Uncovering the HR Manager Career

Posted January 15, 2019 | By csponline

Man holding a magnifying glass up to image of several young professionals

The Human Resources (HR) field is full of exciting career opportunities. From entry level to executive roles, you can choose from a number of positions in a field that will allow you to impact organizations and employees.

The HR manager career is no different. With above-average career outlook and a six-digit median annual wage, this position fulfills some of the primary requirements you might consider when first examining a career path. It also offers a great deal of responsibility and importance administering core organizational activities.

Job Responsibilities

As an HR manager, you’ll oversee policies, procedures, and compliance relating to employees in an organization. Specific tasks will vary based on the size and structure of the company, but the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) provided some common responsibilities and duties for HR managers:

  • Ensuring that activities comply with local, state, and federal laws
  • Plan and oversee employee benefit programs
  • Oversee the recruiting, interviewing, and hiring of new staff
  • Link an organization’s management with its employees
  • Advise other managers on HR issues like equal employment opportunity and sexual harassment
  • Handle staffing issues, such as mediating disputes and directing disciplinary procedures
  • Consult with top executives on strategic planning

There are different types of HR managers. For instance, labor relations directors oversee employment policies in union and nonunion settings, payroll managers supervise the operations of an organization’s payroll department, and recruiting managers oversee the recruiting and hiring responsibilities of the HR department.

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HR Manager Salary and Career Outlook

The median annual wage for HR managers is $110,120, according to the BLS. The highest 10 percent earn more than $197,720 and the lowest 10 percent earn less than $65,040.

Salary information is available for HR managers in the top industries in which they work:

  • 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

Employment of HR managers is projected to increase 9 percent by 2026, which is slightly more than the average for all occupations (7 percent). More of these professionals will be needed to oversee and administer operations for new companies. Another factor leading to increased demand for HR managers is the growing complexity of employment laws. Organizations need to adhere to changing regulations surrounding occupational safety and health, equal employment opportunity, healthcare, wages, and retirements.

Becoming an HR Manager

A bachelor’s or master’s degree is needed along with several years of related work experience to become an HR manager.

Important Qualities and Skills to Concentrate On

Refining specific qualities and skills in your education and on the job can help you pursue managerial roles in HR. Interpersonal skills are needed to interact with people and collaborate on teams, while developing positive working relationships. Speaking skills can specifically help with giving presentations and communicating information and instructions to staff and other employees.

Other skills include decision-making, leadership, and organizational skills. Decision-making skills enable HR managers to gauge the potential and significant impact of certain actions, and then to decide the best course of action. Directing a staff and overseeing the HR department requires strong leadership skills, which will help in coordinating work activities. Finally, organizational skills are essential in prioritizing tasks and managing several important projects at once.

Educational Requirements

HR managers usually need a bachelor’s degree. Candidates may earn a degree in human resources or in fields like finance, business management, education, or information technology. For some higher level jobs, candidates need a master’s degree in human resources or a field like labor relations or business administration.

Concordia University, St. Paul’s online Bachelor of Arts in Human Resource Management and online Master of Arts in Human Resource Management can help you pursue a career as an HR manager. Enjoy small class sizes with a personal learning environment geared toward your success where you’ll learn from knowledgeable faculty who have industry experience. Get started with CSP today.


Also published on Medium.