What is the Average VP of HR Salary?
Not everyone gets a chance to become vice president of human resources. It is an executive and highly lucrative title in the HR department. As hiring and retaining employees is becoming a challenge for businesses of all sizes, the need for organized and centralized HR departments has increased significantly. A survey found that 86% of HR professionals reported that recruitment is just like marketing. It shows the importance of HR and the vice president of HR in today’s business world.
Challenging roles come with high salaries.
The vice president of human resources salary is estimated to be in the range of $130,000 to $172,000 per year. The starting vice president of human resources salary is in the range of $100,000 per year. The salary increases with experience and performance. Your salary may cross $200,000 per year. Zippia reports the starting salary of the vice president of HR as $113,000 which can go as high as $264,000 a year while the average hourly salary is in the range of $83.16:
The average vice president of human resources salary, according to ZipRecruiter, is $157,945 per year and the top 4% make $227,500 a year. While Indeed suggests an average salary of $130,125 per year with $20,000 profit sharing per year.
Besides a base salary, the most common vice president of human resources also earns additional cash compensation for additional efforts that bring positive results. The average additional cash compensation is in the range of $30,000 to $40,000 per year.
It is safe to say that a vice president of human resources earns $150,000 and additional cash compensation of $30,000 per year totaling $180,000+/- per year.
This yearly salary is influenced by several factors which are covered below to help you get a clearer picture of the average vice president of human resources salary and how you can significantly increase the compensation you earn as a vice president of human resources.
Human Resources Vice President Salary Based on Location
One of the key variables that have a direct impact on the vice president of human resources salary is geographic location. Salaries aren’t consistent throughout the United States because the cost of living is different in states and cities within a state.
Remote areas with tough living conditions offer a higher salary to attract and retain talent because such areas aren’t the top preference of vice presidents. The demand and supply of vice presidents of HR in a local labor market also impact the compensation.
If you are a potential candidate for the vice president of human resources job, you need to understand how the location will impact your salary. The following list of the top and least paying states will help you in job hunting:
Highest Paying States
According to Zippia, Nevada is the highest paying state in the US for vice president of human resources with a salary of as much as $195,432 per year. The cost of living in Nevada is 6.3% higher than the national average and the number of limited jobs are the two factors contributing to a high annual salary.
A limited number of vice presidents of human resources jobs makes it a less attractive state for executives and this creates a shortage of supply leading to higher than normal salaries to attract talent.
Here is a list of the states where the job title vice president of human resources has the highest salaries:
All these states have a cost of living index higher than the national average and this is a reason why businesses have to offer a high salary to their employees.
Highest Paying Cities
The yearly salary of the vice president of human resources varies from city to city as well. California, for example, is one of the top paying states but not all its cities will offer you a high salary. Most of the cities in California will offer below-average vice president of human resources salaries.
Here is a list of the cities with the highest salaries for vice president of human resources:
- Las Vegas, NV: $219,728
- San Francisco, CA: $202,802
- El Paso, TX: $202,525
- Boston, MA: $201,462
- Dublin, OH: $185,313.
Las Vegas is the highest paying city in the US where the average total compensation of a vice president of human resources is $219,728 per year. The cost of living in these cities is exceptionally high than the national average such as San Francisco and Boston are among the most expensive cities in the US:
If you are interested in a higher than base salary as a vice president of human resources, do your homework and make sure you don’t end up landing in one of the most expensive cities where saving will get a whole lot challenging. Always do a cost of living, salary, and savings analysis before you accept an offer.
Lowest Paying States
When you compare salary vs. cost of living in a state, you might end up saving more with a low salary in a cheap state as compared to getting a high salary in an expensive state.
Here are the states with the lowest vice president of human resources salaries:
All these states have a cost of living lower than the national average. South Carolina scores 93.6 on the cost of living index and it is the state with the lowest average salaries for human resources VPs of $130,460 per year. Tennessee, Georgia, and Oklahoma have the cost of living indexes lower than 90 while the median salary in these states is above $130K per year for the vice president of human resources.
While location plays a key role in the vice president of human resources salaries, it isn’t the only factor. Your educational background is also a vital variable that defines your compensation as a vice president of human resources.
A relevant degree and experience make a perfect fit for this strategic position. Experience is more critical than education for this post. A highly experienced candidate is most likely to receive a better package than someone who has less experience.
Based on the analysis of 7,989 resumes of anonymous vice presidents of human resources by Zippia, the majority of vice presidents of human resources (72%) have a bachelor’s degree in HR management, organizational psychology, business administration, or a related field. Only 20% of human resources VPs have a master’s degree.
Education without experience is useless. The more experience you have, the better. As it has a direct impact on your salary. Experience includes both depth and width. For example, if you have worked as a talent acquisition vice president in a Fortune 500 company with proven results for a year, it is more valuable than someone working for 5 years in an unknown company in the same position.
Professional certifications also affect the vice president of human resources salary. Certificates are a way to prove your skills and competencies and these are rewarded in the form of higher compensation. If you are hunting for vice president human resources jobs, the following certifications are your best bet to increase your chances of getting hired fast at a decent pay:
- Strategic HR Leadership by AIHR is an ideal course for HR leaders and executives. It is an online self-paced course that focuses on HR strategy, lean management, HR operating models, and a capstone project
- Senior Certified Professional by SHRM is a professional certification for experienced HR professionals who have at least 3 years of strategic level experience in HR. If you meet the requirements, you can sit in the exam and get your certificate
- Senior Professional in Human Resources by HRCI is a certification to endorse your strategic and policy-making expertise in the HR field. You must have 4 years of experience with a master’s degree (5 years in case of a bachelor’s degree) to sit in the certification exam.
The average vice president's human resources salary is also linked to the industry. Health care is the highest paid industry with an annual salary of up to $185,123. Here is an example of a job post by HCA Healthcare with an estimated salary of $190,000 to $261,000 for the vice president of human resources:
Large-scale public sector health care organizations have a lot of employees to manage so such organizations have a lot to offer to the vice president of human resources.
Here are the top-paying industries that you should focus on:
- Health care
Human Resources Management Career Path Salaries
The salaries along the HR career path let you know how much you are expected to make in each role. Understanding the career path helps you plan your career and set the right personal goals. If you are interested in becoming a vice president of human resources with decent compensation in an industry of your choice, you need to follow this career path:
Human Resources Assistant: $35,000
The average annual salary of an HR assistant is $35,000 with an hourly rate of $16.97. The entry-level salary is $28,000 while the top 10% of HR assistants make $44,000+ per annum.
You need a bachelor’s degree in HR or a related field to start your career as an HR assistant. Experience in HR or certification makes it easier to get a decent starting salary.
Human Resources Generalist: $52,000
After at least 3 years of HR experience as an HR assistant or in a relevant role, you qualify for the post of HR generalist. The HR generalist performs day-to-day administrative tasks in the HR department.
The starting yearly salary of an HR generalist is $38,000 which can reach $72,000. The average salary stands at $52,000 per year with an hourly rate of $25.23.
Human Resources Manager: $79,000
The HR manager is a key role in the HR department. Managerial experience of at least 5 years in a similar HR position qualifies you for the HR manager post. It is a challenging yet existing role that comes with responsibility. The main task of the manager is to plan and manage day-to-day HR functions in collaboration with subordinates.
The average HR manager's yearly salary is $79,000 with a starting salary of $52,000 and a top salary of $118,000.
Human Resources Director: $102,000
The HR director is a leadership position that’s involved in strategic decision-making of the HR and the entire organization. It requires 10+ years of HR experience at a strategic level.
The starting director of human resources salary ranges around $67,000 per year and the average salary is $102,000 per year with an average hourly rate of $49.26. The top 10% of HR directors make $156,000.
Human Resources Vice President: $172,000
Being at the top of the HR career path, a vice president of human resources makes $172,000 per year on average with an hourly rate of $83.16. The lowest 10% earn $113,000 while the top 10% have an average yearly salary of $264,000.
How to Get Your Desired Vice President of Human Resources Salary?
Consider all the variables that influence your salary as a vice president of human resources and then create your strategy. Choose an industry and location based on your preference and target salary and additional cash compensation. Then start acquiring relevant experience, skills, and certifications.
The best skill recent vice president of human resources should have is strategic expertise in one and only one industry. Master and excel in your target industry. This works great in terms of salary and additional cash compensation.
If you are new to Human Resources and are looking to break into an 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 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.