.

To succeed in a Strategist role, you need:

  • Skills and behaviors pertaining to the four core competencies:
    • Shape HR strategies with data-driven and impactful insights
    • Embody the vision and mission of the business
    • Champion and protect the values, ethics, and sustainable practices of the organization
  • Functional competencies and role-related skills include knowledge of:
    Chief Diversity Officer

    Chief Learning Officer

    Someone operating within the Strategist profile can start out as the Chief Learning Officer as their first leadership role. This is a C-suite executive accountable for learning management in an organization. They create and drive an organizations learning strategy based on the needs of the workforce and the business.

    Key responsibilities of this role include:

    HR Director

    Chief Human Resources Officer

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