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Career and Education Opportunities for Human Relations Managers in Cedar Rapids, Iowa

For those living in the Cedar Rapids, Iowa area, there are many career and education opportunities for human relations managers. The national trend for human relations managers sees this job pool growing by about 9.6% over the next eight years. In general, human relations managers plan, direct, and coordinate human resource management activities of an organization to maximize the strategic use of human resources and maintain functions such as employee compensation, recruitment, and regulatory compliance.

The average wage in the general category of Human Resources jobs is $26 per hour or $54,148 per year in Iowa, and an average of $32 per hour or $65,602 per year nationwide. Human relations managers work in a variety of jobs, including: staffing coordinator, personnel generalist manager, and employment recruiter.

The Cedar Rapids area is home to thirteen schools of higher education, including two within twenty-five miles of Cedar Rapids where you can get a degree as a human relations manager. Human relations managers usually hold a Bachelor's degree, so it will take about four years to learn to be a human relations manager if you already have a high school diploma.

CAREER DESCRIPTION: Human Relations Manager

Human Relations Manager video from the State of New Jersey Dept. of Labor and Workforce Development

In general, human relations managers plan, direct, and coordinate human resource management activities of an organization to maximize the strategic use of human resources and maintain functions such as employee compensation, recruitment, and regulatory compliance.

Human relations managers serve as a link between management and employees by handling questions, interpreting and administering contracts and helping resolve work-related problems. They also furnish current and prospective employees with data related to policies, job duties, working conditions, wages, opportunities for promotion and employee benefits. Equally important, human relations managers have to administer compensation, benefits and performance management systems, and safety and recreation programs. They are often called upon to perform difficult staffing duties, including dealing with understaffing and administering disciplinary procedures. They are expected to advise managers on organizational policy matters such as equal employment opportunity and sexual harassment, and recommend needed changes. Finally, human relations managers design or administer special projects in areas such as pay equity, savings bond programs, day-care, and employee awards.

Every day, human relations managers are expected to be able to understand what others are saying to them even in a noisy environment. They need to articulate ideas and problems. It is also important that they listen to and understand others in meetings.

It is important for human relations managers to analyze and modify compensation and benefits policies to determine competitive programs and insure adherence to legal requirements. They are often called upon to furnish terminated employees with outplacement or relocation assistance. They also study legislation and collective bargaining contracts to gauge industry trends. They are sometimes expected to analyze training needs to lay out employee development, language training and health and safety programs. Somewhat less frequently, human relations managers are also expected to perform difficult staffing duties, including dealing with understaffing and administering disciplinary procedures.

Human relations managers sometimes are asked to oversee the evaluation, classification and rating of occupations and job positions. They also have to be able to maintain records and compile statistical reports concerning personnel-related data such as hires and absenteeism rates and represent organization at personnel-related hearings and investigations. And finally, they sometimes have to negotiate bargaining agreements and help interpret labor contracts.

Like many other jobs, human relations managers must have exceptional integrity and be able to deal with stress and deal with situations calmly.

Similar jobs with educational opportunities in Cedar Rapids include:

  • Academic Director. Plan, direct, or coordinate research, instructional, student administration and services, and other educational activities at postsecondary institutions, including universities, and junior and community colleges.
  • Administrator. Plan, direct, or coordinate supportive services of an organization, such as recordkeeping, mail distribution, telephone operator/receptionist, and other office support services. May oversee facilities planning and maintenance and custodial operations.
  • Chief Executive Officer. Determine and formulate policies and provide the overall direction of companies or private and public sector organizations within the guidelines set up by a board of directors or similar governing body. Plan, direct, or coordinate operational activities at the highest level of management with the help of subordinate executives and staff managers.
  • Compensation and Benefits Manager. Plan, direct, or coordinate compensation and benefits activities and staff of an organization.
  • Healthcare Manager. Plan, direct, or coordinate medicine and health services in hospitals, clinics, managed care organizations, public health agencies, or similar organizations.

