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Human Resources Managers
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Description: what do they do?
Plan, direct, or coordinate human resources activities and staff of an organization.
Also known as:
Employee Relations Manager, Human Resources Administration Director, Human Resources Vice President, Human Resources Operations Manager, Human Resources Manager (HR Manager), Human Resources Director (HR Director)

    What does this information tell me?

    This description is a quick overview of what workers in this career might do.

    "Also known as" shows other common names for this career.

    What is the source of this information?

    This information comes from an O*NET database. Learn more on the Help page.

Career video
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    Transcript: Whether they’re negotiating a contract with union leaders, or interviewing a hopeful job applicant, Human Resources Managers combine the qualities of leadership and initiative with steadiness and perseverance. It’s not a job for the faint of heart, since the responsibility for overseeing layoffs, or firing an employee, usually lands in their hands. These managers work both to attract qualified candidates, and to ensure they are productive and fairly-treated once they’re hired. They also develop recruiting and training programs, and administer employee pay and benefits. Human resources managers make sure employment policies are followed throughout an organization. They help managers and employees understand work contracts and resolve discipline issues or conflicts. They may facilitate important conversations about equal opportunities, and preventing sexual harassment. Sensitivity to others’ perspectives is important. Human resource managers work in business, government, education, and non-profits. Some positions require travel, especially to recruit applicants from college campuses, or to attend conferences. Typically, though, this is an office-based career with 9-to-5 hours and the possibility of good benefits. A career as a human resources manager usually begins with a bachelor’s degree in human resource management, business, communications, or a related field. A good human resources manager is pivotal to the morale and success of an organization.
View transcript
Outlook: will there be jobs?
Image. Employment outlook for this occupation
New job opportunities are likely in the future.


    What does this information tell me?

    Outlook information can tell you whether a career is expected to be in demand in the future—that is, whether there are likely to be job openings if you choose this career. Careers can have one of three outlooks:

    • A Bright outlook means new job opportunities are very likely in the future
    • An Average outlook means that a small number of new job opportunities are likely in the future (less than an 8 percent increase)
    • A Below Average outlook means new job opportunities are less likely in the future

    You can also view local job listings in this field by clicking "Find job openings" above. This can help you see if local businesses are hiring—another way of looking at demand.

    What is the source of this information?

    This information comes from the O*NET Resource Center. Learn more about O*NET’s Bright Outlook occupations. Note this information is only available at a national level, so even if you selected a state, you’ll only see this information for the whole country.

Projected employment
United States
136,100
2016 Employment
148,400
2026 Employment
9%
Percent change
12,400
Annual projected job openings

    What does this information tell me?

    Projected employment shows how much employment is expected to grow in this occupation over a 10-year period. This can help you decide if this career is a good choice for future job opportunities. You can look at projected employment in your state, or in other states where you might consider living.

    You can see the total number of people employed in this occupation in 2016, the number expected to be employed in 2026, and rate of growth over those years.

    The projections are based on assumptions of unemployment rates and labor productivity growth rates.  While the projected numbers may not be exact, they are helpful to compare one career to another, or one location to another.

    What is the source of this information?

    State-level data come from Projections Central and each state's Labor Market Information office.

    National-level data come from the Bureau of Labor Statistics Employment Projections, 2016-26.

Typical wages

Annual wages for Human Resources Managers in United States
This graph displays wage data.  Find details by selecting the table view.
This chart displays wage data.  Find details by selecting the table view.
LocationUnited States
10%$66,870
25%$85,750
Median$113,300
75%$152,760
90%$201,380


    What does this information tell me?

    This chart shows you a range of how much most workers in this occupation earn per hour, in the location that you selected.

    You can select from three views of this data:

    • The Graph shows you wages at the 10th, 25th, 50th, 75th and 90th percentiles. Note that the lowest (10th %ile) wage shown is not necessarily a "starting wage." Instead it means that 10 percent of all workers in this career earn less that this amount, and 90 percent earn more. However, you can assume that you might earn close to the 10th or 25th %ile wages when you start out in most careers.
    • Select "Chart" to see a visual comparison between national wages and wages in the location you selected.
    • Select "Table" to see more wage data the national and local level.

