The following article discusses the career path of Labor Relations Specialist. Learn about how to become one, education requirements, job duties, traits and qualities, national salary outlook as well as top national employers of Labor Relations Specialists.
Labor relations specialists provide the management team with support on resolving issues relating to labor relationships. They use federal regulations to guide their work, creating bargaining agreements and overseeing negotiations with these regulations as their foundation. They also often provide training in improving labor relations, maintain and manage documentation and data, take part in disciplinary investigations and participate in any subsequent action. Sometimes, they also have to maintain their business’ social media presence and hire new employees.
Often, they are part of the HR department. They may have a senior specialist or HR manager as their senior in larger companies. In smaller organizations, they are often the head of all HR activities. They can be found in various organizations, unionized or not. These include finance, technology, construction, health care, and more. Typically, they have an indoor, office based job, although some may have to work outdoors, such as in construction companies, for instance.
Other duties of the labor relations specialist are:
- To gather information and come up with solutions for conflicts between the workforce and management
- To gather information for labor negotiations, arbitration, and contracts
- To help find facts during employee disciplinary issues, investigating grievances and more
- To help train and administer the workforce so that they are compliant with legal management of labor
Where We Work
According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, there were 81,100 labor relations specialists in 2016. The largest employers of these professionals are:
- Labor unions and similar labor organizations 78%
- Government 4%
- Management of companies and enterprises 3%
How to Become
Typically, a bachelor’s degree is required as a minimum in a field related to business or human resources. However, it is now more common for candidates to have completed a master’s degree. Furthermore, a number of years’ work experience in a field relevant to labor relations is required, preferably within the relevant industry. Additionally, they must have a significant understanding of employment and labor law.
It is particularly important for labor relations specialists to have a lot of professional experience. They often obtain this in positions dealing with job analysis, benefits, compensation, HR, and so on. Once they have become experienced in these fields, they can then consider a labor relations specialization.
Typically, labor relations specialists have a bachelor’s degree in a field related to business, industrial relations, human resources, or labor relations. Howevr, many employers, particularly the larger ones, look for people with a master’s degree. They must demonstrate that they have an enhanced understanding of things such as contract negotiation and employment law. Other degree topics, therefore, that may be acceptable include accounting, human resource management, professional writing, and industrial relations.
There are some certifications available in labor relations as well. These usually target more specific specializations, one of which is labor relations mediation. While there is often no legal requirement for anyone to hold this certification, it does demonstrate a commitment to professional standards, as well as enhanced knowledge of issues such as worker grievance procedures, collective bargaining processes, and labor law. It is also quite common for labor relations specialists to be lawyers, or become lawyers later on in life.
Traits & Qualities
The most effective labor relations specialists have the following traits to some degree or other:
– Strong decision making skills
– Highly detail oriented
– Excellent interpersonal skills
– Great listening skills
– Strong writing skills
- Most Reported
Salary by State
The following section lists Labor Relations Specialist salaries in each state around the country. The figures are based on the total number of job postings through Indeed.com. For example, DC had the largest quoted salary of $90,798 while North Dakota had the smallest quoted salary of $53,638.
|Illinois||Missouri||Ohio|Top 20 National Employers
According to Indeed.com, the following states had employers looking to hire a Labor Relations Specialist. The quoted salary figure represents the average salary from all job postings by this employer.
|Employer Name||Location||Average Salary|
|MiraCosta College Labor Relations Specialist||California||$124,359|
|Robert Half Finance & Accounting Labor Relations Specialist||Missouri||$124,110|
|The Judge Group Labor Relations Specialist||Texas||$122,573|
|Bay Area Rapid Transit Labor Relations Specialist||California||$116,750|
|DC Water Labor Relations Specialist||DC||$115,995|
|COUNTY OF SANTA CLARA Labor Relations Specialist||California||$111,523|
|Port of Seattle Labor Relations Specialist||Washington||$111,358|
|Employee Services Agency Labor Relations Specialist||California||$111,347|
|TriMet Labor Relations Specialist||Oregon||$109,806|
|Metropolitan Atlanta Rapid Transit Authority (MARTA) Labor Relations Specialist||Georgia||$99,914|
|City & County Of San Francisco Labor Relations Specialist||California||$98,955|
|City Of Minneapolis Labor Relations Specialist||Minnesota||$96,040|
|City of Reno Labor Relations Specialist||Nevada||$91,558|
|New York City Department of Education Labor Relations Specialist||New York||$86,286|
|Metropolitan Council Labor Relations Specialist||Minnesota||$84,084|
|CSEA (California School Employees Association) Labor Relations Specialist||California||$82,449|
|California School Employees Association (CSEA) Labor Relations Specialist||California||$80,834|
|University of California, Santa Barbara Labor Relations Specialist||California||$79,805|
|California School Employees Association Labor Relations Specialist||California||$79,197|
|State of Washington Labor Relations Specialist||Washington||$78,197|
- Labor Relations Specialists : Occupational Outlook …
- Labor Relations Specialist – CalCareers
- Labor Relations Specialists – Bureau of Labor Statistics
|Career Name||Average Salary|
|Certified Public Accountant||$82,242|
|Director of Communications||$81,076|