How to Become a Human Resource Manager

Become a Human Resources Manager

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Would you like to help people feel more satisfied at work? A human resources (HR) manager serves the needs of both employees and the organization through managing benefits, providing education and training, and handling disputes and hiring gaps. In a difficult economy, the HR manager can be the front line person in assisting employees with the changing demands of their workplace. If you have always been good with people, retraining as a HR management professional can help you improve your skills for helping people get the most from their jobs.

Career Skills that Benefit an HR Manager

As mentioned above, there are many aspects of a human resource department. In all cases, you should have excellent communication skills (both written and verbal), a good understanding of and ease of implementing policy, and an ability to balance the needs of an organization with individuals. If you retrain as an HR manager, you may become specifically interested in one of these key areas: benefits (disability, health, pension, etc.), staffing needs, legal disputes, or training. You might also prefer to be more of a generalist in a small company. All corporations and many non-profit organizations (including educational institutions) usually have at least one HR staff member and often a full department. The manager typically oversees all of the human resource staff, so good leadership skills are also traditionally important.

Career Advice and Online Human Resource Management Training Courses

A bachelor's degree is the typical minimum educational requirement. Continuing education is usually desirable to advance to higher levels of advancement. Online human resource management training courses and traditional campus-based classes are two ways to improve your skills in human resources. Classes in specific areas like benefits and workplace policy, as well as more general courses in organizational psychology and business are helpful for understanding the career skills needed for an HR manager.

Career Outlook

  • Diverse Profession. Human resource management professionals often specialize in one of several HR niches--training and development; employment, recruitment, and placement; human resources management; and compensation, benefits, and job analysis.
  • Projected employment growth for human resource management through 2012-22: 13 percent.
  • Education required for employment in the industry: Employers traditionally hire graduates with degrees in majors such as organizational development, business administration, human services, instructional technology, education, communications, or public administration.
  • Common professional certifications for human resources managers: Certified Employee Benefits Specialist (CEBS), Professional in Human Resources (PHR), Senior Professional in Human Resources (SPHR), Certified Compensation Professional (CCP), Certified Benefits Professional (CBP), Global Remuneration Professional (GRP), and Work-Life Certified Professional (WLCP).
  • Median Annual Salary: In May 2013, Human resources managers earned a median annual salary of $111,180 with top 10% making more than $177,460.
  • Top Paying States: New Jersey, Delaware, District of Columbia, Pennsylvania, New York.
  • States with Highest Employment: California, New York, Texas, Illinois, Ohio.

Bureau of Labor Statistics, Human Resources Managers
Bureau of Labor Statistics, Human Resources Managers, May 2013 Wages