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Human Resources Officer Career


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.

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.


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 a HR Officers


Human Resource Management – B.S. Business Administration

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

A SHRM-recognized online business degree program:

  • Time: 65% of graduates finish within 24 months.
  • Tuition: $3,755 per 6-month term.
  • Courses: 41 total courses in this program.

Skills for your résumé you will learn in this program include:

  • Agile project management
  • Employment and labor laws
  • Recruiting strategies
  • HR technology
  • DE&I understanding

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 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

Skills for your résumé you will learn in this program include: 

  • Leadership strategies
  • Talent management
  • Communication
  • Data collection and interpretation
  • Financial statements

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

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: 61% of graduates finish this program within 18 months.
  • Tuition: $4,755 per 6-month term
  • Courses: 10 total courses in this program

Skills for your résumé that you will learn in this program include: 

  • Performance Management
  • Communication
  • Management
  • Planning
  • Talent Acquisition
  • Human Resource Information System (HRIS)

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

Health & Nursing

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 in less than 4 years.
  • Tuition: $4,085 per 6-month term.
  • Courses: 34 total courses in this program.

Skills for your résumé included in this program: 

  • Social psychology
  • Consumer psychology
  • Adult psychology
  • Mental health awareness
  • Psychopathology

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 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 $80,055. 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.


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.

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.

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Interested in Becoming a HR Officer?

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