    Please note that wage data are not available at the city or ZIP code level. If you selected a city or ZIP code, you will see wage data for the regional area.

    Also note that in this update, 21 detailed occupations found within the 2010 Standard Occupational Classification (SOC) were replaced with 10 new aggregations of those occupations; read more about these OES changes.

    You can learn more about wages for this and other occupations by clicking “See more wages” above.

    What is the source of this information?

    The wage information comes from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, Occupational Employment Statistics Program, 2018 data. For more detailed state wage data, please find the link to your state's wage data program in the Other Resources box.

Education and experience: to get started
People starting in this career usually have:
  • Bachelor's degree
  • 5 years or more work experience
  • No on-the-job training

Programs that can prepare you:

    What does this information tell me?

    This shows you the typical level of education, work experience, and on-the-job training that most people have when they start in this career. Note that these are not requirements for entering this field, but the information can help you understand how qualified you might be.

    Interested in starting in this career? You can search for education programs in your local area by clicking “Find local training” above.

    What is the source of this information?

    This information comes from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, Office of Occupational Statistics and Employment Projections Education and Training Data.

Typical education
How much education do most people in this career have?
Chart. Percent of workers in this field by education level attained

    What does this information tell me?

    This chart shows you the range of education levels that people who currently work in this field have. You can use this to see if you fit in this range. Note that this includes ALL people who work in this field and not just those getting started.

    Interested in getting qualified for this career? You can search for programs that lead to the education needed, in your local area, by clicking “Find local training” above.

    What is the source of this information?

    This information comes from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, Office of Occupational Statistics and Employment Projections Education and Training Data.

Certifications: show your skills
Let employers know you have the skills to do well at this job.
Earning a certification can help you:
  • Get a job
  • Get a promotion

    What does this information tell me?

    When you click "Find certifications" you'll see a list of national certifications that are related to this career. From there, you can learn how to achieve one of these certifications to help you enter or get ahead in this field.

    What is the source of this information?

    This collection of occupational certifications is collected and regularly updated by CareerOneStop. Learn more at Certification Finder Help.

Licenses: do you need one?
Some states require an occupational license to work in this career.

    What does this information tell me?

    When you click "Find license details in your state" you'll see the license name and contact information for the agency in your state that oversees licensing for this field. If you have not selected a location, you'll see a list of all state licenses for this occupation.

    What is the source of this information?

    Information on licensed occupations is gathered in each state by Labor Market Information units under a grant from the U.S. Department of Labor. Learn more at License Finder Help.

Apprenticeships: learn on the job
Apprenticeships combine paid on-the-job-training with classroom lessons.

    What does this information tell me?

    When you click "Find apprenticeship sponsors" you'll find information that can help you locate apprenticeship opportunities in your state:

    • If there are businesses that have sponsored apprenticeships in this field in the past, you'll find their name and contact information.
    • If there are related occupations that might have apprenticeship opportunities, you'll find links to that information.
    • You'll also see contact information for state and federal agencies that oversee apprenticeship programs.

    What is the source of this information?

    Apprenticeship information comes from the U.S. Department of Labor, Office of Apprenticeships, and from CareerOneStop. Learn more at Apprenticeship Finder Help.

Activities: what you might do in a day
  • Liaise between departments or other groups to improve function or communication.
  • Advise others on legal or regulatory compliance matters.
  • Recommend organizational process or policy changes.
  • Analyze data to inform operational decisions or activities.
  • Administer compensation or benefits programs.
  • Manage human resources activities.
  • Hire personnel.
  • Represent the organization in external relations.
  • Interview employees, customers, or others to collect information.
  • Recruit personnel.
  • Negotiate labor disputes.
  • Supervise employees.
  • Estimate labor requirements.
  • Communicate organizational policies and procedures.
  • Prepare reports related to compliance matters.
  • Investigate industrial or transportation accidents.
  • Analyze data to inform personnel decisions.
  • Conduct employee training programs.
  • Maintain knowledge of current developments in area of expertise.
  • Maintain personnel records.
  • Compile operational data.
  • Prepare operational budgets.
  • Coordinate special events or programs.
  • Negotiate sales or lease agreements for products or services.
  • Advise others on career or personal development.

