All You Need To Know About An HR Manager Career

You think about becoming a human resource manager but are not sure whether this is the right career for you or not?

Great! Stick with me since I will show you everything you need to know about being an HR manager in the following chapters.

Not only will you learn how much money you can make as a human resources manager, but we will also talk about job satisfaction, work-life balance, working hours, educational requirements, duties, future outlook and much more.

After reading this article, you will have a much better idea of whether you still want to become an HR manager or rather want to go for a different career instead.

Without further ado, let’s get right into it!

Table of Contents

What does a Human Resources Manager do?

Human resources managers are responsible for hiring and selecting potential employees.

Moreover, they also make sure that employees have optimal conditions to learn and grow so that the company they work for can grow successfully as well in the long run.

Responsibilities & Duties of a Human Resources Manager

  • Supporting the selection process of potential employees
  • Hiring new employees
  • Making sure that existing employees are satisfied with their working conditions
  • Assuring that employees have opportunities to improve their skills
  • Overseeing payrolls
  • Monitoring the profitability of certain departments
  • Giving advice on how to decrease labor costs
  • Conducting employee surveys
  • Conducting job interviews
  • Negotiation of salaries
  • Setting up reward programs
  • Supporting the mission and vision of the company
  • Making sure that employees are treated in line with protection of labor
  • Adjusting HR strategies with overall business strategies

What a Typical Day of a Human Resources Manager looks like?

HR managers usually start their workday between 8 and 10 a.m.

After checking their emails and answering the most urgent and important ones, human resources managers conduct job interviews with applicants to figure out whether people who apply for jobs really fit the values of the company.

Apply for Jobs!

Not only will you conduct job interviews on a daily basis, but you will also spend lots of time trying to improve working conditions for existing employees.

This also includes solving conflicts between employees and making sure that a healthy working atmosphere can be maintained.

After working for many hours, you will finish your workday between 4 and 6 p.m. most often.

Human Resources Manager Salary 2021

Human Resource Manager salary brackets 2021

Salary BracketsSalary (per year)Salary (per hour)
Top 10 %> $92,000> $45.94
Top 25 %$79,000 – $85,000$39.38 – $42.43
Bottom 25 %$58,000 – $63,000$28.96 – $31.45
Bottom 10 %$43,000 – $52,000$21.47 – $25.89
Range$43,000 – $97,000$21.47 – $48.41
Average (Mean)$71,000$35.46
Median$69,000$34.48

Human Resource Manager salary 2021 by expert level

Level of ExperienceSalary (per year)Salary (per hour)
Entry level$43,000 – $58,000$21.47 – $28.96
Junior$56,000 – $72,000$27.92 – $35.93
Professional$68,000 – $79,000$33.94 – $39.45
Senior Professional$77,000 – $83,000$38.48 – $41.44
Expert$81,000 – $88,000$40.39 – $43.91
Top Expert$86,000 – $97,000$42.89 – $48.41

Human Resource Manager salary by state 2021 (average)

StateSalary (per year)Salary (per hour)
Alabama$68,500$34.22
Alaska$67,200$33.57
Arizona$70,400$35.18
Arkansas$68,100$34.04
California$78,900$39.43
Colorado$69,300$34.64
Connecticut$67,500$33.71
Delaware$66,200$33.08
District of Columbia$69,800$34.89
Florida$71,400$35.67
Georgia$70,200$35.09
Guam$67,300$33.63
Hawaii$71,800$35.88
Idaho$70,500$35.22
Illinois$68,300$34.14
Indiana$71,600$35.78
Iowa$68,100$34.03
Kansas$69,900$34.92
Kentucky$66,800$33.35
Louisiana$68,500$34.23
Maine$66,200$33.07
Maryland$70,900$35.42
Massachusetts$71,600$35.77
Michigan$69,700$34.83
Minnesota$67,400$33.68
Mississippi$65,800$32.88
Missouri$64,900$32.41
Montana$68,200$34.09
Nebraska$67,800$33.87
Nevada$66,400$33.18
New Hampshire$67,300$33.62
New Jersey$72,500$36.24
New Mexico$63,700$31.84
New York$79,300$39.63
North Carolina$67,200$33.57
North Dakota$69,800$34.89
Ohio$65,300$32.64
Oklahoma$68,600$34.28
Oregon$67,700$33.83
Pennsylvania$71,500$35.72
Rhode Island$68,400$34.18
South Carolina$69,800$34.88
South Dakota$66,700$33.31
Tennessee$67,900$33.93
Texas$65,600$32.78
Utah$68,200$34.07
Vermont$67,100$33.53
Virginia$69,300$34.64
Washington$72,100$36.03
West Virginia$70,800$35.38
Wisconsin$68,500$34.23
Wyoming$65,700$32.84

