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Career and Education Opportunities for Human Relations Managers in Seattle, Washington

Human relations manager career and educational opportunities abound in Seattle, Washington. 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 $35 per hour or $72,762 per year in Washington, and an average of $32 per hour or $65,602 per year nationwide. Human relations managers work in a variety of jobs, including: industrial relations director, human resources manager , and director of employee development.

There are nine schools within twenty-five miles of Seattle where you can study to be a human relations manager, among sixty-five schools of higher education total in the Seattle area. The most common level of education for human relations managers is a Bachelor's degree. 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 Seattle 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.
  • 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

DeVry University-Washington - Federal Way, WA

DeVry University-Washington, 3600 S 344th Wy, Federal Way, WA 98001-9558. DeVry University-Washington is a small university located in Federal Way, Washington. It is a private for-profit school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 900 students and an admission rate of 90%. DeVry University-Washington has a master's degree program in Human Resources Management/Personnel Administration which graduated two students in 2008.

City University of Seattle - Bellevue, WA

City University of Seattle, 11900 NE First Street, Bellevue, WA 98005. City University of Seattle is a small university located in Bellevue, Washington. It is a private not-for-profit school with primarily 4-year or above programs and has 2,489 students. City University of Seattle has a bachelor's degree and a master's degree program in Human Resources Management/Personnel Administration which graduated sixteen and sixteen students respectively in 2008.

Clover Park Technical College - Lakewood, WA

Clover Park Technical College, 4500 Steilacoom Blvd SW, Lakewood, WA 98499-4004. Clover Park Technical College is a medium sized college located in Lakewood, Washington. It is a public school with primarily 2-year programs and has 3,781 students. Clover Park Technical College has a less than one year program in Human Resources Management/Personnel Administration which graduated three students in 2008.

Pierce College at Puyallup - Puyallup, WA

Pierce College at Puyallup, 1601 39th Ave SE, Puyallup, WA 98374-2222. Pierce College at Puyallup is a small college located in Puyallup, Washington. It is a public school with primarily 2-year programs and has 3,101 students. Pierce College at Puyallup has a one to two year program in Human Resources Management/Personnel Administration which graduated four students in 2008.

Bellevue College - Bellevue, WA

Bellevue College, 3000 Landerholm Cir SE, Bellevue, WA 98007-6484. Bellevue College is a large college located in Bellevue, Washington. It is a public school with primarily 4-year or above programs and has 11,748 students. Bellevue College has a one to two year program in Human Resources Management/Personnel Administration which graduated two students in 2008.

Tacoma Community College - Tacoma, WA

Tacoma Community College, 6501 S 19th St, Tacoma, WA 98466-6100. Tacoma Community College is a medium sized college located in Tacoma, Washington. It is a public school with primarily 2-year programs and has 5,942 students. Tacoma Community College has a less than one year program in Human Resources Management/Personnel Administration which graduated four students in 2008.

Lake Washington Technical College - Kirkland, WA

Lake Washington Technical College, 11605 132nd Ave NE, Kirkland, WA 98034-8506. Lake Washington Technical College is a small college located in Kirkland, Washington. It is a public school with primarily 2-year programs and has 3,010 students. Lake Washington Technical College has a less than one year program in Human Resources Management/Personnel Administration which graduated thirteen students in 2008.

University of Washington-Seattle Campus - Seattle, WA

University of Washington-Seattle Campus, 1400 NE Campus Parkway, Seattle, WA 98195-4550. University of Washington-Seattle Campus is a large university located in Seattle, Washington. It is a public school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 39,675 students and an admission rate of 61%. University of Washington-Seattle Campus has a bachelor's degree program in Human Resources Management/Personnel Administration which graduated eight students in 2008.

Edmonds Community College - Lynnwood, WA

Edmonds Community College, 20000 68th Ave W, Lynnwood, WA 98036-5912. Edmonds Community College is a medium sized college located in Lynnwood, Washington. It is a public school with primarily 2-year programs and has 7,823 students. Edmonds Community College has a less than one year and an associate's degree program in Human Resources Management/Personnel Administration which graduated twelve and eighteen students respectively in 2008.

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: Seattle, Washington

Seattle, Washington
Seattle, Washington photo by Dschwen

Seattle is located in King County, Washington. It has a population of over 598,541, which has grown by 6.2% in the past ten years. The cost of living index in Seattle, 126, is far greater than the national average. New single-family homes in Seattle are valued at $206,700 on average, which is well below the state average. In 2008, five hundred ninety-five new homes were built in Seattle, down from seven hundred seventy-five the previous year.

The three big industries for women in Seattle are health care, professional, scientific, and technical services, and educational services. For men, it is professional, scientific, and technical services, construction, and educational services. The average commute to work is about 25 minutes. More than 47.2% of Seattle residents have a bachelor's degree, which is higher than the state average. The percentage of residents with a graduate degree, 17.3%, is higher than the state average.

The unemployment rate in Seattle is 7.8%, which is less than Washington's average of 8.7%.

The percentage of Seattle residents that are affiliated with a religious congregation, 37.3%, is less than the national average but more than the state average. The largest religious groups are the Catholic Church, the LDS (Mormon) Church and the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America.

Seattle is home to the Berth 5 and the Akli Point Lighthouse as well as Lincoln Park and Myrtle Edwards Park. Shopping centers in the area include Lake City Shopping Center, Westwood Village Shopping Center and Oak Tree Village Shopping Center. Visitors to Seattle can choose from A-1 Motel, Arlington Suites and Marriott Sea-Tac Airport for temporary stays in the area.