Bureau of Labor Statistics

Human Resources Managers

human resources managers image
Human resources managers oversee an organization’s recruitment, interview, selection, and hiring processes.
Quick Facts: Human Resources Managers
2017 Median Pay $110,120 per year
$52.94 per hour
Typical Entry-Level Education Bachelor's degree
Work Experience in a Related Occupation 5 years or more
On-the-job Training None
Number of Jobs, 2016 136,100
Job Outlook, 2016-26 9% (As fast as average)
Employment Change, 2016-26 12,300

Summary

What Human Resources Managers Do

Human resources managers plan, direct, and coordinate the administrative functions of an organization. They oversee the recruiting, interviewing, and hiring of new staff; consult with top executives on strategic planning; and serve as a link between an organization’s management and its employees.

Work Environment

Human resources managers are employed in nearly every industry. They work in offices, and most work full time during regular business hours. Some must travel to attend professional meetings or to recruit employees.

How to Become a Human Resources Manager

Candidates need a combination of education and several years of related work experience to become a human resources manager. Although a bachelor’s degree is sufficient for most positions, some jobs require a master’s degree. Candidates should have strong interpersonal skills.

Pay

The median annual wage for human resources managers was $110,120 in May 2017.

Job Outlook

Employment of human resources managers is projected to grow 9 percent from 2016 to 2026, about as fast the average for all occupations. As new companies form and organizations expand their operations, they will need human resources managers to oversee and administer their programs and to ensure that firms adhere to changing and complex employment laws. Strong competition can be expected for most positions.

State & Area Data

Explore resources for employment and wages by state and area for human resources managers.

Similar Occupations

Compare the job duties, education, job growth, and pay of human resources managers with similar occupations.

More Information, Including Links to O*NET

Learn more about human resources managers by visiting additional resources, including O*NET, a source on key characteristics of workers and occupations.

What Human Resources Managers Do

Human resources managers
Human resources managers often coordinate the work of a team of specialists.

Human resources managers plan, direct, and coordinate the administrative functions of an organization. They oversee the recruiting, interviewing, and hiring of new staff; consult with top executives on strategic planning; and serve as a link between an organization’s management and its employees.

Duties

Human resources managers typically do the following:

  • Plan and coordinate an organization’s workforce to best use employees’ talents
  • Link an organization’s management with its employees
  • Plan and oversee employee benefit programs
  • Serve as a consultant with other managers advising them on human resources issues, such as equal employment opportunity and sexual harassment
  • Coordinate and supervise the work of specialists and support staff
  • Oversee an organization’s recruitment, interview, selection, and hiring processes
  • Handle staffing issues, such as mediating disputes and directing disciplinary procedures

Every organization wants to attract, motivate, and keep qualified employees and match them to jobs for which they are well-suited. Human resources managers accomplish this aim by directing the administrative functions of human resources departments. Their work involves overseeing employee relations, securing regulatory compliance, and administering employee-related services such as payroll, training, and benefits. They supervise the department’s specialists and support staff and make sure that tasks are completed accurately and on time.

Human resources managers also consult with top executives regarding the organization’s strategic planning and talent management issues. They identify ways to maximize the value of the organization’s employees and ensure that they are used as efficiently as possible. For example, they might assess worker productivity and recommend changes to the organization’s structure to help the organization meet budgetary goals.

Some human resources managers oversee all aspects of an organization’s human resources department, including the compensation and benefits program and the training and development program. In many larger organizations, these programs are directed by specialized managers, such as compensation and benefits managers and training and development managers.

The following are examples of types of human resources managers:

Labor relations directors, also called employee relations managers, oversee employment policies in union and nonunion settings. They draw up, negotiate, and administer labor contracts that cover issues such as grievances, wages, benefits, and union and management practices. They also handle labor complaints between employees and management, and they coordinate grievance procedures.

Payroll managers supervise the operations of an organization’s payroll department. They ensure that all aspects of payroll are processed correctly and on time. They administer payroll procedures, prepare reports for the accounting department, and resolve any payroll problems or discrepancies.

