What is the Average HR Director Salary?

The HR director is a senior position within an organization who heads the human resources department. It is an executive role that mainly deals with strategic decisions. Therefore, it is hardly surprising that the HR director salary in most industries is a handsome figure, giving the role a coveted place. According to popular salary reporting platform Glassdoor, the HR director’s salary lies between the $77,000 and $266,000 range.

However, the salary is dependent on different factors and varies from location to location throughout the USA. Therefore, it is worthwhile to go through the statistics and see how the average HR manager’s salary has changed over the years.

This article briefly takes you through the HR director’s role and responsibilities and then dives into the average salary for the position across different locations.

Average Human Resources Director Salary

The average HR director salary is dependent on several variables such as industry, orgnization’s scale, and complexity of job description. Regardless, the average annual compensation statistics for the HR director role collected from different salary-reporting sources are given below.


As per Glassdoor, the average total pay for an HR director is $124,721 annually. It is a figure that consists of $106,710 as the base pay and $18,011 as additional compensations.

Glassdoor also reports that the HR director’s salary range falls between $70,00 and $228,000. The latter amount indicates the seniority and importance of the role within the organization.


According to Indeed, the average annual base salary for the HR director position is $88,122. The reports show that directors with more than a decade of experience have a greater base salary of $99,518. The HR director also receives significant benefits from employers, such as paid time off, relocation assistance, and professional development assistance.


PayScale reports the average base salary for the HR director role as $89,989 annually. However, it also shows that the total pay of the position can go up to $149,00 once you count in additional compensations. Such figures include bonuses of up to $26,000, profit-sharing of up to $20,000, and commission of up to $98,000.

Career Outlook for the HR Director Role

The HR director is a significantly senior position already. Therefore, their career path involves transitioning to more ambitious executive roles. While they retain their leadership of the human resources department in more senior roles, their responsibilities as an executive for the organization increase. From an HR director role, an individual can progress to a VP of HR role through more experience.

The average salaries for more senior positions on the HR director career path (as per Glassdoor and reported in March 2022) are given below:

Vice President of HR

The VP of HR overlooks each aspect related to an organization’s human resources department and is the primary strategic voice. However, they play a massive role in the organization’s growth too. The annual average pay for the VP of HR is $91,899. 

If you are interested in upskilling yourslef and gaining crucial human resources knowledge that helps you rise through the ranks, you should check out our top-quality HR certifications at HR University.

Human Resources Certifications

Top Paying Cities for HR Directors

As per PayScale, the cities with the top-paying proposal writing positions, categorized by location in the US, are given below.

US West Coast

  • San Francisco: $105,923
  • Richmod: $112,098

US Midwest/Rocky Mountains

  • Chicago: $103,081

US East Coast

  • Reston: $132,000
  • Arlington: $122,449

US South

  • Tampa: $133,029

Gender Disparity in HR Director Salary

Based on over 9,000 reviews on PayScale, there is no gender pay gap regarding HR director-related job titles.

The gender breakdown is as follows.

Female HR Directors: 81.1%

Male HR Directors: 18.5%

Self-Defining HR Directors: 0.4%

The total compensation for HR director jobs depends on performance, experience, education, and the ability to perform multiple human resources functions. There haven’t been any outstanding complaints of gender disparity from any party, anonymous or otherwise.

Education Level for HR Director Role

The HR director role is a crucial leadership position within an organization. Since it is a senior role, it requires significant qualifications and a diverse skill set. The more qualifications an HR director possess, the better their compensation is.

The HR director role requires at least a Bachelor’s in business administration or human resources. However, you can also land the role with an MBA in a specialized field, like finance.

Ideally, an HR director should have multiple certifications that showcase their leadership and human resources skills. Some prominent ones are mentioned below:

  • HR University: They offer a top-quality HR management certification to prepare a professional for a management role.
  • SHRM: Their senior certified professional certification is ideal for an HR professional aiming for a more serious role like an HR director.
  • HRCI: It offers many certifications aimed at senior professionals, such as their ‘Senior Professional in Human Resources’ certification.

HR Director Salary Across Top Companies

As per Glassdoor, here is what the annual average HR director salary looks like in some of the top firms across different industries.

  • Intel: $193,123  
  • Johnson & Johnson: $178,415
  • Microsoft: $191,000
  • Toyota North America: $104,000
  • Target: $178,000


The HR director provides the human resources department with consistent leadership and strategic decision-making. Additionally, they are an important executive position and help provide the organization with a direction for growth.

If you wish to become an HR director, you need significant professional experience within the HR field and solid leadership skills. Such abilities will help you get attractive job roles. However, you should keep the salary statistics for the position in mind when applying to make a better decision.

If you are new to Human Resources and are looking to break into an HR director role, we recommend taking our HR Certification Courses, where you will learn how to build your skillset in human resources, build your human resources network, craft an excellent HR resume, and create a successful job search strategy.

Josh Fechter
Josh Fechter is the founder of HR.University. He's a certified HR professional and has managed global teams across 5 different continents including their benefits and payroll. You can connect with him on LinkedIn here.