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BUSINESS CAREER GUIDES

HR Manager Career

OVERVIEW

What is a Human Resources Manager?


 

Human resource managers oversee the daily operations of a company’s HR department. Whether they’re authorizing the creation of new company policies, recruiting new employees, or communicating with existing staff, HR managers work to improve the overall productivity of a company’s workforce.

You can typically qualify for a human resource manager position after obtaining a relevant undergraduate degree. An advanced degree may be needed, however, to qualify for management roles in some companies. In addition, many HR leadership positions—including the role of an HR manager—typically require at least a few years of experience in a human resources environment.

RESPONSIBILITIES

What Does a Human Resource Manager Do?

A human resources manager can fulfill a wide variety of responsibilities. You will depend on strong communication and employee management qualities to lead your HR department in policy creation, recruitment, benefits decisions, and more.

The exact responsibilities of a human resource manager include:

  • Creating and implementing procedures that improve a company’s output.
  • Ensuring continued compliance with any local, state, and federal policies.
  • Delegating tasks to appropriate HR department representatives.
  • Supervising the performance of all HR department staff.
  • Working with both HR staff members and current employees to determine the benefits most important to the workforce, and to create benefits packages to meet those needs.
  • Coordinating a company’s recruitment and hiring process.
  • Terminating employees whenever necessary.
  • Implementing policies that allow for efficient conflict resolution procedures between employees.

These and other responsibilities define the daily life of an HR manager, as they work to coordinate the tasks, duties, and decisions that keep an HR department busy.

Where Do Human Resource Managers Work?

Human resources managers can work in a wide variety of locations, depending on their employer. As one of the main factors that collectively influence the nature of an HR job, location can dictate the duties of an HR manager on a day-to-day basis.

HR managers might work in one or more of the following locations:

  • Talent agencies
  • Small, medium, or large businesses
  • Nonprofit agencies
  • Government buildings
  • Schools

Human resource managers are also one of many HR positions available in the healthcare industry. Similar to HR careers in other industries, HR managers—and general HR staff—working for a healthcare organization help hire and retain employees, settle conflicts, and enforce compliance.

EDUCATION & BEST DEGREES

What Education Does a Human Resource Manager Need?

Before you can begin a career as a human resource manager, you’ll need to satisfy a few educational requirements. First, you’ll need to obtain a bachelor’s degree in human resource management, psychology or a closely-related field. This program will directly contribute to your success in an HR management position, as you develop skills in workforce planning, compensation and benefits, economics, and project management.

master's in management and leadership or MBA program can contribute to a similarly successful career path. You’ll learn skills in finance, operations, and account management, useful whether you’re pursuing a career in HR or virtually any corporate field. This advanced degree will qualify you for the management element of an HR management position by giving you knowledge and experience in leadership and strategy. 

Do I Need a Certification to Become an HR Manager?

In addition to the educational requirements for an HR manager position, you might also have to obtain one or more certifications. HR certifications help you build on the foundation your education provides, as you further improve your proficiency in specific areas.

HR certifications help further develop your HR skillset, and can improve your aptitude for hire in the eyes of an employer.

Best Degrees for a Human Resource Manager

Human Resource Management – B.S. Business Administration

A SHRM-recognized online business degree program:...

A SHRM-recognized online business degree program:

  • Time: 72% of graduates finish within 43 months.
  • Tuition: $3,755 per 6-month term.
  • Courses: 41 total courses in this program.

Sample careers and jobs this business degree will prepare you for:

  • Human resource specialist
  • Director of talent acquisition
  • Recruiting manager
  • Organizational learning specialist
  • Vice president of HR

Earn your B.S. in Human Resources and help build strong organizations.

Human Resource Management – M.S.

A SHRM-recognized master's degree in human resource management...

A SHRM-recognized master's degree in human resource management

  • Time: 72% of graduates finish similar programs within 23 months.
  • Tuition: $4,755 per 6-month term.
  • Courses: 10 total courses in this program.

Sample careers and jobs this business degree will prepare you for:

  • DE&I Manager
  • Learning and Development Manager
  • HR Director
  • Vice president of HR

Earn your M.S. in Human Resources and help companies create excellent cultures.

