Human Resources Careers

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Human resources personnel recruit, interview, and hire new employees in accordance with the policies and requirements of upper management. They also answer employees' questions about benefits and compensation, and must be knowledgeable about non-discrimination laws and policies. Human resource specialists may work closely with training and labor relations personnel.

All industries employ human resources professionals. At large companies, human resources departments include more than one level of management as well as a variety of human resources specialists, including:

  • Recruiters
  • Equal opportunity (EEO) representatives
  • Compensation and benefits specialists
  • Job analysts

Employee assistant plan managers, or employee welfare managers, run programs that cover occupational health and safety, company security, counseling services, and more.

Education Requirements

A good educational background for a human resources career is an associate's degree or bachelor's business degree in human resources or human resources administration. A master's degree in human resources or business administration is important for management positions.

Job Outlook

Human resources careers are hot right now, but they require the ability to communicate effectively, diplomacy, and an interest in matching employees' talents and skills to the jobs best suited for them. Human resources specialists must speak and write well. They must also be fair, discreet, persuasive, congenial, and unflappable.

Human Resources Specialist Salary Information

Median salaries for human resources workers in 2004 included:

  • Employment, recruitment, and placement specialist: $41,000
  • Compensation, benefits, and job analysis specialist: $47,000
  • Compensation and benefits manager: $67,000
  • Human resource manager: $82,000

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Source: Occupational Outlook Handbook, 2006-2007 Edition; Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor.