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Human Resource Careers, Jobs and Training Information

Human Resource Career and Job Highlights

  • Entry-level jobs are occupied with college graduates who have a variety of degrees.
  • Previous experience will benefit those who desire a specialized position; however, it is critical for more advanced positions including managers, arbitrators, and mediators.
  • Intense competition for jobs is projected as a result of huge numbers of college graduates and qualified candidates.

Human Resource Career Overview and Job Description

For success in any industry, companies must appeal to and match employees to jobs for which they are best cut out for. Nevertheless, several organizations are too big for direct interaction between top management and workers. This is therefore provided by human resources, training, and labor relations managers and specialists. At one time, these workers have dealt with functions in administration; these include: managing employee benefits concerns or recruiting, conducting interviews, and appointing new personnel in compliance to top managements’ policies and requirements. Current human resources workers balance these responsibilities and more and more discuss strategic planning with top executives. Moving from unnoticed support, they now lead companies as they give recommendations and change policies. Top executives recognize the asset that the human resources department is to ensuring economic success.

In addition to their assistance of refining morale and efficiency and restricting job turnover; human resources workers support their firms to effectively utilize employee abilities, give coaching to maximize those abilities, and improve employees’ contentment with their jobs and working environment. Handling people remains to be an integral part of the job, although some jobs in the human resources field require only limited contact with people outside the office
A human resources generalist may require a wide range of knowledge to manage all parts of work human in a little company. According to what an employer needs, the responsibilities of human resources generalists can differ significantly. The principle human resources executive in large businesses usually creates and synchronizes staff programs and guidelines. These guidelines typically are put into operation by a human resources director or manager, and sometimes a business relations director.

The director of human resources may supervise numerous departments that are individually headed by specialized managers who concentrate on one employee activity, such as employment, compensation, benefits, instruction and expansion, or employee associations.

Employment and placement managers are responsible for the hiring and division of employees as well as the supervision of different workers, which includes equal employment opportunity specialists and recruitment specialists. Recruiting and placing workers is done by employment, recruitment, and placement specialists.

Recruiters search for job applicants as they keep in contact with those in the community and as they travel, primarily to college campuses. Recruiters’ tasks include: screening, interviewing, and occasionally testing applicants. Additionally, they may confirm references and widen job offers. In order to give information regarding wages, working conditions, and promotions with prospective employees; it is mandatory for these workers to be extremely knowledgeable about the company and its personnel policies. Plus, they must know information about laws and guidelines regarding equal employment opportunity (EEO) and affirmative action, like the Americans with Disabilities Act.

EEO officers, representatives, or affirmative action coordinators manage EEO issues in large companies. They inspect and solve EEO complaints, analyze company practices to ensure compliance, and accumulate and submit reports of EEO statistics.

Employer relations representatives typically work in government agencies to preserve relationships among personnel and encourage taking advantage of public employment programs and services. Likewise, employment interviewers, who may also be known personnel consultants, personnel development specialists, and human resources coordinators, assist in pairing up suitable applicants with employers.

Compensation, benefits, and job analysis specialists carry out programs for employers and sometimes focus on particular areas such as position classifications or pensions. Job analysts, occasionally known as position classifiers, gather and analyze intricate information regarding job roles so they may be able to compose job descriptions. Required duties, training, and skills are discussed in the description for each job. The expertise of a job analyst is used whenever a big association initiates a new job or examines existing jobs.

Occupational analysts perform research, primarily in large businesses. As they study the results of industry and work-related trends upon worker relationships, they mostly care about occupational classification systems. They may be used as a technical link between the business and government, labor unions, or other businesses.

The main job of a compensation manager is to create and uphold a company’s method of payment. They are assisted by personnel specialists as they formulate techniques to guarantee just and impartial wages. To compare their firm’s rates with others and to make sure that their pay scale abides with shifting laws and regulations, they may conduct surveys. Additionally, compensation managers sometimes watch over their firm’s performance assessment method and develop standard rewards such as pay-for-performance plans.