    What does this information tell me?

    This is a list of typical work activities that people in this career might do on the job. You can use this list to get an idea of whether this career might be a good fit for you.

    Click on “More activities” to see more detailed examples of activities for this career.

    You can also use this list to help you prepare for a job interview. Or, if you’ve already held a job like this, you can copy these activities to use on your resume.

    What is the source of this information?

    This information comes from O*NET OnLine's Occupation Information. They are O*NET’s Detailed Work Activities.

Knowledge
People in this career often know a lot about:
  • Personnel and Human Resources - Knowledge of principles and procedures for personnel recruitment, selection, training, compensation and benefits, labor relations and negotiation, and personnel information systems.
  • Administration and Management - Knowledge of business and management principles involved in strategic planning, resource allocation, human resources modeling, leadership technique, production methods, and coordination of people and resources.
  • English Language - Knowledge of the structure and content of the English language including the meaning and spelling of words, rules of composition, and grammar.
  • Law and Government - Knowledge of laws, legal codes, court procedures, precedents, government regulations, executive orders, agency rules, and the democratic political process.
  • Education and Training - Knowledge of principles and methods for curriculum and training design, teaching and instruction for individuals and groups, and the measurement of training effects.
  • Customer and Personal Service - Knowledge of principles and processes for providing customer and personal services. This includes customer needs assessment, meeting quality standards for services, and evaluation of customer satisfaction.

    What does this information tell me?

    This is a list of general knowledge areas that are most commonly required for jobs in the career. Knowledge is typically gained through education and related experience.

    This list can help you learn if you are prepared for a job in this career. It can also help you decide on education or training programs that could help you prepare for the career.

    What is the source of this information?

    This information comes from the O*NET Resource Center. Learn more about O*NET's Knowledge descriptors.

Skills
People in this career often have these skills:
  • Management of Personnel Resources - Selecting and managing the best workers for a job.
  • Active Listening - Listening to others, not interrupting, and asking good questions.
  • Speaking - Talking to others.
  • Reading Comprehension - Reading work-related information.
  • Judgment and Decision Making - Thinking about the pros and cons of different options and picking the best one.
  • Writing - Writing things for co-workers or customers.
  • Complex Problem Solving - Noticing a problem and figuring out the best way to solve it.
  • Negotiation - Bringing people together to solve differences.
  • Coordination - Changing what is done based on other people's actions.
  • Social Perceptiveness - Understanding people's reactions.
  • Critical Thinking - Thinking about the pros and cons of different ways to solve a problem.
  • Active Learning - Figuring out how to use new ideas or things.
  • Systems Evaluation - Measuring how well a system is working and how to improve it.
  • Monitoring - Keeping track of how well people and/or groups are doing in order to make improvements.
  • Time Management - Managing your time and the time of other people.
  • Systems Analysis - Figuring out how a system should work and how changes in the future will affect it.
  • Persuasion - Talking people into changing their minds or their behavior.
  • Service Orientation - Looking for ways to help people.
  • Instructing - Teaching people how to do something.

    What does this information tell me?

    This is a list of a list the work-related skills most commonly required for jobs in the career.

    This list can help you understand how well your current skills fit this career. It can also help you plan your education or professional development.

    What is the source of this information?

    This information comes from the O*NET Resource Center. Learn more about O*NET's Skills descriptors.

Abilities
People in this career often have talent in:
  • Oral Expression - Communicating by speaking.
  • Oral Comprehension - Listening and understanding what people say.
  • Written Comprehension - Reading and understanding what is written.
  • Deductive Reasoning - Using rules to solve problems.
  • Written Expression - Communicating by writing.
  • Speech Clarity - Speaking clearly.
  • Speech Recognition - Recognizing spoken words.
  • Problem Sensitivity - Noticing when problems happen.
  • Inductive Reasoning - Making general rules or coming up with answers from lots of detailed information.
  • Near Vision - Seeing details up close.
  • Fluency of Ideas - Coming up with lots of ideas.
  • Originality - Creating new and original ideas.
  • Category Flexibility - Grouping things in different ways.
  • Information Ordering - Ordering or arranging things.

