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Posted On: April 15, 2018 by Henry R. Steele

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.

Job Duties

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.

Education Requirements

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

Minimum Education

Bachelor’s Degree

National Salary

The national average salary estimate for Labor Relations Specialist was $81,212. This number is estimated from over 123,336 employees, users past and present job advertisements from Indeed.com. This equates to an hourly salary of $42.30 and monthly of $6,768.

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$23,000

$173,000

Salary Distribution

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.

California Indiana North Dakota Oregon
Connecticut Massachusetts New Mexico Pennsylvania
DC Maryland Nevada Texas
Georgia Minnesota New York Washington
Illinois Missouri Ohio
California$86,540 Rank: 4th

The average salary ranks 4th among states in the country. There were also job openings from employers like City & County Of San Francisco, CSEA (California School Employees Association), California School Employees Association (CSEA), and University of California, Santa Barbara.

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$30,000

$170,000

Salary Distribution
Connecticut$90,140 Rank: 2nd

The average salary ranks 2nd among states in the country. There were also job openings from employers like City of Bridgeport.

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$28,000

$186,000

Salary Distribution
DC$90,798 Rank: 1st

The average salary ranks 1st among states in the country. There were also job openings from employers like United States Postal Service, Parker Tide, and DC Water.

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$28,000

$189,000

Salary Distribution
Georgia$75,309 Rank: 12th

The average salary ranks 12th among states in the country. There were also job openings from employers like Metropolitan Atlanta Rapid Transit Authority (MARTA) and Industriales.

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$21,000

$162,000

Salary Distribution
Illinois$74,120 Rank: 14th

The average salary ranks 14th among states in the country. There were also job openings from employers like City of Chicago.

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$21,000

$159,000

Salary Distribution
Indiana$71,875 Rank: 15th

The average salary ranks 15th among states in the country. There were also job openings from employers like Cummins.

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$36,000

$109,000

Salary Distribution
Massachusetts$75,066 Rank: 13th

The average salary ranks 13th among states in the country. There were also job openings from employers like Commonwealth of Massachusetts.

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$20,000

$165,000

Salary Distribution
Maryland$70,479 Rank: 17th

The average salary ranks 17th among states in the country. There were also job openings from employers like Maryland National Capital Park and Planning Commission and Prince George's Community College.

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$30,000

$128,000

Salary Distribution
Minnesota$84,822 Rank: 5th

The average salary ranks 5th among states in the country. There were also job openings from employers like City Of Minneapolis, Metropolitan Council, MNA (Minnesota Nurses Association), and Hire Talent.

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$37,000

$152,000

Salary Distribution
Missouri$81,284 Rank: 8th

The average salary ranks 8th among states in the country. There were also job openings from employers like Robert Half Finance & Accounting.

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$26,000

$165,000

Salary Distribution
North Dakota$53,638 Rank: 19th

The average salary ranks 19th among states in the country. There were also job openings from employers like Volt.

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$23,000

$97,000

Salary Distribution
New Mexico$71,279 Rank: 16th

The average salary ranks 16th among states in the country. There were also job openings from employers like State of New Mexico.

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$16,000

$164,000

Salary Distribution
Nevada$76,362 Rank: 10th

The average salary ranks 10th among states in the country. There were also job openings from employers like City of Reno.

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$26,000

$152,000

Salary Distribution
New York$70,462 Rank: 18th

The average salary ranks 18th among states in the country. There were also job openings from employers like New York City Department of Education, Metroplus Health Plan, Department of Mental Health and Hygiene, and Skidmore College.

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$26,000

$135,000

Salary Distribution
Ohio$75,664 Rank: 11th

The average salary ranks 11th among states in the country. There were also job openings from employers like City of Cleveland.

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$17,000

$176,000

Salary Distribution
Oregon$82,378 Rank: 7th

The average salary ranks 7th among states in the country. There were also job openings from employers like University of Oregon and TriMet.

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$22,000

$179,000

Salary Distribution
Pennsylvania$78,751 Rank: 9th

The average salary ranks 9th among states in the country. There were also job openings from employers like Robert Half Finance & Accounting.

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$30,000

$151,000

Salary Distribution
Texas$88,686 Rank: 3rd

The average salary ranks 3rd among states in the country. There were also job openings from employers like The Judge Group.

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$25,000

$191,000

Salary Distribution
Washington$84,768 Rank: 6th

The average salary ranks 6th among states in the country. There were also job openings from employers like State of Washington, City of Seattle, Kitsap County, and Port of Seattle.

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$31,000

$164,000

Salary Distribution

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

Learn More

Related Careers

Career Name Average Salary
Henry R. Steele
Henry R. Steele
Managing Editor
Henry is Managing Editor of BusinessStudent.com. He is a seasoned business professional who regularly consults with local business's throughout Southern California. Henry pursued his undergrad in Business and Economics at the University of San Diego and gained valuable life changing experience through a unique internship upon graduation.Follow on Twitter.com

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