How to Become a Human Resources (HR) Manager
Steps to Becoming an HR Manager
1. Earn a Bachelor’s or Master’s Degree in Human Resources
2. Consider an Internship
3. Gain the Appropriate Work Experience
4. Apply for a Manager Position
5. Consider Getting Certified
Job Description of an HR Manager
Why Become a Human Resources Manager?
Different HR Career Paths
According to the SHRM, becoming a certified human resources manager can take as little as five years of education and professional experience. The shortest route entails obtaining a bachelor’s degree in human resources, then serving one year in an HR role before applying for the certification exam. Although certification is a voluntary qualification, it can be beneficial and offers standard pathways to becoming an HR manager.
According to BLS May 2021 pay data, human resources managers make a median annual salary of $126,230. The industry in which HR managers work influences their compensation:
• Professional, scientific and technical services: $133,980
• Management of companies and enterprises: $130,340
• Manufacturing: $125,080
• Government: $102,520
• Health care and social assistance: $99,870
Learn more about the job outlook and salaries of HR professionals.
Becoming a human resources manager with a bachelor’s degree is possible, but higher level positions require a master’s degree. The BLS notes that most HR managers hold a bachelor’s degree in human resources or a related field, such as finance, business management, education or information technology. If a master’s degree is required, it is most often in human resources, labor relations or business administration.
According to the BLS, environments HR managers typically work in are:
• Management of companies and enterprises: 15%
• Professional, scientific and technical services: 14%
• Manufacturing: 11%
• Government: 9%
• Health care and social assistance: 8%
The BLS notes HR managers typically work in offices, although those employed by national or international organizations may have to travel to different branches. HR managers may also have to regularly attend professional conferences and recruitment events.
According to the BLS guide for human resources managers, the skills needed for human resources management are:
• Decision-making: Assess a situation and select the right course of action.
• Interpersonal: Build relationships between colleagues and other stakeholders.
• Leadership: Direct staff and operations with confidence and efficiency.
• Organizational: Coordinate team members and tasks.
• Speaking: Clearly and effectively communicate information and directives.
The BLS estimates the number of employed HR managers will grow 9 percent from 2020 to 2030—faster than the 8 percent average for all occupations. The brighter outlook is due to expected growth of individual companies and changes to employment laws, which will create demand for HR managers’ expertise, according to the BLS.