Recruiting managers, sometimes called staffing managers, oversee the recruiting and hiring responsibilities of the human resources department. They often supervise a team of recruiters, and some take on recruiting duties when they try to fill high-level positions. They must develop a recruiting strategy that helps them meet the staffing needs of their organization and compete effectively for the best employees.

Work Environment

Human resources managers held about 136,100 jobs in 2016. The largest employers of human resources managers were as follows:

Management of companies and enterprises 14%
Professional, scientific, and technical services 13
Manufacturing 13
Government 10
Healthcare and social assistance 9

Human resources managers work in offices. Some managers, especially those working for organizations that have offices nationwide, must travel to visit other branches as well as to attend professional meetings or recruit employees.

Work Schedules

Most human resources managers work full time during regular business hours.

About 1 in 3 human resources managers worked more than 40 hours per week in 2016.

How to Become a Human Resources Manager

Human resources managers
Human resources managers typically need a combination of a bachelor's degree and work experience.

Candidates need a combination of education and several years of related work experience to become a human resources manager. Although a bachelor’s degree is sufficient for most positions, some jobs require a master’s degree.

Education

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 (MBA).

Work Experience in a Related Occupation

To demonstrate abilities in organizing, directing, and leading others, human resources managers must have related work experience. Some managers start out as human resources specialists or labor relations specialists.

Management positions typically require an understanding of human resources programs, such as compensation and benefits plans; human resources software; and federal, state, and local employment laws.

Licenses, Certifications, and Registrations

Although certification is voluntary, it can show professional expertise and credibility, and it may enhance advancement opportunities. Many employers prefer to hire certified candidates, and some positions may require certification. The Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM), HR Certification Institute (HRCI), WorldatWork, and International Foundation of Employee Benefit Plans are among many professional associations that offer a variety of certification programs.

Important Qualities

Decisionmaking skills. Human resources managers must be able to balance the strengths and weaknesses of different options and decide the best course of action. Many of their decisions have a significant impact on operations or workers, such as deciding whether to hire an employee.

Interpersonal skills. Human resources managers need strong interpersonal skills because they interact regularly with people. They often collaborate on teams and must develop positive working relationships with their colleagues.

Leadership skills. Human resources managers must be able to direct a staff and oversee the operations of their department. They must coordinate work activities and ensure that workers in the department complete their duties and fulfill their responsibilities.

Organizational skills. Organizational skills are essential for human resources managers, who must be able to prioritize tasks and manage several projects at once.

Speaking skills. Human resources managers rely on strong speaking skills to give presentations and direct their staff. They must clearly communicate information and instructions to their staff and other employees.

Pay

Human Resources Managers

Median annual wages, May 2017

Operations specialties managers

$115,700

Human resources managers

$110,120

Total, all occupations

$37,690

 

The median annual wage for human resources managers was $110,120 in May 2017. The median wage is the wage at which half the workers in an occupation earned more than that amount and half earned less. The lowest 10 percent earned less than $65,040, and the highest 10 percent earned more than $197,720.

In May 2017, the median annual wages for human resources managers in the top industries in which they worked were as follows:

Management of companies and enterprises $124,540
Professional, scientific, and technical services 124,350
Manufacturing 106,170
Government 98,270
Healthcare and social assistance 94,620

Most human resources managers work full time during regular business hours.

About 1 in 3 human resources managers worked more than 40 hours per week in 2016.

Job Outlook

Human Resources Managers

Percent change in employment, projected 2016-26

Operations specialties managers

12%

Human resources managers

9%

Total, all occupations

7%

 

Employment of human resources managers is projected to grow 9 percent from 2016 to 2026, about as fast as the average for all occupations.

Employment growth depends largely on the performance and growth of individual companies. As new companies form and organizations expand their operations, they will need more human resources managers to oversee and administer their programs.

