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Human Resource Managers


HR Managers


What’s needed: Most HR managers hold at least a B.A. degree in human resources or a closely related field. Many companies now require that HR managers also hold an MBA or an M.A. degree in human resources management. All HR managers attend ongoing education courses and yearly updates so that they are apprised of changes in employment law at the local state and national levels.

What you study:

As a human resources management student you are likely to study all of the following topics:

  • Business Ethnics
  • Human Resources Principles
  • Metrics and Statistical Research
  • Organizational Behavior and Management
  • Employment Law
  • Workforce Planning and Recruitment
  • Human Resources Information Systems (HRIS)

Video Overview

Briefly introduces the human resources (HR) management career. Produced for the US Department of Labor.

A Day in the Life

You’ll get to interact with employees from all departments.

As a human resources manager you’ll be responsible for overseeing the entire HR department at a small to medium-sized company or a portion of the department at a large corporation. At most companies you’ll have your own office but will spend a great deal of time interacting with HR payroll and benefits staff. If you work for a small company you may even be responsible for managing payroll and benefits tasks to ensure that all employees are paid in a timely fashion and receive the benefits that they have earned.

You’ll develop policies and educate employees for success.

You’ll begin each day by reviewing any phone calls you’ve received from employees overnight. If there are any employee emergencies you will get in touch with those individuals and their supervisors in order to address the situation. If you work for a company with multiple locations you’ll often travel to different locations in order to talk to employees and handle any personnel issues. You may need to come up with a disciplinary plan or network with other company managers in order to provide help for employees.

Your chief responsibility is to be an advocate for employees.

After reviewing your phone messages and emails you’ll check in with each member of your HR team to ensure that they understand the tasks that they need to complete. You’ll provide assistance to your team throughout the day and will also interact with a variety of company leaders. As the HR manager you’ll be responsible for developing personnel policies and helping other employees to understand them. You’ll also attend periodic training seminars with your employees so that you can stay current on employment law and other HR issues.

Aside from your day-to-day tasks your biggest responsibility as an HR manager will be to shape your company’s culture. You’ll work with your HR team and other employees in order to create a safe supportive and productive workplace. It will be your responsibility to ensure that all employees have the resources that they need in order to succeed in the workplace and contribute to overall company success. You will be your company’s lead employee advocate.

Certifications and Licensing

Certification for HR managers is optional. The Society for Human Resource Management offers high-level certifications designed to show employers that you are prepared to handle management duties in this field. They also offer certification in specialty areas such as employment law and benefits management.

Job Flexibility

Career growth:

Excellent growth opportunities are available for talented HR managers. Many individuals in these positions go on to hold positions as company vice presidents or executive leaders.

Work location:

Almost all HR managers work out of a central office or corporate headquarters. Those HR managers who work for large corporations spend approximately 70 percent of their time at their offices and 30 percent of their time at satellite locations.

Recommended Websites

  • Bureau of Labor Statistics Occupational Outlook Handbook for Human Resources Managers: This handbook provides a wealth of information about career prospects average salaries and growth potential in the field of human resources. The majority of the information in the handbook is statistical so it is important to consult other sources that can offer a well-balanced view of careers in HR.
  • National Human Resources Assocation: The NHRA website provides career resources and access to topical webinars and seminars. This site is an excellent resource for beginning HR professionals who are interested in landing management positions in HR.
  • Society for Human Resource Management: SHRM is dedicated to providing comprehensive strategy policy and leadership information to HR professionals. The site offers an excellent overview of the field to individuals who are interested in pursuing careers in HR. New HR professionals can use the website to gain expert advice about a wide variety of HR-related issues.
  • Professionals in Human Resources Association: The PIHRA website provides extensive information about training and education in the field of HR. The site also includes a career center that HR professionals of all experience levels will find extremely helpful.

Salaries by City

See typical salaries and ranges for this career below*. Shift click to sort by more than one column — for example first shift-click on state and then shift-click on salary to find best and worst salaries in each state.