Employee benefits managers and specialists manage the business’s employee benefits, particularly its pension plans and medical insurance. As employer-provided benefits contribute to an increasing percentage of overall compensation costs and benefit plans enhance in number and complexity, proficiency in designing and dispensing benefits programs remains to be essential. For example, pension benefits will perhaps encompass savings and thrift, profit-sharing, and stock ownership plans while health benefits will perhaps cover dental and long-term catastrophic illness insurance. Employee benefit managers and specialists should have expertise in health benefits as an increasing amount of firms fight to deal expanding expenses for healthcare for employees and retirees. On top of health insurance and pension coverage, a few businesses provide workers life and accidental death and dismemberment insurance, disability insurance, and moderately new benefits developed comply with a changing workforce’s needs These include: parental leave, child and geriatric care, long-term nursing home care insurance, employee support and wellness programs, and accommodating benefits plans. Benefits managers must keep alongside each other with changing Federal and State policies and legislation maybe influencing employee benefits.

Employee assistance plan managers or also known as employee welfare managers, hold the responsibility of dealing with a huge range of programs including job-related safety and health guidelines and practices; the encouragement of good health and physical condition, medical assessments, and trivial medical treatment, like first aid; plant security; documents published; services of food and amusement activities; traveling programs, such as transit subsidies; employee proposal procedures; child and geriatric care; and counseling services. Child and geriatric care are more and more critical as a result of a growing elderly population as well as the number of dual-income households. Employees can be assisted as they deal with emotional disorders, alcoholism, or marital, family, consumer, legal, and financial problems through counseling. A few workplaces also provide career counseling. Particular programs (those dealing with security and protection) in bigger firms may be independent departments directed by other managers.

It is the job of training and development managers and specialists to perform and oversee programs of training and development for workers. The management more and more acknowledges that training provides the means to cultivate skills, enhance efficiency and work quality, and build employee allegiance to the company. Training is becoming increasingly important as it is broadly accepted as a way of improving employee morale. Additional aspects may include: the intricacy of the workplace, fast shifting organizational and technological change, and new knowledge from expansion in the number of jobs in this field. Also, progressions in learning theory have given understanding to adult learning techniques, and how to train them most efficiently.

Training managers train in either the workplace or in a classroom. Their role includes: preparing lessons before the class, interacting with the class, and distributing certificates of qualification at the end of the training.

Training specialists prepare, organize, and lead several different training activities. Trainers’ responsibilities may involve the following: answering to requests by corporate and worker, consulting with supervisors in the office about services to improve performance, organizing orientation sessions, and arranging training for employees at their job. They assist rank-and-file employees to keep up and enhance their job capabilities, and perhaps help them prepare for advanced positions. Additionally, they assist supervisors to develop their interpersonal skills so they may effectively work with staff, or they may organize individualized training programs to improve employee’s skills or instruct them in new skills. Training specialists in a few businesses organize programs for leadership or executive development for inferior workers so they may progress to executive status to replace those transferring from the company. Further, trainers direct programs to help workers with transitions as a result of changing technology as well as mergers and acquisitions.

Training specialists operate as case managers in programs supported by the government. First, they evaluate what training clients lack, and then take them through the best suited program. Clients may then either be recommended to employer relations representatives or get help with finding a job after training.
It is essential for training specialists to plan and develop programs. Trainers may talk with managers and supervisors or perform surveys with the purpose of identifying and evaluating training needs within the company. Once in a while they assess how effective training is.

Trainers may significantly vary in techniques used and in their responsibilities according to the volume, goals, and type of business. There are numerous training techniques which include training on the jobsite; using fabricated shop floors to prepare trainers for real-life shop floors; internship training; in-class training; and learning electronically, which may entail training through the Internet, multimedia programs, distance learning, satellite training, additional computer-aided programs, videos, simulators, seminars, and workshops.

