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Career and Education Opportunities for Human Relations Managers in Burlington, Vermont

If you want to be a human relations manager, the Burlington, Vermont area offers many opportunities both for education and employment. The national trend for human relations managers sees this job pool growing by about 9.6% over the next eight years. Human relations managers generally 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 $33 per hour or $68,210 per year in Vermont, and an average of $32 per hour or $65,602 per year nationwide. Jobs in this field include: staffing manager, employee benefits manager, and apprenticeship training representative.

The Burlington area is home to seventeen schools of higher education, including one within twenty-five miles of Burlington where you can get a degree as a human relations manager. Given that the most common education level for human relations managers is a Bachelor's degree, you can expect to spend about four years training to become 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 Burlington 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.
  • Postmaster. Direct and coordinate operational, administrative, and supportive services of a U.S. post office; or coordinate activities of workers engaged in postal and related work in assigned post office.

EDUCATIONAL OPPORTUNITIES: Human Relations Manager Training

Champlain College - Burlington, VT

Champlain College, 163 S. Willard St, Burlington, VT 05401. Champlain College is a small college located in Burlington, Vermont. It is a private not-for-profit school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 2,907 students and an admission rate of 73%. Champlain College has a less than one year program in Human Resources Management/Personnel Administration which graduated eight students in 2008.


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.


Burlington, Vermont
Burlington, Vermont photo by Avala

Burlington is situated in Chittenden County, Vermont. It has a population of over 38,897. The cost of living index in Burlington, 102, is near the national average. New single-family homes in Burlington cost $152,400 on average, which is far less than the state average. In 2008, five new homes were constructed in Burlington, down from eight the previous year.

The three big industries for women in Burlington are educational services, health care, and accommodation and food services. For men, it is educational services, accommodation and food services, and professional, scientific, and technical services. The average travel time to work is about 17 minutes. More than 42.0% of Burlington residents have a bachelor's degree, which is higher than the state average. The percentage of residents with a graduate degree, 15.6%, is higher than the state average.

The unemployment rate in Burlington is 5.2%, which is less than Vermont's average of 5.9%. About 20.0% of Burlington's residents are below the poverty line, which is worse than the state average.

The percentage of Burlington residents that are affiliated with a religious congregation, 39.8%, is less than both the national and state average. Saint Mark Church, Champlain Valley Baptist Church and Church of God in Christ are some of the churches located in Burlington. The most common religious groups are the Catholic Church, the United Church of Christ and the United Methodist Church.

Burlington is home to the South Breakwater Light and the Vermont State Craft Center Shelburne Farms as well as Ethan Allen Park and Head of Church Street Historic District. Shopping malls in the area include Church Street Marketplace Shopping Center, North Avenue Shopping Center and Burlington Square Shopping Center. Visitors to Burlington can choose from Holiday Inn, Radisson Hotel Burlington and Champlain Inn for temporary stays in the area.