Job Security of Human Resource Managers

HR managers enjoy decent job security since they are needed in almost every company out there and you also need to get a degree for working in this field.

Consequently, educational barriers to entry are relatively high and you will therefore not have to deal with extremely fierce competition in this job market since the supply of new people who can work in HR will be rather limited.

Future Job Prospects of Human Resource Managers

While job prospects of HR managers are decent right now, this may change in the near future since due to AI and machine learning, many tasks will be carried out by machines in the near future and many HR managers will no longer be needed and may lose their jobs.

Working Hours of Human Resource Managers

Most HR managers start their workday between 8 and 10 a.m. and finish their workday between 4 and 6 p.m.

Thus, you will work in a classical 9 to 5 job and this can be great since you will have enough time to meet up with your favorite people after work or to spend with your family.

Job Satisfaction of Human Resource Managers

Most HR managers are pretty happy with their jobs since they can make decent money while they still don’t have to work much overtime and will also come home from work relatively early.

Consequently, they have lots of leisure while they can still make a decent living from what they are doing.

Promotion Opportunities of Human Resource Managers

There are many promotion opportunities when you work as a human resource manager.

Over time, you will get more and more responsibility and after a few years, you may be able to lead your own team.

Moreover, if you are really ambitious, you may even become the head of HR.

Career Levels of Human Resource Managers

  • Intern in the HR department
  • Junior HR manager
  • Senior HR manager
  • Senior HR manager leading a team
  • Head of HR

Fields and Types of Human Resource Managers

  • HR manager focused on hiring new people
  • HR manager specialized in conducting job interviews
  • HR manager focused on improving working conditions for employees
  • HR manager specialized in conducting surveys
  • HR manager focused on employee compensation
  • HR manager specialized in employee benefits
  • HR manager responsible for employee training
  • HR manager responsible for meeting regulatory and legal requirements
  • HR manager responsible for communicating with other departments

Educational Requirements for Human Resource Managers

You need at least a bachelor’s degree in human resources or a related field before you are able to work as a human resources manager.

Even better would be a master’s degree or an MBA to increase your chances of working in this field.

How to become a Human Resource Manager

  1. Inform yourself about the advantages and disadvantages of being an HR manager
  2. Get your high school diploma with decent grades
  3. Choose your favorite HR degree and college
  4. Start college education
  5. Apply for internships in the HR departments of local companies
  6. Make a good impression during your internship
  7. Stay in touch with your colleagues
  8. Finish your college degree with decent grades
  9. Apply for HR manager jobs
  10. Master the job interview
  11. Sign your labor contract

Character Traits you need as a Human Resource Manager

  • You should be passionate about working with many different people
  • You should be an open and outgoing person
  • Passion for improving working conditions
  • Empathy for job applicants
  • Willingness to deal with difficult people on a regular basis
  • You should be friendly and people-oriented
  • You should know how the human mind works
  • Patience in case something doesn’t work out as planned
  • Ability to deal with snarky comments in a healthy manner
  • Interest in challenging people

Hard Skills for Human Resource Managers

  • Good knowledge of compensation structures in your industry
  • Expertise in conducting job interviews
  • Knowledge of how to conduct employee surveys
  • Good conflict resolution skills
  • You should know how to negotiate salaries
  • Analytical skills help you lower labor costs
  • Good reporting skills help as well
  • You should know how to use digital technologies to make your work more productive
  • Knowledge of legal and regulatory requirements

Soft Skills for Human Resource Managers

  • Empathy for difficult applicants
  • Good communication skills help you lead job interviews
  • Teamwork is crucial to maintaining a good working atmosphere
  • Coaching skills help as well
  • Good multitasking skills
  • Time management skills help you get things done
  • You should not be afraid to talk in front of a group of people
  • You need to understand human nature
  • You should have a poker face for negotiation purposes

Exit Options for Human Resource Managers

If you don’t want to work as an HR manager anymore, you could also work in many other departments or simply as an external recruiter.