A director of industrial relations in a company creates labor policy, supervises relations among industrial labor, consults collective bargaining agreements, and manages complaint procedures to deal with accusations due to management disagreements with unionized workers. Additionally, the director of industrial relations counsels and works together with the human resources director, additional managers, and staff members. This is done because when creating an original or modified union contract, all aspects of personnel policy (wages, benefits, pensions, and work practices) may be included.

Industrial labor relations programs are executed by labor relations managers and their staffs. Labor relations specialists get information ready for negotiation used by management when a collective bargaining agreement is up for negotiation. This is a process that calls for the specialist to obtain extensive knowledge of economic and wage data as well as an understanding of labor law and trends of collective bargaining. While remembering grievances, earnings, employee welfare, healthcare, pensions, union and management practices, and other contractual terms; the labor relations staff clarifies and oversees the contract. Industrial relations personnel are progressively working with employees independent of labor unions due to the decrease of union membership in most businesses.

As parties involved in a dispute make an effort to evade expensive litigation, strikes, or other disruptions; dispute resolution, which is arriving at tacit or contractual agreements, has gradually become more essential. Dispute resolution is multifaceted; it encompasses workers, management, unions, further firms, and government agencies. It is critical for specialists who are caught up in dispute resolution to have proficiency and experience in this area, and to occasionally convey information to the director of industrial relations. The job of conciliators, or mediators, is to counsel and encourage labor and management to thwart and solve (when needed) disagreements about labor agreements or problems regarding labor relations. Arbitrators, also known as umpires or referees, make decisions about disagreements that force both labor and management to certain conditions and stipulations of labor contracts. Labor relations specialists, working for unions, conduct several identical functions for the union and its members.

Two more developing areas of focus include international human resources managers and human resources information system specialists. They manage human resources concerns associated with a company’s foreign procedures; and create and utilize programs for computers with the goal to sort out staff information, pair applicants with positions, and manage other staff issues, respectively.

In 2002, human resources, training, and labor relations managers and specialists occupied approximately 677,000 jobs. The distribution of jobs is shown by the following tabulation according to occupational specialty:

  • Training and development specialists – $209,000
  • Human resources managers – $202,000
  • Employment, recruitment, and placement specialists – $175,000
  • Compensation, benefits, and job analysis specialists – $91,000

There were human resources, training, and labor relations managers and specialists working in practically every company. Approximately 3,800 specialists worked as consultants to public as well as private employers through self-employment.

Eighty percent of salaried jobs represented private sectors with professional, scientific, and technical services accounting for 11 percent. One in ten works in manufacturing industries, healthcare and social assistance, firms dealing with finance and insurance, and administrative and support services.

About 18 percent of human resources managers and specialists were employed by the government. They managed several aspects related to the country’s employees including the staffing, interviewing, classification of jobs, training, financial distribution, benefits, employee relations, and other affairs.

Human Resource Training and Job Qualifications

The academic histories of human resources, training, and labor relations managers and specialists differ significantly due to the variety and levels of responsibilities. Numerous employers look for college graduates who obtain a degree in human resources, personnel administration, or industrial and labor relations when hiring for entry-level jobs. Further employers prefer college graduates who have substantial technical or business experience or a well-balanced education in liberal arts.

Programs resulting in a degree in personnel, human resources, or labor relations are provided through numerous colleges and universities. Degree programs associated with personnel administration or human resources management, training and development, or compensation and benefits are offered by a few. Varying from school to school, courses resulting in a career in human resources management might be available through departments of business administration, education, instructional technology, organizational development, human services, communication, or public administration, or from a different human resources section.

