Business Careers: Human Resources Managers

A day in the life of a human resources manager is usually full of planning and coordinating employee talent and handling contracts or disputes. Typically with extensive experience and a bachelor’s degree, these workers could choose to concentrate their talents in labor relations, payroll or recruiting, or provide a broad range of services. In addition to planning and structuring an employer’s orientation and administering compensation and benefits, these individuals usually travel to job fairs and conventions to recruit new employees. (1, 3)
How to Become a Human Resources Manager
The path to becoming a human resources (HR) manager typically involves a bachelor’s degree program and about five years of work experience. (1) The coursework in a bachelor’s program usually focuses on employment law, organizational communication, management principles, compensation and collective bargaining. Business courses in management, accounting, marketing principles and global business generally round out a HR manager’s education. Additionally, students gain real-world business training through labs, internships and/or a senior seminar. (4,5)
Experience –usually about five years – in compensation and benefits or the Human Resources Information System is also likely essential for working in this field. Experience could be gained by working in a lower position, such as a HR specialist, or by earning an advanced degree, such as a master’s degree. (1, 4, 5) To possibly strengthen their resume and job opportunities, HR managers could also earn voluntary certification through the HR Certification Institute or the International Foundation of Employee Benefits, among other associations. To earn these certifications, HR managers generally must have a bachelor’s degree and meet experience requirements, as well as pass an exam. (1, 6)
From 2012-2022, the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) projected that HR managers would see a 13 percent or average growth in positions. However, this is considerably better than the slower-than-average growth projected for management occupations in general that same decade. (1) In May 2013, the mean wages for human resources managers were $111,180. Most human resource managers earned between $58,780 and $177,460 in 2013 stated the BLS. The top paying industry that year was securities and commodity contracts and intermediation and brokerage, and top paying states were New Jersey, Delaware, D.C., Pennsylvania and New York. In 2013, the BLS listed the following industries with the highest level of employment: (2)
• Management of Companies and Enterprises: $125,940
• Local Government: $94,520
• General Medical and Surgical Hospitals: $108,550
• Employment Services: $109,670
• Elementary and Secondary Schools: $100,960
Work Life
In 2012, there were more than 100,000 human resources managers working in nearly every industry, including management, manufacturing, government and health care, stated the BLS. While most of their work, like monitoring staff and conducting orientations, can be completed in the comfort of their office, they may be required to travel to recruit new employees. This job is a regular full-time nine-to-five position; however, overtime may be required at times to handle paper work or attend meetings. (1, 4, 5)
1. Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, Occupational Outlook Handbook, 2014-15 Edition, Human Resources Manager, on the Internet at (visited October 13, 2014).
2. Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, Occupational Employment Statistics, 2014-15 Edition, Occupational Employment and Wages, May 2013, on the Internet at (visited October 13, 2014).
3. ONet Online, Human Resources Manager, on the Internet at (visited October 13, 2014).
4. Regis University, BS in Human Resource Management, on the Internet at (visited October 13, 2014).
5. DeVry University, Business Administration Program, on the Internet at (visited October 13, 2014).
6. HR Certification Institute, Certifications, at (visited October 13, 2014).