In fact, you will learn many important people skills that will be useful to lead a team of people in many other fields and you will also be able to make many important contacts within the company you work for as an HR manager and those contacts can help you switch to a different field.

Human Resource Manager – Similar Careers

  • Recruiter
  • Compliance officer
  • Employee performance manager
  • HR consultant
  • Career advisor
  • Coach
  • Compensation specialist
  • Occupational psychologist
  • Talent manager

Human Resource Manager Career FAQs

Is working as an HR Manager physically demanding?

Working as a human resources manager is not physically demanding at all.

You will just do computer work and while many other people who work in construction or as welders or roofers have to work in a physically demanding manner, you will have a rather relaxed time in this regard as an HR manager.

Is working as an HR Manager mentally demanding?

While you will have to use your brain to make good personnel decisions for the company you work for, you will still not have to stress your brain as much as many other people who work in demanding jobs where they have to work on complex models all day long.

For instance, being an investment banker or consultant is often much more demanding on a mental level compared to working in HR.

Is it dangerous to work as an HR Manager?

Working as an HR manager is not dangerous.

You will work in a pretty safe office environment while many other people like police officers or firemen have to risk their lives out there on a regular basis.

How long do HR Managers stay in their jobs?

Human resources managers stay in their jobs for many years since most of them really like what they are doing and they can also make good money while they still don’t have to work in a stressful manner.

Consequently, HR managers have very little incentive to switch to a different field.

Is it easy for HR Managers to find a new job?

If you are really good at managing and understanding people, you will also have a pretty easy time finding a new job as an HR manager in case you get laid off since good HR managers are in high demand and can provide tremendous value to the companies they work for.

Is it hard to switch from being an HR Manager to another field of work?

HR managers can not only work in the HR department of companies, but they can also switch fields and work in a completely different job.

In fact, understanding humans is not only crucial for HR but also in many other departments and if you are a real expert in this regard, you may also be able to switch to a different department within your company.

Do HR Managers have a high social status?

HR managers have a decent social standing.

However, you will still not be admired as much as doctors or other people out there who could really save lives on a daily basis.

Can you help out your family and friends as an HR Manager?

Since you will exactly know what employers want to hear when it comes to job interviews, you can advise your loved ones quite a lot in this regard.

For instance, if someone within your circle of friends has a job interview soon, you can give him or her precious advice on what to say and what mistakes to avoid at all costs.

Can HR Managers work remotely?

HR managers are also able to work remotely for at least some days of the week.

Even though they also have to conduct job interviews in person, it has become popular to also do those interviews using video calls instead of meeting up in person and if this trend continues, job interviews in person may become rather rare and you as an HR manager may be able to work almost fully remotely due to that.

Is it easy to find a partner as an HR Manager?

Since HR managers enjoy decent job security, make decent money and also have lots of leisure, they are perfect candidates for long-term relationships since they are just good providers and will have a rather easy time finding someone to start a family with.

Do HR Managers have to work on weekends?

HR managers don’t have to work on weekends.

Instead, you will have enough time to make nice weekend trips with your loved ones or to spend on the things you like even more than working.

Do HR Managers have to work on holidays?

HR managers don’t have to work on holidays.

Instead, you can use those days to meet up with your favorite people or spend those days with your family.

Do HR Managers have to work at nighttime?

HR managers also don’t have to work at nighttime.

If you work in human resources, you will work in a classical 9 to 5 environment and there will be no need to work long hours as consultants and financial analysts often have to do on a regular basis.

Do you have to travel as an HR Manager?

There is no need to travel as an HR manager.

While many other people out there have to do important business trips, you as an HR manager will be able to stay at home and spend your leisure with your family.

Are HR Manager pensions good?

Since human resources managers are able to make decent money from what they are doing during their active careers, also their pensions are pretty decent.