A mixture of courses in the social sciences, business, and behavioral sciences is helpful because it is suitable to have an interdisciplinary background in this field. For example, a few jobs possibly entail technical engineering, science, finance, or law experience. The majority of human resources specialist candidates are advised to enroll in courses related to compensation, recruitment, training and development, performance appraisal, principles of management, organizational structure, and industrial psychology. Further applicable courses might involve business and public administration, psychology, sociology, political science, economics, statistics, labor law, collective bargaining, labor economics, labor history, and industrial psychology. Familiarity with computers and information systems is an additional advantage, as it is for several areas.

For a few jobs, furthering a degree is more and more critical. Graduate study in industrial or labor relations is mandatory for several labor relations jobs. Extensive experience in industrial relations and law is profoundly recommended for contract negotiators, mediators, and arbitrators. Actually a large amount of lawyers work in these specialties. Additionally, a legal background is desirable for employee benefits managers and those understanding the expanding laws and regulations. For individuals seeking common and top management positions; a master’s degree in human resources, labor relations, or in business administration, focusing in human resources management, is greatly recommended.

For advanced positions (managers, arbitrators, and mediators) in the human resources field, prior experience is important; but for several lower specialized jobs field, prior experience is just an asset. Numerous employers desire entry-level workers to have some experience involved in an internship or while in school, a work-study program. It is required for personnel administration and human resources development to be able to work with others and be committed to organizational goals. Other skills needed may be picked up elsewhere; these include skills in computers, marketing, instructing, overseeing, and volunteering. Clerical workers are given opportunities of promotion to professional positions in this field. Important positions usually are occupied by knowledgeable workers from other fields, such as commerce, government, schooling, social services administration, and the armed forces.

A wide variety of personal skills and abilities are needed for human resources fields. It is critical that human resources, training, and labor relations managers and specialists are proficient in communicating and writing. The expanding diversity of employees mandates they be cooperative with and supervise others from differing ethnicities, academic achievements, and experience. They must have a congenial personality and be believable, reasonable, and honest. They must be able to deal with opposing viewpoints, work under pressure, and exhibit good judgment.

The responsibilities delegated to entry-level workers will be different depending on a few factors. These include having a degree in human resource management, completion of an internship, or further experience in human resources. Entry-level employees frequently become familiar with their job through secretarial duties, such as assisting in data-entry, accumulating employee Handbooks, performing research for a supervisor, answering the phone, or taking regular questions. Formal or on-the-job training programs for entry-level jobs include: learning how to categorize jobs, interviewing applicants, or delegating employee benefits. Next, they are allocated to particular areas among the staff to gain experience. Afterward, advancement to an executive position or supervision over a major element of the personnel program (compensation or training) may be possible promotions.

Eventually leading to a top managerial or executive position, extraordinary human resources employees can be promoted to director of personnel or industrial relations. Another option is to join a consulting firm or start their own company. For teaching, writing, or consulting work; a PhD is an advantage.
The majority of businesses specializing in human resources provide classes with the intention to improve marketing skills of their members. A few organizations provide certification programs that test competence and may improve one’s progression prospects. For instance, a designation to those who complete a series of college-level courses and pass tests covering employee benefit plans is conferred by the International Foundation of Employee Benefit Plans. Two levels of certification are required by the Society for Human Resources Management and both mandate experience and passing a comprehensive test.

Human Resource Job and Employment Opportunities

Intense competition for jobs should arise from the plentiful supply of qualified college graduates and experienced workers. Through 2012, the jobs of human resources, training, and labor relations managers and specialists are projected to grow faster than the average for all occupations. Several job openings will crop up from the need to replace those transferring or leaving the labor force, in addition to openings due to growth.

Through legislation and court-ruling standards in areas such as occupational safety and health, equal employment opportunity, wages, health, pensions, and family leave, the demand will increase for human resources, training, and labor relations experts. The demand for specialists should also continue as healthcare costs rise and specialists are needed to create original compensation and benefits packages for firms to offer to potential employees. Labor relations arbitrators, mediators, and other staff employment should expand as firms become increasingly involved in labor relations, and make an effort to solve labor-management disputes out of court that could become expensive. Increasing the demand for specialists in international human resources management and human resources information systems should also promote job growth.

