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HR Opportunities for Advancement

Human resources professionals handle a wide variety of responsibilities in the areas of employee recruitment, compensation, and benefits. Experience in this role can lead to several career advancement options within the human resources field.

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Advancement for Human Resources Professionals

A human resources (HR) professional, also known as an HR specialist or an HR generalist, is responsible for a wide variety of tasks within the HR department, including recruiting, introducing new employees to company policies and procedures, organizing benefits, handling payroll, and ensuring that the organization follows all local, state, and federal regulations. A bachelor's degree in human resources or some related field is a common requirement for entry-level HR professionals. Experience in this field can provide several lucrative career advancement opportunities. This article looks at three avenues of advancement for human resources professionals, including the responsibilities and requirements for each.

Job Title Mean Annual Salary (2018)* Job Growth (2016-26)* Qualifications
Human Resources Manager $126,700 9% HR work experience; a master's degree may be necessary
Compensation and Benefits Manager $132,860 5% Relevant work experience
Training and Development Manager $121,730 10% Relevant work experience; IT skills; may require a master's degree

Source: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS)

Career Information

Human Resources Manager

An HR professional with strong leadership and interpersonal skills, as well as proven experience with HR matters such as employment laws, benefits, staffing, and recruitment, can move up the HR career ladder into the role of human resources manager. A human resources manager coordinates a team of HR professionals, ensuring that the department runs smoothly. They remain up to date on HR issues such as discrimination and sexual harassment, and they serve as consultants to upper management in these and other staffing matters. The minimum requirements are several years of relevant HR work experience and a bachelor's degree in human resources or a related field. Some larger corporations may require a human resources manager to hold a master's degree.

Compensation and Benefits Manager

An expertise in handling employee compensation and benefits issues could lead an HR professional into the role of compensation and benefits manager. This management-level professional can be responsible for all payroll and benefits issues. In the case of larger corporations, this role may focus exclusively on either compensation (compensation manager) or benefits (benefits manager). Compensation managers are concerned mainly with employee wages, analyzing the market to make sure compensation is competitive with other organizations. Benefits managers focus on employee retirement, insurance, short- and long-term leave policies, and other benefits issues; they choose the best plan provider, track benefit trends, and stay current on government regulations in all areas of employee benefits. A bachelor's degree in human resources or a related field and several years of relevant work experience are common requirements for this position.

Training and Development Manager

Experience in teaching and training staff can open the door for an HR professional to become a training and development manager. Employee development can take several forms, from self-guided instruction to mentorship programs; training and development managers assess a corporation's staff-development needs, select appropriate training strategies, and guide specialists in teaching methods. A bachelor's degree and relevant work experience are standard requirements for this position, though some employers may seek applicants with master's degrees in human resources management or a related area. Strong IT skills will help an applicant to stand out in this field as more businesses lean toward technology for training solutions.

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