Moreover, you can also save and invest money for retirement and once you quit your active career, you will have enough funds to pay your bills even at retirement age.

Are HR Manager salaries going up?

HR salaries have been going up over the past years.

While you can make decent money, you will still not be able to make as much as financial controllers or doctors and if money is really important to you, you should rather go for other jobs instead.

Can you have a positive impact on society as an HR Manager?

While you can assure a positive working climate within your company, your impact on society in general will be rather limited since you will not be able to affect what happens outside your company.

How long does it take to become an HR Manager?

Since you will need at least a bachelor’s degree to become an HR manager, you will have to spend many years on college education.

Thus, if you are a rather impatient person and don’t want to make this commitment, you should rather aspire to a career in a different field where you don’t need a college degree.

Is it difficult to become an HR Manager?

Becoming an HR manager is not difficult.

Even though you will need a college degree to be able to work in this field, getting an HR degree is usually not that difficult compared to many other degrees out there.

Do you need to be smart to work as an HR Manager?

You don’t need to have a high IQ for working as an HR manager.

What’s much more important is your emotional IQ and that you are able to understand and deal with many different types of personalities.

Do HR Managers have a good work-life balance?

HR managers enjoy pretty decent work-life balance.

Not only do they have free weekends and holidays, but they also don’t have to work much overtime and will therefore have more than enough leisure to spend with their favorite people or on their hobbies.

Do HR Managers have to work many extra hours?

Human resource managers don’t have to work much overtime. Instead, you will work a rather standard workweek in a classical 9 to 5 environment and there will be no need to work many extra hours most of the year.

How to maximize your chances of becoming an HR Manager?

The more experience you get in this field, the better your chances of getting a job in HR.

Hence, you should apply for an internship in the HR department of companies to get your first experience in this field and also to make some contacts that will help you get a job later in your life.

Can HR Managers work part-time?

While HR managers might be able to work part-time in theory, many of them work full-time since they just need the money to pay their bills and a part-time job would not be enough in this regard.

Do HR Managers work indoors or outdoors?

HR managers work indoors and don’t have to care about the weather outdoors as many other people who work in construction or in other fields have to do on a regular basis.

You can even use air-con or heating to make your workday as convenient as possible as an HR manager while many other people don’t have this luxury.

What does the workplace of an HR Manager look like?

If you work in HR, you will work in a classical office environment.

Hence, you will do most of your work with a computer while you will still conduct some job interviews in person.

Do you have to look good for working as an HR Manager?

While your looks are not of main priority, studies have shown that good-looking people have an edge in the job market and the better you look, the higher your chances you will succeed in this industry, everything else equal.

Is an HR Manager career beneficial for your private life?

Working as a human resources manager can be beneficial for your private life since you will enjoy decent job security and will not have to deal with lots of stress at work while you can still make decent money.

In turn, you will be a good provider and will also be able to spend enough time with your family, which makes it less likely that your partner starts to cheat on you.

Do you need a college degree for becoming an HR Manager?

You need at least a bachelor’s degree in human resource management or a related field to be able to work as an HR manager.

Hence, you would have to spend many years and lots of money on college education and you should make sure that you are really willing to make this big commitment before you decide on becoming an HR manager.

Do you need to be certified to work as an HR Manager?

You don’t need to get certified as a human resource manager.

Apart from your college degree, you don’t have to get additional education and you will also learn most things on the job which is often much more important than looking good on paper anyway.

How much does it cost to become an HR Manager?

Since you need to go to college before you are able to work as an HR manager, you will also have to spend lots of money on tuition and other expenses related to college.

Consequently, you should make sure that you are willing to work in this field for many years or decades to make it worth the investment.

Is being an HR Manager a good career?

Working as an HR manager is considered a decent career by most people out there since you will have lots of leisure and not much stress at work while you can still make decent money at the same time.

Is it easy to start your own business as an HR Manager?

It is also relatively easy to start your own business in HR since you can just work as a self-employed recruiter and once you build a stable customer base, you can scale your business and turn it into a real company.

Can HR Managers teach themselves?

You can also teach yourself many skills you will need for working as an HR manager.

However, you will still need a college degree for working in this field and teaching yourself will just not be enough in this regard.

Do HR Managers make good money?

HR managers can make decent money.

However, compared to doctors or lawyers, the salary of HR managers is rather low and if money and luxury are really important to you, you may rather want to go for a job that pays more.

Is it ever too late to become an HR Manager?

It is never too late to become an HR manager.

Since you will not have to work in a heavy physical manner, you can do this job for quite a long time.

However, I still recommend you start your HR career at a rather young age since you will have to spend many years on college education and the earlier you start, the longer you can benefit from your education in a financial way.

Do HR Managers have to quit their careers early?

While many other people like carpenters have to work in a heavy physical manner and often have to quit their careers early due to physical health issues, you will not have to worry about that as an HR manager in this regard since you will not have to stress your body at work but rather work with your brain instead.

What is the most challenging thing about working as an HR Manager?

The most challenging part about being an HR manager is that you will have to deal with many different people and characters and that you have to really get good at figuring out what people think and how to get them to do what you want.

Can you provide for your family by working as an HR Manager?

Since you can make decent money from your HR career, it will also be relatively easy for your to provide for your family if you don’t spend lots of money on dumb things but rather use your money wisely.

Will HR Managers suffer from old-age poverty?

Due to the good money HR managers are able to make during their active careers, also their pensions are relatively decent and most HR managers will not have to deal with old-age poverty.

However, this also greatly depends on your spending habits and if you spend too much money on unnecessary stuff, you may suffer from financial issues once you get older and are no longer able to work anymore.

Can HR Managers retire early?

Even though HR managers can make decent money from what they are doing, it will often not be enough to retire early and most human resource managers therefore have to work until retirement age.

Do HR Managers get a fixed or variable salary?

Most HR managers get a fixed salary once they start their careers.

However, once they get more experienced, they will often also have a variable salary component and the more responsibility you get, the higher this variable component will be.

Can you get rich as an HR Manager?

While HR managers can make decent money from what they are doing, it will be hard to get wealthy or even rich by working in HR.

If your goal is to get rich, you should rather become an investment banker, lawyer or doctor instead of aspiring to a career in human resources.

Do HR Managers need a second job?

While most HR managers don’t need a second job to pay their bills, some still need to work a second job in case they spend lots of money on unnecessary things or live in extremely expensive regions where rents and living costs are pretty high and the salary from their day job will not be enough to cover their expenses.

Do you get continuous training as an HR Manager?

You will get training as an HR manager on a regular basis since you will always have to adapt to new technologies and the better you get at using technology, the higher your productivity at work will be and the more value you can provide for the company you work for.

Do you get sick pay as an HR Manager?

You will often get sick pay as an HR manager, especially if you work for a big renowned company.

However, if you are not sure about that, you should have a look at your employment contract or ask your colleagues in this regard.

Do HR Managers have a high level of responsibility?

HR managers have a high level of responsibility since their decisions greatly affect whether the company they work for will stay competitive in the future.

However, HR managers still don’t have the same high level of responsibility compared to doctors or other people whose mistakes could really take away the lives of people on a daily basis.

Can HR Managers work abroad?

Human resource managers are needed all over the world.

Therefore, you will also be able to work abroad.

However, before you move to a foreign country, you should also inform yourself about working conditions and salaries you can earn as an HR manager to avoid unpleasant surprises in this regard.

Is it stressful to work as an HR Manager?

Being an HR manager is not that stressful.

Even though you will have to deal with difficult people from time to time, you will still develop a certain routine and will also learn how to deal with snarky comments in a healthy manner.

Is it boring to work as an HR Manager?

Working as an HR manager will not become boring if you are really interested in working with people since you will have to deal with many different characters and this will really make your job interesting in the long run.

Is being an HR Manager hard?

Working as an HR manager is not hard. Even though you have to deal with some difficult people, you can do your work with your brain instead of having to stress your body like many other people who often suffer from physical health issues and have to quit their careers early.

Are HR Managers at risk of burnout?

HR managers are not at great risk of burnout since they don’t have to deal with lots of stress at work.

Moreover, since they don’t have to work much overtime, HR managers have enough time to recover from stress at work and their risk of suffering from burnout will be rather low.

Is there a dress code for HR Managers?

If you work in HR, you will usually dress relatively conservatively.