For a few specialists, demand may be considerably high. For instance, employers are anticipated to dedicate greater resources to training programs for specific jobs as a reaction to the growing difficulty of several jobs, aging personnel, and advancing technology that may cause employees to have outdated skills. As a result, training and development for specialists should be strong. Additionally, several jobs for employment, recruitment, and placement specialists should be created as the industry puts forth more effort to recruit and retain quality employees.

As businesses more and more contract out personnel tasks or temporarily employ personnel specialists in order to manage the escalating expenses and complexity of training and development programs; companies involved with management, consulting, and employment services have several job openings. In companies that create and give out multifaceted employee benefits and compensation packages for other organizations, the demand should also boost.
The staffing needs of the workplace govern the demand for human resources, training, and labor relations managers and specialists. Whether permanent employees or consultants, additional human resources workers are likely to be hired by a rapidly growing business. On the other hand, a business that has previously merged or reduced its workforce will need a smaller of amount human resources workers. Additionally, a few small and average-size companies lacking a human resources department might allocate employees different human resources responsibilities paired with further unrelated responsibilities as human resources management becomes gradually more critical to an organization’s success. The size and duties of the human resources staff in any certain business are determined by the business’s organizational beliefs and goals, employee skills, rate of technological change, government policies, collective bargaining agreements, standards of professional practice, and conditions of labor markets.

Due to widespread use of computerized human resources information systems, workers may become more efficient and job growth could be limited. Usually in larger firms, the work of human resources, training, and labor relations managers and specialists may be negatively influenced by company downsizing, reorganization, and mergers.

Historical Earnings Information

Human resources workers’ yearly salaries differ with several factors including occupation, experience level, training, site, and company size, and their status in a labor union. In 2003, middle yearly salaries of human resources managers were $64,710. The middle 50 percent brought in between $47,420 and $88,100. The lowest 10 percent received lower than $36,280, while the highest 10 percent received higher than $114,300. In 2002, median yearly salaries in the companies with the largest numbers of human resources managers were:

  • Management of companies and enterprises – $77,690
  • Local government – $65,590
  • General medical and surgical hospitals – $61,720
  • Depository credit intermediation – $60,030

In 2002, median yearly salaries of training and development specialists were $42,800. The middle 50 percent brought in between $32,050 and $56,890. The lowest 10 percent received lower than $24,760, while the highest 10 percent received higher than $72,530. In 2002, middle yearly salaries in the companies with the largest numbers of training and development specialists in were:

  • Management of companies and enterprises – $49,660
  • Insurance carriers – $45,830
  • Local government – $43,740
  • State government – $40,960
  • Federal Government – $37,560

In 2002, median yearly salaries of employment, recruitment, and placement specialists were $39,410. The middle 50 percent brought in between $30,390 and $54,130. The lowest 10 percent received lower than $24,440, while the highest 10 percent received higher than $73,940. In 2002, middle yearly earnings were $34,850 in employment services, which serves as the leading employer for these specialists.

In 2002, median yearly salaries of compensation, benefits, and job analysis specialists were $45,100. The middle 50 percent brought in between $35,000 and $57,230. The lowest 10 percent received lower than $28,160, while the highest 10 percent received higher than $72,250. In 2002, middle yearly earnings were $48,870 in local government, the company who employs the majority of these specialists.

Bachelor’s degree candidates majoring in human resources (includes labor relations) were given starting offers at about $35,400 yearly, according to a salary survey conducted in 2003 by the National Association of Colleges and Employers.

In 2003, standard earnings for human resources managers employed by the Federal Government were $66,886; $63,345 for employee relations specialists; $72,915 for labor relations specialists; and $68,735 employee development specialists. Salaries were barely elevated in some areas with higher established local pay. There remain no entry-level requirements needed for managerial positions; therefore, applicants just need to have an appropriate combination of schooling, experience, and an accomplished record.