    What does this information tell me?

    This is a list of a list of personal qualities that might influence work and are most commonly required for success in this career.

    This list can help you understand if your natural strengths and abilities are a good fit for this career.

    What is the source of this information?

    This information comes from the O*NET Resource Center. Learn more about O*NET's Abilities descriptors.

Interests
  • Conventional - Occupations related to Conventional interests frequently involve following set procedures and routines. They include working with data and details more than with ideas. Usually there is a clear line of authority to follow.
  • Enterprising - Occupations with Enterprising interests frequently involve starting up and carrying out projects. Many involve leading people and making many decisions. Sometimes they require risk taking and often deal with business.
  • Social - Occupations with Social interests frequently involve working with, communicating with, and teaching people. Most involve helping or providing service to others.

    What does this information tell me?

    This is a list of work environment-preferences that are most commonly associated with the career. It can help you understand if your natural interests are a good fit for this career.

    Click "Take an interest assessment" for a quick 30-question assessment that can help you understand your interests and see careers that might be good matches for them.

    What is the source of this information?

    This information comes from the O*NET Resource Center. Learn more about O*NET's Interest descriptors.

Typical tasks
  • Serve as a link between management and employees by handling questions, interpreting and administering contracts and helping resolve work-related problems.
  • Advise managers on organizational policy matters, such as equal employment opportunity and sexual harassment, and recommend needed changes.
  • Analyze and modify compensation and benefits policies to establish competitive programs and ensure compliance with legal requirements.
  • Perform difficult staffing duties, including dealing with understaffing, refereeing disputes, firing employees, and administering disciplinary procedures.
  • Represent organization at personnel-related hearings and investigations.
  • Identify staff vacancies and recruit, interview, and select applicants.
  • Negotiate bargaining agreements and help interpret labor contracts.
  • Plan, direct, supervise, and coordinate work activities of subordinates and staff relating to employment, compensation, labor relations, and employee relations.
  • Prepare personnel forecast to project employment needs.
  • Provide current and prospective employees with information about policies, job duties, working conditions, wages, opportunities for promotion, and employee benefits.
  • Investigate and report on industrial accidents for insurance carriers.
  • Analyze statistical data and reports to identify and determine causes of personnel problems and develop recommendations for improvement of organization's personnel policies and practices.
  • Administer compensation, benefits, and performance management systems, and safety and recreation programs.
  • Plan, organize, direct, control, or coordinate the personnel, training, or labor relations activities of an organization.
  • Oversee the evaluation, classification, and rating of occupations and job positions.
  • Allocate human resources, ensuring appropriate matches between personnel.
  • Plan and conduct new employee orientation to foster positive attitude toward organizational objectives.
  • Analyze training needs to design employee development, language training, and health and safety programs.
  • Study legislation, arbitration decisions, and collective bargaining contracts to assess industry trends.
  • Maintain records and compile statistical reports concerning personnel-related data such as hires, transfers, performance appraisals, and absenteeism rates.
  • Prepare and follow budgets for personnel operations.
  • Conduct exit interviews to identify reasons for employee termination.
  • Develop or administer special projects in areas such as pay equity, savings bond programs, day care, and employee awards.
  • Contract with vendors to provide employee services, such as food service, transportation, or relocation service.
  • Provide terminated employees with outplacement or relocation assistance.

    What does this information tell me?

    This is a list of typical tasks that people in this career might do on the job.  You can use this list to get an idea of whether this career might be a good fit for you.

    Click on “More tasks” to see more detailed examples for this career.

    You can also use this list to help you prepare for a job interview. Or, if you’ve already held a job like this, you can copy these tasks to use on your resume.

    What is the source of this information?

    This information comes from O*NET OnLine's Occupation Information. They are O*NET‘s Tasks.

Other resources

    What does this information tell me?

    These are additional online resources related to this career. You may find different or more detailed information at these sources.

    What is the source of this information?

    This information is collected and maintained by CareerOneStop.