StateCity / RegionTypical SalarySalary RangeJob Count% of All Jobs
AKAnchorage$105870$76K – $149K1000.06%
ALBirmingham – Hoover$92880$64K – $161K3100.06%
ALHuntsville$93130$62K – $146K1400.07%
ALMobile$83120$36K – $146K900.05%
ALMontgomery$82770$59K – $120K1100.07%
ALTuscaloosa$82400$57K – $126K400.04%
ARFayetteville – Springdale – Rogers$110620$64K – N/A1700.08%
ARFort Smith$86950$47K – $141K700.06%
ARLittle Rock – North Little Rock – Conway$76220$46K – $126K2000.06%
AZFlagstaff$84950$49K – $122K500.09%
AZPhoenix – Mesa – Glendale$88000$54K – $150K17000.10%
AZTucson$80610$51K – $139K3000.08%
CABakersfield – Delano$94610$54K – $172K1100.04%
CAChico$90780$52K – $174K300.05%
CAFresno$74490$57K – $118K2200.07%
CALos Angeles – Long Beach – Glendale (Metro Area)$107590$64K – $182K34300.09%
CAMerced$101310$63K – $165K400.06%
CAModesto$106150$56K – $168K800.05%
CANapa$118180$74K – $175K400.06%
CAOakland – Fremont – Hayward (Metro Area)$121110$68K – N/A9800.10%
CAOxnard – Thousand Oaks – Ventura$94440$59K – $161K1700.06%
CARedding$70690$37K – $117K300.05%
CARiverside – San Bernardino – Ontario$98570$54K – $143K5300.05%
CASacramento – Arden – Arcade – Roseville$99240$62K – $153K6200.08%
CASalinas$98340$55K – $160K500.03%
CASan Diego – Carlsbad – San Marcos$100270$60K – $181K9700.08%
CASan Francisco – San Mateo – Redwood City (Metro Area)$123070$78K – N/A13400.13%
CASan Jose – Sunnyvale – Santa Clara$155450$82K – N/A12100.13%
CASan Luis Obispo – Paso Robles$98060$61K – $141K500.05%
CASanta Ana – Anaheim – Irvine (Metro Area)$116880$71K – $185K12100.09%
CASanta Barbara – Santa Maria – Goleta$93880$64K – $146K1600.09%
CASanta Cruz – Watsonville$102490$66K – $174K500.07%
CASanta Rosa – Petaluma$97090$59K – $166K1200.07%
CAStockton$87090$43K – $141K800.04%
CAVallejo – Fairfield$92900$55K – $136K1000.09%
CAVisalia – Porterville$88440$61K – $134K500.04%
COBoulder$124340$92K – $175K1000.06%
COColorado Springs$103680$37K – $173K900.04%
CODenver – Aurora – Broomfield$119510$79K – N/A7600.06%
COFort Collins – Loveland$115190$68K – $169K400.03%
COGreeley$106720$73K – $185K500.06%
CTBridgeport – Stamford – Norwalk$114220$65K – N/A6300.15%
CTDanbury$109350$59K – N/A600.10%
CTHartford – West Hartford – East Hartford$110790$69K – $184K8100.15%
CTNew Haven$84930$45K – $155K2200.08%
CTNorwich – New London$85950$56K – N/A1000.07%
CTWaterbury$84290$52K – $119K400.07%
DCWashington – Arlington – Alexandria (Metro Area)$132630$79K – $180K32800.14%
DEDover$84180$66K – $137K400.07%
DEWilmington (Metro Area)$126760$83K – N/A2500.08%
FLCape Coral – Fort Myers$84800$59K – $134K600.03%
FLDeltona – Daytona Beach – Ormond Beach$88810$63K – $134K500.04%
FLFort Lauderdale – Pompano Beach – Deerfield Beach (Metro Area)$100440$59K – $152K3600.05%
FLGainesville$108230$69K – $150K300.03%
FLJacksonville$101100$57K – $167K2700.05%
FLLakeland – Winter Haven$97350$64K – $121K600.03%
FLMiami – Miami Beach – Kendall (Metro Area)$96660$65K – $156K4600.05%
FLNaples – Marco Island$106760$58K – $184K300.03%
