What is the Average HR Director Salary?

Updated on September 1st, 2020
What is the Average HR Director Salary?

As you move up in the HR chain, the salary systems start to change a bit - since most HR professionals prefer better benefits than salaries. Despite that, you’ll find that the HR director salary is a pretty hefty one.

The director of human resources is usually an all-encompassing role. It involves working with other director employees, vice presidents, and HR business partners more than it involves dealing with HR managers, operations managers, and office managers.

HR Directory Salary: What Does a HR Director Do?

HR directors have different responsibilities and roles depending on the organization. However, typically, directors tend to head the HR and several other departments.

They are responsible for handling day to day employee issues and have to ensure all policies and procedures are being followed.

They also have to make sure all professional and compliance standards are being met while overseeing the planning and budget of HR programs.

Furthermore, they’re responsible for planning and directing all HR initiatives and are in complete control of all people-operations.

What is the Average Base Salary for a Human Resources Director?

According to Glassdoor, the national average salary for a human resources director in the United States is $82,068.

That puts the hourly wage at approximately $39.50 dollars. The total number of HR directors in the people operations of miscellaneous companies is around 143,000.

New Jersey is the top-paying state, where the average annual mean wage is around $169,040 with an hourly wage of $81.27. It’s followed by the District of Columbia and Rhode Island.

According to recruiter estimates and data engineers, the highest number of HR director jobs are in California (mostly Los Angeles). It’s closely followed by New York, Illinois, Texas, and Florida.

You should keep in mind that a lot of companies have an organizational structure where HR directors and human resources managers are the same thing. This is why you might find some HR manager salaries exceeding human resources director salaries.

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Is There a Gender Disparity in How Much a HR Director Makes?

Based on over 9,000 reviews on PayScale, there is no gender pay gap when it comes to 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 is purely based 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.

What is the Salary Range for HR Directors?

Since the HR director title has different meanings for different organizations, the employee development in each is very different. This means that the salary range is relatively huge.

The salaries for HR directors range from $55,000 to $121,000.

Typically, salaries on the higher end are for HR directors with good labor relations, graduate and bachelor’s degrees from high-level schools, and good employee relations. However, there are a lot of other factors at play here, as well.

Furthermore, the additional cash compensation average is around $7,111. This usually ranges from $1,262 to $25,003.

Average HR Director Salary Range with Respect to Company Size

The following list details the changes in the average salary and salary ranges with respect to different company sizes:

  • 0-50 Employees: The average base pay is $70,142 and the salary ranges from $47,000 to $105,000.
  • 51-200 Employees: The average base pay goes up a little to $71,731, while the salary ranges from $48,000 to $107,000.
  • 201-500 Employees: A further increase to $73,078 as the average base pay, while the salary ranges from $49,000 to $108,000.
  • 501-1000 Employees: The average pay is $79,105 and ranges from $53,000 to $117,000.
  • 1001-5000 Employees: Closer to the mean average, the average base pay rises to $82,148 and now ranges from $55,000 to $122,000.
  • 5001+ Employees: With a relatively big change, the average salary is $88,970 while the salary ranges from $60,000 to $131,000.

On average, the highest portion of HR directors earn $75,000 to $90,000 per year.

Average HR Director Salary Range with Respect to Years of Experience

The following list details the changes in the average salary and salary ranges with respect to the years of experience a HR Director has in their field.

  • 0-1 Years of Experience: The typical starting base salary for newcomers is $66,368 and the salary ranges from $44,000 to $99,000. The lower range is usually the result of smaller organizations that have lots of onboarding and are trying to fulfill the costs of staying afloat while growing their firms.
  • 1-3 Years of Experience: Directors with good experience in HR tech, or those who have been recently promoted, tend to have an average salary of $68,219. Their typical salary range is from $45,000 to $101,000.
  • 4-6 Years of Experience: With decent experience, especially in things like performance management and talent acquisition, this level of experience usually gets you a salary of $80,014 (which is near the mean average). The salary ranges from $54,000 to $119,000.
  • 7-9 Years of Experience: At this point, HR managers usually become HR directors and the average salary is usually around $89,619, while it ranges from $61,000 to $132,000.
  • 10-14 Years of Experience: Being in the industry this long typically lands you a good average salary of $100,217, and the salary range is usually between $68,000 and $147,000.
  • 15+ Years of Experience: HR Directors with more than 15 years of experience are usually looking to become Vice Presidents, or better. However, this kind of experience can get you an average salary of $113,578, and the typical salary range at this point is between $78,000 and $166,000.

You’ll see a lot of HR directors with more than 10 years of experience. Typically, these directors have six-figure salaries. Some firms may even pay up to $200,000 for the job.

Average Salaries for Related Jobs

To understand the worth of the HR director role, it’s important to look at the salaries other HR positions typically provide. Here are some typical HR job titles and their average mean salaries.

  • HR Assistant: Usually reserved for fresh graduates and low-level employees, the average salary is $39,000.
  • HR Specialist: Above the assistant, the specialist gets around $51,115, on average.
  • HR Generalist: After a HR specialist, the generalist gets around $53,000, on average.
  • HR Coordinator: An assistive role, the average base pay is $44,000.
  • HR Manager: Above the generalist and below the director, the average salary is $61,000.

The average salaries listed above may be different depending on how much experience you have, your company size, your education, and which state you live in.

How Do I Know if I’m Getting a Good HR Director Salary?

HR director salaries are subject to massive disparity since each organization has its own director job description. Your salary will depend on that, as well as, your experience, your education, the size of the company, the state you’re living in, and other similar factors.

Analyzing all these variables, and the average salaries found on sites like PayScale, Glassdoor, and Salary.com, you can determine whether or not you’re receiving the salary you deserve.


If you are new to Human Resources and are looking to break into a HR 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 a great HR resume, and create a successful job search strategy.