The field of human resource management (HRM) focuses on the formal system that is required to manage the people within companies, businesses, and organizations. It takes on a wealth of responsibilities, although the focus is on three key areas:
- Employee compensation and benefits
- Designing and defining work
The goal of HRM is to ensure that employees can be as effective and productive as possible. Despite the world of business changing all the time, it is not likely that the role of HRM will change any time soon. It will still be about attracting the right talent and retaining it, something that will always be needed in any organization.
What has changed, however, is the acceptance of the importance of HRM. For a long time, it was placed quite low in the overall hierarchy, despite the fact that it holds responsibility over the most importance resource of any company: its people. Today, the value of HRM is properly recognized and it is now an integral part of any organization, regardless of size and industry.
According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), human resources managers earned an average of $106,910 per year as of May 2016 at the bachelor’s degree level. They have also reported that there are currently some 122,500 human resources managers employed, and that there will be a 9% increase in demand for these professionals from 2014 to 2024. This is faster than the national average and should translate to around 10,800 new jobs.
According to the BLS, the average annual salary for all human resources managers in May 2016 was $106,910. The bottom 10% earned $63,140 per year or less, while the top 10% earned $193,550 or more. Also, these managers worked in a variety of areas, where they earn lucrative salaries. Specifically, those who worked for:
- Management of companies and enterprises, earned an average annual salary of $121,390. 15% of human resources managers worked there.
- Professional, scientific, and technical services, earned an average annual salary of $120,980. 12% of human resources managers worked there.
- Manufacturing, earned an average annual salary of $103,200. 14% of human resources managers worked there.
- Government, earned an average annual salary of $95,950. 10% of human resources managers worked there.
- Healthcare and social assistance, earned an average annual salary of $91,250. 10% of human resources managers worked there.
Payscale.com has released a report on the average salaries for those with Master of Science in Human Resources Management and their most common roles. This showed that:
- Human Resources Managers earned an average annual salary of $66,090.
- Human Resources Directors earned an average annual salary of $79,500.
- Human Resources Business Partners earned an average annual salary of $67,193.
- Sr. Human Resources Business Partners earned an average annual salary of $93,500.
- Vice Presidents for Human Resources earned an average annual salary of $165,000.
Geographical location is a key influencing factor on how much someone can earn. That being said, it should be pointed out that in areas where salaries are higher, the cost of living will usually be higher too, which means that it does not always accurately reflect disposable income. According to the BLS, the top five states to work as a human resources manager are:
- New Jersey, with average annual salaries of $157,110.
- District of Columbia, with average annual salaries of $149,170.
- Rhode Island, with average annual salaries of $147,890.
- New York, with average annual salaries of $142,720.
- Colorado, with average annual salaries of $139,530.
The Payscale.com has reported on average salaries in cities:
- New York, New York, with average annual salaries of $53,100.
- Buffalo, New York, with average annual salaries of $90,030.
They also looked at the state data, showing average salaries as:
- New York, with average annual salaries of $65,000.
- Florida, with average annual salaries of $47,500.
- Texas, with average annual salaries of $76,000.
- Pennsylvania, with average annual salaries of $60,917.
- Virginia, with average annual salaries of $67,000.
- District of Columbia, with average annual salaries of $47,000.
Indeed.com has issued a report on the most popular employers of human resources managers in the country, and their associated salaries. This showed that:
- PwC pays an average salary of $95,086 per year.
- General Dynamics Information Technology pays an average salary of $87,426 per year.
- Lockheed Martin pays an average salary of $79,699 per year.
- Fluor Corp. pays an average salary of $75,276 per year.
- Best Buy pays an average salary of $80,169 per year.
- Comcast pays an average salary of $70,834 per year.
- Paychex, Inc. pays an average salary of $64,332 per year.
- Sprint pays an average salary of $65,824 per year.
- AT&T pays an average salary of $64,343 per year.
- United States Department of Defense pays an average salary of $62,629 per year.
In order to have a lucrative career in human resources management, it pays to have a good education. This starts with a bachelor’s degree. Fortunately, for the convenience of students, many colleges and universities have now made their degree programs available online, but campus studies are still available. One example of a bachelor’s degree in human resources management is the Bachelor of Science in Human Resource Management offered by Columbia Southern University. The curriculum of this degree includes:
- Humanities and Fine Arts
- Social and Behavioral Sciences
- Natural Sciences
- English Composition
- Organizational Communications
- Intercultural Management
- Information Systems Management
- Principles of Management
- Compensation and Benefits
- Human Resource Management
- Employment Law
- Collective Bargaining
- Training and Development
- Human Relations and Development
- International Human Resource Management
- Staffing Organizations
- Business Policy and Strategy
Naturally, a master’s degree would be even better for your career. This will give you the opportunity to gain advanced skills and knowledge in your field, and set yourself apart from the rest of the crowd. Many master’s programs are also offered online, which makes it easier than ever to obtain a master’s degree without the work schedule being disrupted to the extent that students would have to file for a vacation leave.
An excellent example of such a degree is the MS in Human Resource Management and Development offered by NYU School of Professional Studies. This program is available both on campus and online. It also offers students the opportunity to choose from one of four concentrations:
- Human Resource Management
- Organizational Effectiveness
- Learning, Development, and Executive Coaching
- Global Talent Management
Each college or university would have its own admission requirements. However, they are usually quite similar because these criteria are needed to find out whether or not the applicant has the academic capacity to complete a program at the graduate degree level. For instance, the admissions requirements for the master’s degree at the NYU School of Professional Studies are:
- A bachelor’s degree from an accredited university
- All official transcripts
- A personal statement
- A resume
- GRE/GMAT (optional)
- TOEFL/IELTS for non-native English speakers
Colleges and universities will also have different curricula. This is why it is very important to study with an accredited university, as this guarantees prospective employers that your degree included courses that meet the minimum requirements for the profession. One example is the curriculum for MS in Human Resource Management and Development at the NYU School of Professional Studies, which varies depending on the concentration, although all students have to complete a number of core courses. The curriculum includes:
- Managing in a Global Economy
- Quantitative Methods and Metrics for Decision Making
- Financial Management
- Information Technology
- Foundations of Human Resource Management
- Organizational Behavior
- