The HR manager is the head of all field HR operations within a company. They are the bridge between the strategy side and the general operations side of human resource management. Considering this, and the impressive average HR manager salary, the position is always in demand.
The HR manager’s position is the foundation for promotion into the strategy and planning aspect of HR. It is somewhere between an operations manager, a project manager, and an office manager.
In this post, I’ll explain exactly what a HR manager does, what the requirements are for the position, and the general salary average.
Let’s jump right in.
Average HR Manager Salary by The Numbers
The United States National Average for a HR manager salary differs across salary and compensation reporting platforms. Here are some reports from major independent job reporting sources in 2020.
Glassdoor reports an average base salary (based on self-reported data) of $78,377.
The majority of salaried managers lie within the low to average range. In addition, the average additional cash compensation is $9,993.
Payscale reports an average base salary of $67,079.
In addition, around 90% of human resources manager salaries are under $88,000, while the bottom 10% make less than $41,000.
Indeed reports an average base salary of $71,784.
Indeed also reports a number of benefits, along with a cash bonus for HR managers.
The combined average of the three independent sources is $72,413.
Career Outlook for a Human Resources Manager
The entire salary range of a HR manager in the US depends on their total years of experience working as either a HR manager, or in the general field of human resources.
HR managers with less than 5 years of work experience make an average of $51,000. HR managers who have been in the profession for 5 or more years, usually see their salary increase to an average of $62,000.
The progression slows down from here on out, with only a slight increase of up to $70,000 on average, and, that too, after over 20 years of active service in HR.
Promotion Trajectory for HR Managers
HR managers have 2 distinct promotion paths in the US (and for the most part, globally).
A current HR manager can be promoted to either a senior HR manager position or to HR director. In some cases, the HR manager may advance to the position of Vice President of Human Resources. This promotion could come directly after senior HR manager, as well as, after HR director.
We mostly see the VP of Human Resources position in the IT and tech industry, and long-serving VPs can eventually advance to Chief HR Officer.
Top Paying Cities for HR Managers
According to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics, these are the cities that offer the most lucrative opportunities for HR managers.
- Newark and Union, Pennsylvania: Both cities have an average HR manager salary of $162,920, and $99,350 for entry-level HR managers.
- San Jose and Sunnyvale, California: Both cities have an average HR manager salary average of $160,980, and $94,050 for entry-level managers.
- Bridgeport and Norwalk, Connecticut: Both cities have a HR Manager’s salary average of $156,990, while it’s $84,960 for entry-level managers.
- Ithaca, New York: Ithaca has an average HR manager’s salary of $150,850, and $94,030 for entry-level managers.
- Arlington and Washington, District of Columbia: Both Arlington and Washington have an average salary of $149,280 for HR managers, with the average for entry-level managers is $94,380.
Out of all the states, California has the most cities with the highest average salary for HR managers. The average has seen very variation in the past few years.
HR Manager’s Job Description
Human resources managers lead the entire HR department on the operations front. They report directly to the HR directors, or other equivalent senior HR executives.
The responsibilities of a HR manager include:
- · Implementing the compensation program
- · Conducting salary surveys
- · Creating, analyzing, and updating the salary budget
- · Developing and revising job descriptions
- · Conducting employee relations counseling and employee orientations
- · Improving the overall employee experience
In addition, a HR manager is required to organize various daily operations, and effectively implement HR strategy. They can also be responsible for overall employee performance evaluation and conflict resolution.
In case a company can afford to bring more HR personnel on board, HR managers will then be responsible for overseeing such operations, instead of partaking in them.
To give you a better idea of what’s required of a HR manager on a daily basis, check out this full summary of the HR Manager job description and responsibilities.
Here are some of the questions that a potential candidate for the HR manager position can expect during an interview:
· Describe your approach to talent acquisition. Where and how do you find ideal candidates? How will you function as a recruiter?
· Describe your preferred onboarding method. How does this method provide the ideal onboarding experience? How does it support the company’s business goals?
· What sort of employee policy would you draft as soon you become a HR manager?
· What would you define as our ‘company culture’, and how would you help maintain it as the business grows?
· What are your preferred HR technology software and tools?
Depending on the seniority of the HR manager’s position within a company, candidates may also be asked questions related to regulatory compliance and conflict resolution.
Required Skills and Qualifications for a HR Manager
Almost all companies across the US have a minimum requirement of a Bachelor’s degree for a HR manager.
Getting an SHRM certification along with the Bachelor’s degree will improve the candidate's odds of securing the position.
Ideally, a candidate for the HR manager’s position should have a Bachelor of Business Administration (BBA) degree in one of the following areas:
- Human Resources
- Management and leadership
- Industrial relations
- Organizational behavior
- General HR/Corporate management
According to the U.S. Department of Labor, candidates with a Master's degree in HR have even better chances of securing a HR manager position.
How to Become the Ideal HR Manager
Looking for a career in HR management? Here’s what you’ll need to do:
Master the Prime HR Functions
The ideal HR Manager will have to become proficient in the main HR functions.
- Staffing: Attract, recognize, develop, and retain top talent.
- Training and Development: Train and upskill employees through effective onboarding, online courses, and mentorship.
- Regulatory Compliance: Know about all the required compliance rules and ensure the company always stays compliant.
- Compensation, Benefits, and Performance Management: Manage the yearly salary and specific benefits of the entire workforce.
- Employee Safety: Understand risk management and how to maintain a safe environment for all employees.
Develop Interpersonal Skills
HR managers interact with a number of people on a daily basis. The perfect candidate has to become a better listener, develop greater empathy, and master conflict resolution.
Wrapping It Up
HR managers are highly versatile members of the HR professional fraternity. Plus, since it’s not a HR specialist position, the right individual will require a number of capabilities.
If you have the qualities mentioned above, and want to work in a broad area of HR, the human resource manager position could be perfect for you.
Have thoughts that you’d like to contribute around human resources? Chat with other HR professionals around the world in our community, HR Insiders