Human resources managers also will be needed to ensure that firms adhere to changing and complex employment laws regarding occupational safety and health, equal employment opportunity, healthcare, wages, and retirement plans.

Job Prospects

Although job opportunities are expected to vary with the staffing needs of individual companies, strong competition can be expected for most positions.

Candidates with certification or a master’s degree—particularly those with a concentration in human resources management—should have the best job prospects.

Employment projections data for human resources managers, 2016-26

SOURCE: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, Employment Projections program

Occupational Title

Human resources managers

SOC Code11-3121
Employment, 2016136,100
Projected Employment, 2026148,400
Percent Change, 2016-269
Numeric Change, 2016-2612,300
Employment by Industryemployment projections excel document xlsx

State & Area Data

Occupational Employment Statistics (OES)

The Occupational Employment Statistics (OES) 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(s) below go to OES data maps for employment and wages by state and area.

Projections Central

Occupational employment projections are developed for all states by Labor Market Information (LMI) or individual state Employment Projections offices. All state projections data are available at www.projectionscentral.com. Information on this site allows projected employment growth for an occupation to be compared among states or to be compared within one state. In addition, states may produce projections for areas; there are links to each state’s websites where these data may be retrieved.

CareerOneStop

CareerOneStop includes hundreds of occupational profiles with data available by state and metro area. There are links in the left-hand side menu to compare occupational employment by state and occupational wages by local area or metro area. There is also a salary info tool to search for wages by zip code.

Similar Occupations

This table shows a list of occupations with job duties that are similar to those of human resources managers.

Occupation Job Duties ENTRY-LEVEL EDUCATION 2017 MEDIAN PAY
Administrative services managers

Administrative Services Managers

Administrative services managers plan, direct, and coordinate supportive services of an organization. Their specific responsibilities vary, but administrative service managers typically maintain facilities and supervise activities that include recordkeeping, mail distribution, and office upkeep.

Bachelor's degree $94,020
Compensation and benefits managers

Compensation and Benefits Managers

Compensation and benefits managers plan, develop, and oversee programs to compensate employees.

Bachelor's degree $119,120
compensation benefits and job analysis specialists image

Compensation, Benefits, and Job Analysis Specialists

Compensation, benefits, and job analysis specialists conduct an organization’s compensation and benefits programs. They also evaluate position descriptions to determine details such as classification and salary.

Bachelor's degree $62,680
Human resource specialists

Human Resources Specialists

Human resources specialists recruit, screen, interview, and place workers. They often handle other human resources work, such as those related to employee relations, compensation and benefits, and training.

Bachelor's degree $60,350

Labor Relations Specialists

Labor relations specialists interpret and administer labor contracts regarding issues such as wages and salaries, healthcare, pensions, and union and management practices.

Bachelor's degree $63,200
Top executives

Top Executives

Top executives devise strategies and policies to ensure that an organization meets its goals. They plan, direct, and coordinate operational activities of companies and organizations.

Bachelor's degree $104,700
Training and development managers

Training and Development Managers

Training and development managers oversee staff and plan, direct, and coordinate programs to enhance the knowledge and skills of an organization’s employees.

Bachelor's degree $108,250
training and development specialists image

Training and Development Specialists

Training and development specialists help plan, conduct, and administer programs that train employees and improve their skills and knowledge.

Bachelor's degree $60,360

Contacts for More Info

For more information about human resources managers, including certification, visit

Society for Human Resource Management

HR Certification Institute

International Public Management Association for Human Resources

For information about careers and certification in employee compensation and benefits, visit

International Foundation of Employee Benefit Plans

WorldatWork

For information about careers in employee training and development and certification, visit

Association for Talent Development

International Society for Performance Improvement

O*NET

Human Resources Managers

Last Modified Date: Friday, April 27, 2018

Suggested citation:

Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, Occupational Outlook Handbook, Human Resources Managers,
on the Internet at https://www.bls.gov/ooh/management/human-resources-managers.htm (visited November 05, 2018).

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