Master of Business Administration

The flexible MBA program you need, focused on business management,...

The flexible MBA program you need, focused on business management, strategy, and leading teams:

  • Time: Graduates can finish in 12 months.
  • Tuition: $4,755 per 6-month term.
  • Courses: 11 total courses in this program.

Sample careers and jobs this business degree will prepare you for:

  • President and CEO
  • Vice president
  • Executive director
  • Chief strategic officer

Our competency-based model gives you an innovative learning experience you won't find anywhere else—and our MBA grads tell us they loved accelerating their program to see a faster ROI.

Leadership Certificate – School of Business

Enhance your résumé and take a step in your educational journey with the...

Enhance your résumé and take a step in your educational journey with the help of a leadership certificate from the School of Business.

  • Time: 4 months from start to finish.
  • Cost: $2,250 for the certificate.
  • Courses: 3 courses total in this program.

This program is for emerging leaders, however this program does not require a bachelor’s degree, and provides transferable credit towards a WGU degree program.

Whether you aspire to work for a Fortune 500 organization, a government agency, a non-profit organization, or a fast-paced start-up, this certificate can give you the keys to success in a variety of industries, including:

  • Finance and Banking
  • Healthcare
  • Manufacturing
  • IT
  • Consulting
  • Nonprofit
  • Government

Psychology – B.S.

An online psychology program for students who want to make a difference in...

An online psychology program for students who want to make a difference in their life, and the lives of others.

  • Time: 95% of students finish similar programs faster than the traditional 4 years.
  • Tuition: $4,085 per 6-month term.
  • Courses: 34 total courses in this program.

Sample careers and jobs this degree will prepare you for:

  • Behavior technician
  • Market research analyst
  • Psychiatric technician
  • Academic advisor
  • Social services specialist
  • Patient navigator
  • User researcher

This degree allows you to gain valuable knowledge and experience in the field of psychology and can prepare you for additional certifications or careers.

How Much Does a Human Resources Manager Make?

$72,402

The exact income of an HR manager can vary based on many factors, including your employer, employer’s location, years of experience, education, and active certifications. The average salary of a human resources manager is $72,402, with a range of roughly $51,000 to $99,000.

What Is the Projected Job Growth?

6%

Human resources managers are expected to maintain a favorable job outlook in future years. From 2019 to 2029, employment for HR managers is expected to rise 6%. This growth rate is faster than the average across all occupations.

As new companies expand and existing companies continue to grow more complex, HR departments will be needed to keep workforces efficient and compliant. Human resources managers will be required to implement these policies, and coordinate HR department staff efforts.

SKILLS

What Skills Does a Human Resources Manager Need?

Human resources managers regularly use a variety of skills. Whether they’re communicating with team members, implementing policies, recruiting potential employees, or delegating tasks, HR managers work to equip a company’s workforce with the tools it needs to thrive.

HR managers regularly depend on the following skills:

  • Employee management. The ability to effectively manage a company’s workforce, equipping them with the tools they need to succeed.
  • Interpersonal communication. The ability to effectively correspond with fellow HR representatives, company employees, and executives.
  • Staffing. The ability to equip a company with the right employees, to facilitate teamwork and long-term success.
  • Budgeting. The ability to effectively manage a company’s finances.
  • Delegation. The ability to assign tasks to appropriate HR employees.
  • Scheduling. The ability to create HR employee schedules that accommodate each employee’s calendar.
  • Teamwork. The ability to effectively work alongside other HR employees and company staff.
  • Technological proficiency. The ability to use all necessary pieces of technology in a human resources environment including any computers, tablets, phones, and online platforms.

These and other skills help HR managers to fulfill all aspects of an HR management role, while they delegate tasks to other HR employees.

Our Online University Degree Programs Start on the First of Every Month, All Year Long

No need to wait for spring or fall semester. It's back-to-school time at WGU year-round. Get started by talking to an Enrollment Counselor today, and you'll be on your way to realizing your dream of a bachelor's or master's degree—sooner than you might think!

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Interested in Becoming a Human Resources Manager?

Learn more about degree programs that can prepare you for this meaningful career.