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Businesses can’t succeed without smart, qualified, and motivated employees, which is why human resource managers play such an essential role in most organizations. HR managers provide a vital link between businesses and their employees, and they’re responsible for helping workers reach their full potential in the workplace. In practical day-to-day terms, this can include recruiting and hiring new employees, managing salaries and benefits, directing disciplinary procedures, defining and enforcing company policies, and administering a wide range of other programs to keep employees safe, happy, and productive.
Most human resource managers earn an excellent salary, and the field offers plenty of good opportunities for advancement. Successful human resource managers enjoy working with people and possess strong communication and interpersonal skills. In smaller companies, HR managers typically take on a wider range of roles and responsibilities. In larger organizations, they tend to specialize in a specific area, such as recruiting or benefits administration. A bachelor’s degree in human resource management meets the minimum requirements for most entry- and mid-level HR management positions, although some HR professionals choose to pursue an advanced degree—such as a master’s degree in business or human resources—to open up additional career options.
The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics projects solid demand for human resource manager positions through 2024, with a 9% growth rate that outpaces the 7% average for other occupations. Changing and increasingly complex employment laws in areas such as occupational safety, equal employment opportunity, and healthcare may help drive the need for more HR managers, although demand is also closely linked to the strength of the economy and the growth of companies that hire HR managers.
In 2014, there were approximately 122,500 human resource managers employed in the United States across many different industries. Most HR managers work full time during regular business hours in traditional office environments. Travel is not typically a big part of the job, but some HR managers travel periodically to visit company offices in other locations, attend professional meetings, and recruit employees. In 2014, about one in three human resource managers reported working an average of more than 40 hours per week.
There are a number of different human resources professional associations and research organizations that can help give you a better sense for the profession. Here are a few that might be useful as you decide whether a bachelor’s degree in human resource management is right for you.
Wondering what today’s human resource management job market looks like? Check out these resources for more information about current openings, opportunities, and salaries.
In May 2015, health services managers in the United States earned a median yearly salary of $94,500. The best-paid people in the field brought home more than $165,380. With additional experience, training, and education, health services managers can also move into a variety of related executive roles, such as CEO of a healthcare system or a managed care executive at a hospital.
Human resource managers are responsible for an organization’s most dynamic and valuable asset: its people. With good growth, excellent salaries, and many opportunities for advancement, HR management can offer people with good interpersonal skills and an aptitude for business an interesting and rewarding career. To pursue a successful career as an HR manager, you should start by earning a bachelor’s degree in human resource management from a respected, accredited institution.
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