EDUCATIONAL OPPORTUNITIES: Human Relations Manager Training

University of Iowa - Iowa City, IA

University of Iowa, 101 Jessup Hall, Iowa City, IA 52242-1316. University of Iowa is a large university located in Iowa City, Iowa. It is a public school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 29,475 students and an admission rate of 82%. University of Iowa has bachelor's degree, master's degree, and doctor's degree programs in Human Resources Management/Personnel Administration.

Mount Mercy College - Cedar Rapids, IA

Mount Mercy College, 1330 Elmhurst Dr NE, Cedar Rapids, IA 52402-4797. Mount Mercy College is a small college located in Cedar Rapids, Iowa. It is a private not-for-profit school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 1,555 students and an admission rate of 80%. Mount Mercy College has a bachelor's degree program in Human Resources Management/Personnel Administration.

CERTIFICATIONS

Fundamental Payroll Certification: The Fundamental Payroll Certification (FPC) is open to all those who wish to demonstrate a baseline of payroll competency.

For more information, see the American Payroll Association website.

Certified Professional in Learning and Performance: The Certified Professional in Learning and Performance (CPLP) offered by the ASTD Certification Institute offers workplace learning and performance (WLP) professions an opportunity to enhance credibility and prove value in an increasingly competitive marketplace.

For more information, see the American Society for Training and Development website.

Business and Employer Services - Professional Certification: Professional certification exam for Business and Employer Services in workforce development.

For more information, see the Dynamic Works Institute website.

Global Professional in Human Resources: Globalization is the defining political and economic force in the world today.

For more information, see the HR Certification Institute website.

Certified Manager: Certified Manager certification is valued for the credibility and recognition it brings to managers and the organizations for which they work.

For more information, see the Institute of Certified Professional Managers website.

Program Management Professional: Project Management Institute's newest credential is specifically developed to acknowledge the qualifications of the professional who leads the coordinated management of multiple projects and ensures the ultimate success of a program.

For more information, see the Project Management Institute website.

Work-Life Certified Professional: In association with Alliance for Work-Life Progress (AWLP), the work-life component of total rewards is now officially represented in the WorldatWork portfolio of educational offerings with the introduction of four new work-life courses and exams.

For more information, see the WorldAtWork website.

LOCATION INFORMATION: Cedar Rapids, Iowa

Cedar Rapids, Iowa
Cedar Rapids, Iowa photo by Davumaya

Cedar Rapids is located in Linn County, Iowa. It has a population of over 128,056, which has grown by 6.0% over the last ten years. The cost of living index in Cedar Rapids, 78, is well below the national average. New single-family homes in Cedar Rapids are valued at $103,900 on average, which is far less than the state average. In 2008, two hundred ninety-nine new homes were built in Cedar Rapids, up from two hundred ninety-eight the previous year.

The three big industries for women in Cedar Rapids are health care, educational services, and finance and insurance. For men, it is construction, professional, scientific, and technical services, and accommodation and food services. The average commute to work is about 17 minutes. More than 28.4% of Cedar Rapids residents have a bachelor's degree, which is higher than the state average. The percentage of residents with a graduate degree, 7.4%, is lower than the state average.

The unemployment rate in Cedar Rapids is 6.0%, which is less than Iowa's average of 6.1%.

The percentage of Cedar Rapids residents that are affiliated with a religious congregation, 57.0%, is more than the national average but less than the state average. Seventh Day Church of God, Sevanth-Day Adventist Church and Hope Lutheran Church are some of the churches located in Cedar Rapids. The largest religious groups are the Catholic Church, the United Methodist Church and the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America.

Cedar Rapids is home to the Brucemore and the Admissions Office as well as Tomahawk Park and Noelridge Park. Shopping centers in the area include Mays Shopping Center, Lindale Plaza Shopping Center and Town and Country Shopping Center. Visitors to Cedar Rapids can choose from Howard Johnson, Marriott Cedar Rapids and Clarion Hotel & Convention Center for temporary stays in the area.