How to Become a Human Resources Manager

Human Resources Manager Key Stats
Avg. Salary / year $109,520
Avg. Pay / hour $52.66
Education 3-4 Years
Job Outlook 7%

A human resources manager works to find the best and most suitable employees for a company, and also to ensure that employees are happy, healthy, and well looked after.

The role of a human resources manager is integral in a company running smoothly.

They can make a big difference to staff morale and productivity.

It’s also their responsibility to make sure that safe practices are being followed by staff and employees.

Human resources managers have very high levels of interpersonal skills.

Being able to communicate with and understand people from all walks of life is of the utmost importance.

They also need to be very organized and be able to pay attention to the fine details.

If you enjoy problem solving, find it easy to speak with and relate to people, and excel in the humanities, then working in human resources is likely an excellent career choice.

Education Requirements to Become a Human Resources Manager

If you’re still in high school you can start working towards a career in human resources right away.

Taking subjects in English, psychology, and business is a good start.

Any work experience you can get will also be helpful.

The minimum educational requirement to become a human resources manager is a four year bachelors degree with a major in human resources administration and management.

During your time at college you’ll learn HR laws, recruitment techniques, and other HR methodology.

It’s also possible to complete a more rounded degree in the humanities, then go on to complete masters degree in human resources.

Many people in the field have a postgraduate degree.

Employers will look well upon applicants who have a strong background in a diverse range of areas such as business and humanities.

While this isn’t really necessary to get your start, it may be helpful to gain extra qualifications later on when you are looking for advancement.

Taking a HR internship while you are in college is really important.

When you are looking for your first job, this will really stand out on your resume and get you noticed.

Being able to write a great resume is also essential, since resume’s and recruitment are such a big part of human resources.

Human Resources Manager Job Description

A human resources manager works to meet the employment needs of a company or organization.

This means hiring and firing employees, maintaining employee occupational health and safety, settling disputes, and assisting with other inquiries.

In smaller companies, a human resources manager may also be responsible for payroll.

Here are some of the tasks of a human resources manager:

  • Recruiting new employees
  • Giving warning and counseling to current employees
  • Writing position descriptions
  • Placing ads for jobs
  • Assisting with employee inquiries
  • Keeping up to date with employment law
  • Ensuring safety standards are met
  • Educating employees about safety

Human Resources Manager Salary and Career Path

Most people begin their HR career as an assistant to a HR manager.

Here you will be given simple tasks to complete to gain experience.

You’ll learn a lot about people, different employee signals, the way people work, and you’ll become accustomed to turnovers and salaries.

With a few years of experience under your belt, you can expect to move into the position of HR manager.

Taking a role with a larger company may mean more opportunities, but in some cases more competition.

Some people in human resources go on to become managers at a higher level within companies, some move into similar roles in recruitment, or payroll.

Some start their own recruitment agencies.

Others move into roles with a focus on training and education.

Here are a few similar roles you might be interested in.

The median wage for HR manager is $95,000 a year.

A HR assistant starting out their career could expect to earn close to $35,000 a year.

Beginning HR managers earn around $65,000 a year.

The top 10% in this field earn over $150,000 a year.

If you look forward to a work day filled with challenges, and plenty of time speaking with people, then you might like to become a human resources manager.

While some education is needed, employment is secure and has an excellent salary.

BLSThe below information is based on the 2021 BLS national averages.

  • Annually
  • Monthly
  • Hourly

National Average Salary


Average Salary by State

StateAvg. Annual Salary
District of Columbia$162,810
New Hampshire$139,960
New Jersey$170,850
New Mexico$108,180
New York$180,380
North Carolina$131,810
North Dakota$127,260
Rhode Island$156,710
South Carolina$103,790
South Dakota$102,590
West Virginia$110,660
Puerto Rico$66,700
Virgin Islands$91,930

The top earning state in the field is New York, where the average salary is $180,380.

These are the top 5 earning states in the field:

New York - $180,380
New Jersey - $170,850
District of Columbia - $162,810
Massachusetts - $160,460
Rhode Island - $156,710
* Salary information based on the May 2021 Occupational Employment Statistics (OES) Survey for Human Resources Managers, OCC Code 11-3121, BLS.
* Employment conditions in your area may vary.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is a human resources manager?

The main functions of a human resources manager are to manage employees and to oversee department functions.

There are a few HR disciplines that a manager has to be proficient in – training and development, recruitment and selection, employee relations, and compensation and benefits.

Human resources managers have to have amazing communication skills and be able to make important decisions.

Depending on the size of the company, an HR manager can have different responsibilities.

In a large company with a whole HR department, the manager would report to the director or the executive; in smaller companies, human resources managers may be performing all the functions of the HR department.

Generally, managers develop compensation plans, monitor negotiations for healthcare benefits, and so on.

How much do human resources managers make?

The salary of a human resources manager will depend on the location and the employer.

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the average annual salary of an HR manager in the United States is around $108.500.

However, you can expect to earn anywhere between $60.000 and $170.000 per year, depending on a variety of factors.

Entry-level specialists can earn a little less than $29 per hour, while top-level HR managers make over $50 hourly.

The highest-paid managers work in the motion picture and video industry, however, the competition is particularly high.

How much does it cost to become a human resources manager?

In case you want to pursue a human resources manager career, you have to be ready to obtain a formal education.

On average, get ready to spend $36.000 per year on your education, books, supplies, and accommodation.

The price of a bachelor’s degree in human resources management can vary from $11.000 to $60.000 (annually).

There are some educational programs available online; in such a case you will be able to save on accommodation and you’ll have the chance to work full-time while obtaining a degree.

The cost per credit for an online bachelor’s degree can be around $350 per credit.

What is the demand for human resources managers?

According to the BLS, the human resources manager job market is expected to grow by 7%.

That is a little faster than the national average.

You would need a bachelor’s degree to apply for an entry-level position in the field.

However, those who have a master’s degree will have higher chances of getting the highest-paid jobs.

How long does it take to become human resources manager?

It will take you 4 years to obtain a bachelor’s degree in human resources management (or business administration, for example).

In case you decide to go for a master’s degree, it will take you a couple of years more.

While you’ll be earning a degree, you should do your best to try and complete an internship to already possess real-life experience after you graduate.

With only a bachelor’s degree, you can apply for entry-level human resources department positions (an HR assistant or an HR specialist).

Most companies require the candidates to have at least 5 years of working experience in the field to be able to become a manager.

Jamie Willis
Career Specialist at BecomeopediaHi, my name is Jamie Willis, and I have been helping students find their perfect internships and education paths for the last ten years. It is a passion of mine, and there really is nothing better than seeing students of mine succeed with further studies.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *