The HR operations specialist is a key role within the human resources department of an organization. The individual has to have a keen understanding of departmental dealings and possess knowledge and experience in a particular domain within the HR department. Since it is a significantly senior role, organizations pay a competitive salary to their HR operations specialist. According to Glassdoor, the average HR operations specialist's salary is $63,101 per year.
Researching the salary range of a role is one of the most critical tasks during a job hunt, and it is no different in the case of HR operations specialists. You should have a thorough understanding of the average salaries an HR professional receives if you are interested in the role. It will help you narrow down on the right opportunities and ensure that you get fair pay as an HR operations specialist.
This article dives into the average salary statistics associated with the HR operations specialist role, how it varies depending on factors like location, industry, and company, and what roles you can progress to afterward.
Average Salary for HR Operations Specialist
The average earnings of an HR operations specialist differ between organizations and locations. For example, the salary at tech companies can vary from that at pharmaceutical corporations. Since there can be considerable differences in the numbers, it is important to do proper market research. Thankfully, many helpful salary statistics providers can help you look into the average pay range for the HR operations specialist role.
The average salaries for an HR operations specialist role are shown below and divided according to different salary-reporting websites.
The popular salary statistics provider Glassdoor reported a yearly salary of $63,101 on average for the HR operations specialist role. It shows this final figure by adding up an average base salary of $44,186 and average additional cash compensation of $18,914. Additionally, the website indicates that the average pay lies between a most likely salary range of $37,000 to $117,000.
Another popular salary-reporting platform called PayScale reported a yearly salary range of $42,000 to $77,000 for the HR operations specialist role. As per the website, the role receives average base pay of $51,373 annually, and HR operations specialists can receive additional compensation as bonuses (up to $7,000) and profit-sharing (up to $1,000).
The salary-reporting website Comparably reported a yearly salary of $98,430 on average for the HR operations specialist role. It shows the salary range for the position to be between $70,000 and $151,012. Additionally, it reports that the top 75% of HR operations specialists earn the highest amount within this possible salary range.
All three platforms have significant differences in the salary numbers they report for the HR operations specialist position. The average annual salary reported by the three platforms given above comes to $79,510.
Average HR Specialist Salary vs. Average HR Operation Specialist Salary
Apart from having similar-sounding names, the HR specialist and HR operations specialist roles have very similar average annual salaries. According to recent HR specialist salaries available on Glassdoor, the common HR specialist salary is $64,483 annually on average, almost the same as the yearly average HR operations specialist salary of $63,101.
Factors affecting the HR operations specialist salary also affect HR specialist salaries. Additionally, the HR specialist salary ranges are similar to those of HR operations specialist.
Both roles have a significant overlap of responsibilities too. However, while the HR specialist focuses specifically on HR functions, the HR operations specialist is well-versed in departmental workflows. Therefore, it is understandable that both HR professionals have similar average total compensation. However, positions with the job title HR specialist are much more common.
Career Outlook for HR Operations Specialists
The HR operations specialist role is a senior role within a human resources team. Therefore, organizations expect that the right HR professional for the job would have adequate understanding and knowledge of the field. Once you become an HR operations specialist and gain further experience, you can progress to more senior human resources positions.
Once you have more experience as an HR operations specialist, you can progress to a senior HR specialist role. Then, after you have managed more serious duties and gained more knowledge about HR functions, you can move on to an HR director position and head the department. A few more years of experience can help you achieve a senior HR director position, and you can then move on to become the vice president of HR.
Alternatively, an HR operations specialist can branch off to similar roles, such as a people operations specialist. From there, the professional can go on to become a people vice president at an organization.
The average salaries for more senior positions on the HR operations specialist career path (as per Glassdoor and reported in May 2022) are given below:
Senior HR Specialist
A senior HR specialist handles much of the responsibilities as a regular HR specialist or HR operations specialist. However, their seniority comes from possessing more years of experience. Additionally, a senior HR specialist collaborates directly with the HR manager to overlook the implementation of key HR functions. The average senior HR specialist salary is $80,131 annually, and as per Glassdoor, the role requires an average of 5-7 years of experience.
The HR director is one of the primary strategic decision-makers of a human resources department. They are directly answerable for the department's efficiency and effectiveness. Additionally, they must focus on crafting an organizational culture that directly aligns with the business goals and benefits employees. The average annual salary for the HR director role is $124,834.
Senior Director of HR
The senior director of HR shares much of the same responsibilities as an HR director. However, they have more years of experience and have occupied the HR director role previously. Therefore, they contribute more to the strategic plans of the organization. The average annual salary of the senior HR director role is $147,224.
Human Resources Vice President
The VP of HR is an executive-level position within an organization and leads the strategic vision of its human resources and culture. They also have a say in the more significant business decisions of the HR department and report the organization's cultural development directly to higher-level executives. The average annual salary for a human resources vice president is $211,953.
HR Operations Specialist Salary Across Different Locations
According to ZipRecruiter, the average annual salary for the HR operations specialist role across major cities within the USA is given below.
U.S. West Coast
- Portland: $58,354
U.S. Midwest/Rocky Mountains
- Chicago: $59,831
U.S. East Coast
- New York: $64,109
- Atlanta: $58,447
- Dallas: $58,478
Education Level for HR Operations Specialist Role
Your qualifications and experience play a critical role in ensuring you achieve a well-paying and sought-after job position. For the HR operations specialist role, organizations expect that the person would have significant experience as an HR professional. Additionally, they expect that the individual has substantial knowledge of essential HR functions and knows how to lead teams to implement these functions.
It is beneficial for an HR operations specialist to possess at least a Bachelor's degree in human resources management or business administration. In addition, if the individual acquires an MBA and specializes in a particular aspect of administration, it strengthens their resume.
Apart from educational qualifications, the individual should have extensive professional experience since the HR operations specialist is a senior role in the human resources team. You can also pursue dedicated HR certifications since they help solidify your competence as a candidate for the role. Mentioning the certification in your resume also exhibits a strong desire to gain more knowledge and become a better HR professional.
Given below are some leading certifications that you can opt for and increase the chances of attaining a great HR operations specialist position:
- HR University: You can find excellent HR management certifications that give you the knowledge you need to become a skillful HR professional
- eCornell: The e-learning platform of Cornell University provides a top-quality certification in Human Resources management.
- SHRM: The industry-leading human resources certification organization offers 'Certified Professional' and 'Senior Certified Professional' certificates based on your professional experience.
With the right certifications attached to your name, you can open the doors to many exciting new opportunities. Taking any of the options above increases the chances of achieving an HR operations specialist position and progressing ahead in your career.
HR Operations Specialist Salary Across Top Companies
As per Glassdoor, the annual average HR operations specialist salary across some top organizations are given below.
- Nestlé: $69,000
- Accenture: $50,000
- Cognex: $55,000
- Lenovo: $70,000
- Meta: $118,000
The HR operations specialist leads important departmental work and has to focus on the workflows too. Additionally, they have to help craft effective strategies to execute the HR department's plans. As a result, organizations expect that the individual will have a keen understanding of how to help ensure an efficient human resources department.
An organization can confidently plan to establish a dynamic and inclusive culture with an HR operations specialist on its human resources team. For example, the specialist can work with the HR coordinator and guide them to help improve the employee experience.
As an HR operations specialist, the individual needs to be confident in taking initiatives for the human resources team. They have to collaborate with other HR professionals, no matter their seniority level. The HR operations specialist job description clarifies that the role has to cooperate with roles like an HR business partner or an HR generalist.
If you are new to Human Resources and are looking to break into an HR operations specialist 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 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.