What Will Your Human Resources Salary Be?

Posted December 11, 2017 | By Tricia Hussung

Group of business professionals

When deciding to pursue a specific career path, the nuances of compensation are one of the most important aspects to consider. As is the case for most fields, salary for human resources professionals can vary widely depending on job title, years of experience, education and more.

Human resources is a rewarding field because it allows you to help your coworkers while ensuring the workplace runs smoothly. As more companies understand the value of trained human resources professionals and the role they play in building an effective work environment, demand in the field continues to grow.

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), employment for human resources specialists is expected to grow 7 percent through 2026, a rate that’s about as fast as the average for all occupations. This growth is largely due to an increase in demand for third-party employment services such as recruiting and coordinating the hiring process. Companies will also need human resources professionals to recruit replacements for the large number of workers nearing retirement age.

Outlook for human resources managers is projected to grow as well, with a 9 percent increase expected through 2026, according to the BLS. “Human resources managers 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,” the BLS explains.

Human Resources Salary: A Breakdown by Experience

Human Resources Generalist

One of the most common job titles in the HR field is human resources generalist. In this role, professionals are often tasked with creating hiring strategies that identify the right candidates for various positions within an organization. HR generalists also act as liaisons between employees and leadership to address questions and concerns. Professionals in this role may oversee staff members who perform administration duties within the human resources department. The following is a salary breakdown for this role based on experience. All salary information is from PayScale.

  • Entry level: $50,027
  • Mid-career: $55,010
  • Experienced: $56,419
  • Late career: $57,444

Human Resources Manager

Another common job title in the HR field is human resources manager. In this role, human resources professionals are responsible for overseeing procedures and policies that affect the entire organization. HR managers also implement and oversee programs related to employee benefits and initiatives, PayScale explains. They might manage daily operations and budgeting, as well as overseeing administrators, specialists and generalists. Here is an experienced-based salary breakdown for this role:

  • Entry level: $56,451
  • Mid-career: $65,479
  • Experienced: $70,425
  • Late career: $72,133

Earnings by Job Title

While salary varies by experience level, it can also vary widely based on job title. The following breaks down salary in the human resources field by role.

  • HR administrator: Administrators in the human resources field are the “first point of contact within a company for all HR-related inquiries,” according to PayScale. They also coordinate orientations and training opportunities. The median salary for this job title is $48,433.
  • HR specialist: In this role, human resources professionals focus on a specific area such as payroll, benefits, training or recruiting. They usually work in larger departments with many different HR employees. The median salary for this role is $49,754.
  • HR generalist: As discussed above, HR generalists serve as employee liaisons with upper management and are usually responsible for recruiting and hiring. The median salary for this role is $52,388, according to PayScale.
  • HR manager: As explained above, human resources managers oversee policies and procedures as well as managing the various employees in their department. The median salary for this job title is $64,806.
  • HR director: Directors in human resources usually work for large companies. They are strategic partners and work closely with leadership to oversee “staff operations, business planning and budget development,” PayScale explains. They also direct all HR initiatives. The median salary for this role is $86,096.

Note: PayScale salary information is as of time of publication. 

If you are interested in topics like these that explore human resources’ role in the workplace, Concordia University, St. Paul offers both undergraduate and graduate HR programs designed to help you build a successful career. The online Bachelor of Arts in Human Resource Management degree provides a comprehensive, hands-on study of the skills HR professionals need most in the workplace. Concordia also offers an online Master of Arts in Human Resource Management that focuses on giving working HR professionals valuable skill sets they can directly apply on the job, including leadership, strategic thinking, innovation and more.

Concordia graduates earn some of the highest salaries among alumni from Minnesota colleges and universities*. You can find out more about our alumni outcomes here.

*Based on data from comparable Minnesota institutions that participated in a study conducted by the Minnesota Office of Higher Education and the Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development. Data retrieved 4/15/16.