Is Human Resources a Good Career?
Human resources (HR) is a growing field with positive job outlook over the next ten years. Salaries in HR are also generally higher than the median wage for workers in the U.S. Because many of the organizational, leadership, and speaking skills from human resources are applicable to other fields in business, your experience in HR may also help you transition to a different field down the road, which broadens your career options.
Human Resources Career Path
There are many different paths to become an HR professional. While you may be able to find some entry-level positions that don't require more than a high school diploma, your career options will be significantly enhanced by earning a bachelor's or master's degree in human resources . Positions closely associated with human resources, such as Human Resources Manager or Management Analyst, will typically require at least a bachelor's degree. A master's degree will increase your earning potential and open up more opportunities for advancement.
Another major factor to consider when planning out your HR career path is whether you should earn a human resources certification. Certification from an organization such as The Society for Human Resources Management (SHRM) or the HR Certification Institute (HRCI) demonstrates expertise and credibility in the field.
Once you are employed, there is plenty of room for career advancement in human resources, both upwards and laterally. You may find careers in training, compensation, or recruiting, or expand upwards to an executive level. You may also choose to become an independent human resources consultant, helping companies through transitions or solving specific organizational problems.
Human Resources Jobs
Human Resources covers a broad set of job duties, ranging from recruiting to development to benefits management. While you may be able to work in a variety of business fields after earning an HR degree, there are also good options available solely within the realm of HR.
Human Resources Manager
Median Salary: S110,120
Job Outlook: +9%
Human Resources Managers run the administrative side of a business. They coordinate tasks including recruiting and interviewing, onboarding new staff, and organizational planning with executives. HR managers often act as a bridge between the management of an organization and the team members, helping to facilitate changes and policies. Generally, you can become an HR manager with a bachelor's degree in Human Resources Management, though some companies will prefer or require a master's degree.
Training & Development Manager
Median Salary: $108,260
Job Outlook: +10%
Training and Development Managers oversee the professional development of an organization's employees. Training and Development Managers may host or coordinate trainings and ensure that development programs are effective. Some positions may require a master's degree.
Median Salary: $60,350
Job Outlook: +7%
Recruiters, sometimes called Human Resource Specialists, assist in every aspect of the recruiting/staffing process. They handle tasks ranging from interviewing applicants, contacting references, and getting new employees up to speed. A bachelor's degree is often sufficient to hold this position.
Median Salary: $82,540
Job Outlook: +14%
Management Analysts work to optimize efficiency within the workplace. They'll observe an organization to find places to eliminate wasted resources and improve operational efficiency. Management Analysts will typically have at least a bachelor's degree and employers may require candidates to hold a Certified Management Consultant (CMC) certification.
Compensation & Benefits Manager
Median Salary: $119,120
Job Outlook: +5%
Working in almost every industry, Compensation & Benefits Managers develop and distribute information about the pay structure and benefits programs at an organization. Compensation & Benefits Managers may start out as HR analysts to gain experience and knowledge about the field. They will also typically need a bachelor's degree in business, finance, or human resources.
Median Salary: $37,870
Job Outlook: -5%
This entry-level position is great for those who are interested in the field of business but haven't yet gained the education or experience needed for higher-level positions. HR Administrative Assistants help to organize and prioritize office tasks and interact with clients and staff. Knowledge of word processors and spreadsheet applications is usually required for this position. A high school diploma or associate degree is often all that is needed to hold these positions.
Human Resources Career Salary
The salary range for a career in human resources is dependent on your level of experience, position, education, and certifications. While you may be able to start your career with an associate's or bachelor's degree, you'll maximize your earning potential with a master's degree in human resources or an MBA with a concentration in human resources. Your salary will also be affected by other factors, such as job location and industry. Nonetheless, most jobs in the human resources field pay higher than the median wage and expect growth for the next ten years.