Human resource (HR) managers may seek employment in every industry since all types of businesses and organizations require people who can bridge the gap between executives and workers. HR managers are responsible for recruiting, hiring, and training employees, and they may also be tasked with overseeing employee benefits and other duties as required by the organization in which they work. HR managers who focus on one area may have a specific title such as labor relations manager, recruiting manager, payroll manager, or benefits manager. Before rising to this level, many HR managers work as analysts or assistants in the HR field.
Employment Outlook for Human Resource Managers
The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) indicates that employment of human resource managers and other related workers is expected to grow nine percent between 2016 and 2026, about as fast as average for all occupations. As of 2016, there were 136,100 people employed as human resource managers. That number is expected to grow to 148,300 by 2026. In 2016, the BLS reported that the median annual salary for human resource managers was $106,910. The highest 10 percent earned more than $193,550, and the lowest 10 percent earned less than $63,140.
The following list represents a number of human resource job titles as well as the anticipated job growth between 2016 and 2026:
– Training and development managers (10 percent increase)
– Human resource managers (9 percent)
– Compensation, benefits, and job analysis specialists (9 percent increase)
– Human resource specialists (7 percent increase)
– Compensation and benefits managers (5 percent increase)
Employment growth will depend largely on the growth and performance of individual companies. As new organizations form and companies expand their operations, they will need to hire more human resource managers to administer and oversee their programs. HR managers will also be needed to ensure that companies are adhering to complex and changing employment laws regarding retirement plans, wages, healthcare, equal employment opportunity, and occupational health and safety.
Although most human resource managers need a bachelor’s degree to enter the field, many have gone on to pursue master’s degrees. There are a number of different types of bachelor’s degrees available for those looking to start a career in human resource management. While some schools offer bachelor’s degrees specifically in human resources, others offer business or related degrees with specializations or concentrations in human resources.
The same options apply for master’s degrees. While one may earn a master’s degree in human resources, another may choose to pursue a Master of Business Administration (MBA) with a concentration in human resources. Regardless of degree level, business degrees with concentrations in human resources focus more on general business knowledge. Candidates who have earned an advanced degree may find it easier to secure a job in human resources, and they may also be able to command higher starting salaries than those with bachelor’s degrees.
Regardless of the career path you take to become a human resource manager, the employment outlook appears to be solid. Although job opportunities are expected to vary depending on the staffing needs of individual organizations, applicants can expect strong competition for most HR positions. In addition, those with a master’s degree, particularly one with a human resource management concentration, or certification should have the best job prospects.