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Human Resources Officer Career Guide

How to Become an HR Officer

Often abbreviated as “HR,” Human Resources entails the correct management of all company employees, their benefits, and their collaboration in a productive workplace environment.

Fulfilling many aspects of personnel management for a company, HR officers are often responsible for recruitment and hiring, interviews, compliance regulation, and other critical employee relations. While some organizations are small enough that a single HR officer can fulfill all necessary HR duties, more often a company operates with a comprehensive human resources department.

Human resource management careers are ideal for individuals with strong communication skills, and a passion for activities like team building, organizational development, and corporate presentation.

woman in meeting or interview talking to people

What Is an HR Officer?

HR officers play a pivotal role in protecting the workplace and filling employee seats with qualified candidates that further a company’s culture and mission. Some HR officers are primarily responsible for corporate team-building and leadership activities, while others focus on employee hiring, benefits, and retention.

What Does an HR Officer Do?

The exact responsibilities of an HR officer can vary widely, depending on an individual officer’s employer and their existing human resources team. Exact HR officer responsibilities often include:

  • Familiarizing employees with benefits packages
  • Hiring new employees that accommodate a company’s vision for the future
  • Releasing employees whenever necessary
  • Resolving disagreements between employees that cannot be solved privately
  • Planning corporate events and other team-building activities
  • Installing appropriate pay scales across the company
  • Establishing community outreach programs to get employees involved in charity, volunteer, and goodwill initiatives
  • Regulating compliance and correct benefit usage across the company

These and other responsibilities define typical day-to-day requirements for an HR officer

What Education Does an HR Officer Need?

HR officers benefit from specialized education, which helps them fulfill human resource management roles to their fullest capacity. This education often entails at minimum a human resource management degree that helps impart the specialized skills and credentials required to make HR officers successful each day. Given the wide range of responsibilities and the steady demand for effective HR officers, many candidates pursue more advanced education and credentials, including an MBA or even a master’s in business management and leadership. These advanced programs can help expose students to a wider range of theory, business principles, real-world conflicts and other challenges to better prepare them for practical roles.

Best Degrees for HR Officers

Human Resource Management – B.S. Business Administration

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

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

A SHRM-recognized online business degree program:

  • Time: 70% of graduates finish within 35 months.
  • Tuition and fees: $3,720 per 6-month term.

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.

Master of Business Administration

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

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

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

  • Time: Graduates can finish in 12 months.
  • Tuition and fees: $4,675 per 6-month term.

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.

Management and Leadership – M.S.

An online master's degree focused on change management,...

An online master's degree focused on change...

An online master's degree focused on change management, innovation, and leading teams:

  • Time: Graduates can finish in 12 months.
  • Tuition and fees: $4,675 per 6-month term.

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

  • President
  • Vice president
  • Director of operations
  • Executive director

Develop a comprehensive suite of leadership skills and your confidence to navigate changing business structures.

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These and other skills form the foundation for a successful HR officer, helping to boost employee morale, keep corporate productivity high, and ensure appropriate employee relations.

What Skills Does an HR Officer Need?

The career of an HR officer is characterized by specific skills, such as strong interpersonal skills and a passion to establish a strong, ethical corporate culture. These individual skills include:

  • Effective communication. The ability to correspond well with HR team members, employees, and company executives.
  • Problem-solving. The ability to pair complex company issues with creative solutions that can satisfy employee problems in unique, productive ways.
  • Public presentation. The ability to confidently deliver relevant information to employees at all levels.
  • Leadership. The ability to effectively lead employees in the creation of a productive workplace environment.
  • Organization. The ability to simultaneously handle several human resource initiatives.


How Much Does an HR Officer Make?


Exact income figures for an HR officer can vary, depending on the employer, employer location, years of experience, amount of HR team members, and other factors.

The salary of an HR officer comes out to an average of $73,541. The position sees the top 10% of earners make as much as $201,000 per year, and the lowest 10% of earners net $44,000.

What Is the Projected Job Growth?


The career of an HR officer is currently enjoying a positive outlook, expected to grow 6% from 2019 to 2029. This rate is faster than the average forecasted growth rate across all occupations, encouraged by a continued corporate need for effective employee management.

Part of the expected growth in HR officer career openings is due to the aging of existing HR officers. As individuals retire, a need remains for younger, informed job candidates with the necessary human resources credentials. This new generation of HR officers will be able to help companies manage developing equal employment opportunity standards, changing healthcare parameters, and employee retirement planning.

Where Do HR Officers Work?


HR officers must continually have a finger on the pulse of a company, from corporate culture to employee performance. As a result, HR officers typically work onsite at an employer’s place of business, in a defined human resources office.

Employees must have regular access to the HR office and the officers inside, to help address any questions, concerns with other employees, and inter-company opportunities. Responsibilities like employee interviewing, onboarding, and training mean it’s often easier for HR officers to work in their employer’s office, often alongside any other human resources department employees.

Interested in Becoming an HR Officer?

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

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