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

Many educational and employment opportunities exist for human relations managers in the Vancouver, Washington area. 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: director of industrial relations, human resource officer, and human services manager.

There are forty-eight schools of higher education in the Vancouver area, including four within twenty-five miles of Vancouver where you can get a degree to start your career as a human relations manager. Given that the most common education level 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 Vancouver 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-Oregon - Portland, OR

DeVry University-Oregon, Peterkort Center II - 9755 SW Barnes Road-Ste 150, Portland, OR 97225-6651. DeVry University-Oregon is a small university located in Portland, Oregon. It is a private for-profit school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 117 students and an admission rate of 82%. DeVry University-Oregon has a master's degree program in Human Resources Management/Personnel Administration.

University of Phoenix-Oregon Campus - Tigard, OR

University of Phoenix-Oregon Campus, 13221 SW 68th Parkway, Suite 500, Tigard, OR 97223-8368. University of Phoenix-Oregon Campus is a small university located in Tigard, Oregon. It is a private for-profit school with primarily 4-year or above programs and has 1,065 students. University of Phoenix-Oregon Campus has a master's degree program in Human Resources Management/Personnel Administration which graduated one student in 2008.

Clark College - Vancouver, WA

Clark College, 1933 Fort Vancouver Way, Vancouver, WA 98663-3598. Clark College is a large college located in Vancouver, Washington. It is a public school with primarily 2-year programs and has 10,378 students. Clark College has a less than one year and an associate's degree program in Human Resources Management/Personnel Administration which graduated six and one students respectively in 2008.

Portland State University - Portland, OR

Portland State University, 724 SW Harrison, Portland, OR 97201. Portland State University is a large university located in Portland, Oregon. It is a public school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 25,959 students and an admission rate of 80%. Portland State University has a bachelor's degree program in Human Resources Management/Personnel Administration which graduated forty-four students 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: Vancouver, Washington

Vancouver, Washington
Vancouver, Washington photo by Matthiasb

Vancouver is located in Clark County, Washington. It has a population of over 163,186, which has grown by 13.7% in the past ten years. The cost of living index in Vancouver, 98, is near the national average. New single-family homes in Vancouver are priced at $95,700 on average, which is far less than the state average. In 2008, two hundred eighty new homes were built in Vancouver, down from four hundred twenty the previous year.

The three most popular industries for women in Vancouver are health care, educational services, and accommodation and food services. For men, it is construction, computer and electronic products, and accommodation and food services. The average travel time to work is about 23 minutes. More than 21.7% of Vancouver residents have a bachelor's degree, which is lower than the state average. The percentage of residents with a graduate degree, 7.4%, is lower than the state average.

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

The percentage of Vancouver residents that are affiliated with a religious congregation, 27.9%, is less than both the national and state average. The most prominent religious groups are the Catholic Church, the LDS (Mormon) Church and the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America.

Vancouver is home to the Vancouver Square and the Vancouver Plaza as well as Leverich Park and Wintler Park. Shopping malls in the area include Arbours Shopping Center, Millport Shopping Center and Vancouver Village Shopping Center. Visitors to Vancouver can choose from Comfort Suites Vancouver, Homewood Suites Portland-Vancouver and Best Western Hotel and Suites Vacouver Mall Dr for temporary stays in the area.