While men often wear fancy suits, women often wear conservative dresses to represent the company they work for in the best possible manner.

What kind of HR Managers are paid the most?

The more experienced you are and the longer you stay with your company, the more you can make as an HR manager.

Hence, loyalty will pay off in this regard in the long run.

What percentage of HR Managers are women?

Around 70% of all HR managers are women while only 30% are men.

However, this doesn’t mean that you have poor chances as a man in this field. It just means that more women apply for jobs in this industry.

Do I need a mentor to succeed as an HR Manager?

While you don’t urgently need a mentor to succeed as an HR manager, it can still help to have an experienced colleague on your side who can help you during difficult times on a technical as well as on an emotional level.

Will you be personally liable for mistakes as an HR Manager?

Most often, you will not be personally liable for mistakes if you work as an employed human resources manager.

However, if you are not sure in this regard, you should ask a lawyer to be on the safe side.

Do HR Managers have a high life expectancy?

Since HR managers don’t have to deal with lots of stress at work and also don’t have to work in a risky environment, their risk of suffering from accidents or mental problems at work will be rather low.

Consequently, HR managers also enjoy decent life expectancy which is above the life expectancy of the general public.

Do HR Managers suffer from sleeping problems?

Since human resource managers don’t have to work in the evening or at nighttime, most of them will also not suffer from sleeping problems related to their work since they will be able to maintain a healthy sleeping pattern.

What states are best for working as an HR Manager?

The best states for working as an HR manager are California and New York since there are many big corporations where you can find good working conditions and can also make the best money.

Who do HR Managers work with?

HR managers work with many different people on a daily basis.

Hence, if you don’t like to talk to strangers and are not an open and outgoing person but are rather an introvert, you may rather want to go for a different career instead.

Is working as an HR Manager cool?

Working in HR is not considered cool by most people out there.

However, when it comes to career decisions, you should not care about what’s cool but what provides the most value for your future life.

Can you start a side hustle as an HR Manager?

It is pretty hard for HR managers to start a side hustle since you will not learn many skills that could be useful in this regard and will also not have lots of technical knowledge in a specific industry.

Do you have to be creative as an HR Manager?

You don’t need to be creative as an HR manager.

What’s much more important is that you understand how the human mind works and how to get people what you want them to do.

Do HR Managers suffer from being overweight?

Since HR managers work in a classical office environment and don’t get much exercise at work, they often suffer from being overweight or even obese since they just don’t burn enough calories at work.

How employable are HR Managers?

HR managers are pretty employable since almost every company needs human resource managers and you can therefore work for companies who work in many different fields and can apply for numerous jobs out there.

Are HR Managers happy with their jobs?

Most HR managers are pretty happy with their jobs since they can make decent money while they still don’t have to deal with lots of stress at work and also have lots of leisure at the same time.

Is working as an HR Manager exciting?

Working as an HR manager can be exciting if you are really interested in and fascinated by managing people.

Otherwise, it may become pretty boring in the long run.

Can you have a positive impact on our environment as an HR Manager?

Your positive impact on our environment will be rather limited as an HR manager since you will just do what’s good for the company you work for and will not care about our planet that much.

What are the pros and cons of working as an HR Manager?

If you still consider becoming an HR manager, you should also have a look at additional pros and cons of an HR manager career.

Sources

https://www.statista.com/statistics/1087884/number-human-resources-managers-united-states/

https://www.statista.com/statistics/1087883/mean-hourly-wage-human-resources-managers-united-states/

Interviews and own research.

About the author

My name is Andreas and my mission is to educate people about the different career paths that are possible in our current state of the world. In my opinion, people often make the mistake to choose their profession solely based on how much money they can earn from it instead of doing what makes them really happy.

This is quite sad and I just want to give people a more objective picture of how a fulfilling career could look like. I did the same when I started working in consulting after finishing my Master’s degree in Economics. However, I’ve quit pretty soon after that since I haven’t found true meaning in my job.

Now I can do what I really love to do and I want to enable as many other people as well to go this exciting path towards happiness instead of money.

I conducted various interviews with employees to give you a good impression of what working in different fields will look like and that you can make the best possible decision regarding your future career choice.

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