FLNorth Port – Bradenton – Sarasota$90930$65K – $136K700.03%
FLOrlando – Kissimmee – Sanford$99450$65K – $158K5400.05%
FLPalm Bay – Melbourne – Titusville$115050$69K – $149K700.04%
FLPanama City – Lynn Haven – Panama City Beach$83790$38K – $133KN/AN/A
FLPensacola – Ferry Pass – Brent$102620$56K – $137K400.03%
FLTallahassee$80680$49K – $118K500.03%
FLTampa – St. Petersburg – Clearwater$97320$61K – $160K6300.06%
FLWest Palm Beach – Boca Raton – Boynton Beach (Metro Area)$101490$64K – $163K2700.05%
GAAthens – Clarke County$103780$66K – N/A400.05%
GAAtlanta – Sandy Springs – Marietta$107530$64K – N/A22600.10%
GAAugusta – Richmond County$89080$57K – $138K900.04%
GAColumbus$74520$47K – $155K600.05%
GAMacon$75410$45K – $120K400.05%
GASavannah$104290$63K – $170K1000.07%
HIHonolulu$80360$55K – $134K3300.08%
IACedar Rapids$92170$52K – $154K1400.10%
IADavenport – Moline – Rock Island$83780$32K – $119K1200.07%
IADes Moines – West Des Moines$97070$56K – $161K3000.09%
IADubuque$82140$56K – $115K300.06%
IAIowa City$91920$57K – $153K600.07%
IASioux City$75100$52K – $120K300.05%
IAWaterloo – Cedar Falls$78700$48K – $117K700.08%
IDBoise City – Nampa$84770$55K – $130K2600.10%
ILBloomington – Normal$93850$47K – $149KN/AN/A
ILChampaign – Urbana$75580$50K – $120K400.04%
ILChicago – Joliet – Naperville (Metro Area)$95810$55K – $169K34500.09%
ILLake County – Kenosha County (Metro Area)$98630$53K – N/A4000.11%
ILPeoria$88260$57K – $167K1700.09%
ILRockford$80850$56K – $127K800.06%
ILSpringfield$71150$52K – $100K700.06%
INBloomington$91740$62K – $144K500.07%
INColumbus$101470$79K – $144K800.17%
INElkhart – Goshen$85770$44K – $142K600.06%
INEvansville$91400$58K – $144K1100.06%
INFort Wayne$74500$53K – $132K900.05%
INGary (Metro Area)$99630$54K – $126K1200.05%
INIndianapolis – Carmel$95830$59K – $148K5900.07%
INLafayette$87390$41K – $137K300.04%
INSouth Bend – Mishawaka$85570$48K – $186K600.05%
INTerre Haute$71200$43K – $116K300.05%
KSTopeka$80800$43K – $122K500.05%
KSWichita$88060$56K – $142K1600.06%
KYBowling Green$87080$44K – $132K500.08%
KYElizabethtown$88290$45K – $148K400.08%
KYLexington – Fayette$70270$43K – $114K1$53K – $142K5200.09%
KYOwensboro$68130$37K – $105K300.06%
LABaton Rouge$77740$53K – $107K2800.08%
LAHouma – Bayou Cane – Thibodaux$66320$38K – $96K300.04%
LALafayette$67790$43K – $98K900.06%
LALake Charles$83040$48K – $122K500.05%
LAMonroe$67490$50K – $99K400.06%
LANew Orleans – Metairie – Kenner$86950$54K – $143K4400.08%
LAShreveport – Bossier City$72050$45K – $151K500.03%
MABarnstable Town$88780$63K – $136K300.03%
MABoston – Cambridge – Quincy (Metro Area)$117210$71K – $187K20900.12%
MABrockton – Bridgewater – Easton (Metro Area)$76640$52K – $128K700.08%
MAFramingham (Metro Area)$121930$76K – N/A1800.11%
MAHaverhill – North Andover – Amesbury (Metro Area)$95530$63K – $143K500.06%
MALawrence – Methuen – Salem (Metro Area)$94330$63K – $153K400.07%
MALowell – Billerica – Chelmsford (Metro Area)$121850$77K – $186K1500.13%
MANew Bedford$85860$59K – $160K300.05%
MAPeabody (Metro Area)$87750$52K – $146K800.07%