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What does a Human Resource Manager do?

In today's workforce, the role of human resource manager is more important than ever. Because companies and organizations know how essential employee satisfaction is to productivity, they are not just looking to fill positions; rather, they are looking to attract the most qualified and motivated employees and keep them satisfied. This important connection between employers, employees and jobs is the domain of human resource managers.

Jobs in human resource management

Human resource managers may focus on a variety of tasks depending on their specialization. For example, in small organizations, one human resource manager may recruit, hire and fire employees, set salary and benefits and train new employees. In larger organizations, human resource management positions are more likely to be specialized. There may be compensation and benefits managers, who set salaries and choose benefits policies, making sure the company is complying with regulations, or there might be training and development managers, who oversee programs intended to help employees learn new skills and hone those they already possess. In these larger organizations, a director of human resources is likely to oversee other human resource managers.

Preparing for a career as a human resource manager

Most human resource management jobs require at least a bachelor's degree and several years of experience. Some employers may require a degree in human resources or labor relations, while others may prefer a business or liberal arts degree. Some jobs require a Master's degree, and if you want an advantage when it comes to competing for higher-level positions, it's a good idea to earn a Master's degree in human resources management or a related field.

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, industries with the highest numbers of human resource managers include management of companies and enterprises, local government and general medical and surgical hospitals.

Salary potential and job outlook for human resource managers

Human resource management is a relatively lucrative career field even though average salaries do vary according to specialization. The following are top-paying industries for this profession:
  • Information services
  • Insurance and employee benefit funds
  • Motor vehicle manufacturing
The top-paying states for human resource managers were New Jersey, the District of Columbia, Delaware, California and Massachusetts. New Jersey and Massachusetts were also listed among the top-paying states for training and development, and compensation and benefits managers.

The overall employment of human resource managers is expected to grow by about 10 percent, which is about as fast as the average.

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