HR Consultant: Job Description and Education Requirements

Learn about the education and preparation required to become a human resources (HR) consultant. Get a quick view of the requirements as well as details about degree programs, job duties, and other requirements to find out if this is the career for you.

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A HR consultant is involved in employee recruitment and on-boarding, job guidance, and other aspects of human resources. An undergraduate degree in business administration, or potentially a master's in human resources is a requirement for these consultants.

Essential Information

Human resources (HR) consultants can work with multiple organizations or for one specific company, helping to match up job openings with qualified candidates. By assisting in the hiring process, an HR consultant helps a business succeed by getting them the employees they need. A bachelor's degree is required for this position; however, master's degrees are also highly favorable for HR consulting success.

Required Education Bachelor's degree
Other Requirements Voluntary certification preferred by some employers
 Median Salary (2018)   $60,880 (for all Human resources specialists )*
 Projected Job Growth (2018-2028)   5% growth (for all Human resources specialists )*

Source: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

Human Resources Consultant Career Overview

HR consultants work as employment interviewers and human resource coordinators on behalf of an organization. They can either work in-house for a business or they can work independently, performing contract work with other businesses. HR consultants work in office settings with a typical 40-hour work week; however, this can also include having to work weekends or evenings if a contract agreement or similar negotiation runs long. Occasionally, a HR consultant may have to travel to another business or to job fairs on official business.

The main goal of a HR consultant is to facilitate the interaction between job applicants and employers, while familiarizing themselves with the needs of a particular business. They examine the job openings or job replacements that have to be filled, then with the knowledge of the particular skills required to perform that job, they begin looking for suitable applicants. Typically, they advertise these open positions and search databases of previous applicants who were qualified. Then, they begin the interviewing process and help the company make the decision on who to hire.

Education Requirements

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), HR consultants normally possess a bachelor's degree. This is the typical path for students entering into this career, although the exact major and program can differ greatly. Students can enter into programs designed for business administration, business management or behavioral science. Human resources programs are not typically available in a bachelor's degree format. However, there are minors, specializations and concentrations available in organizational development, human resources management and human resources administration.

Some employers may require a master's degree for an advanced HR consultant position. Human resources is an available major at the graduate level. HR consultants can also pursue master's degree in business administration or labor relations while still getting a concentration or specialization in human resources. These programs have a diverse selection of classes available to HR consultants. Some common courses a HR consultant takes includes labor history, labor economics, contract negotiating, contact mediating, industrial relations, labor relations and business management.

Career Outlook

The BLS states that as of May 2018, human resources specialists earned a median annual salary of $60,880, with most making between $36,270 and $104,390 per year. The bureau also predicts that between 2018 and 2028, demand for HR specialists will grow as fast as average by 5%, and those working as consultants will have particularly good job prospects.

Aspiring HR consultants can choose to complete a graduate program in human resources, or earn a bachelor's degree in business, potentially with a concentration in human resources. After graduation, they have a wide variety of industries to find employment in.

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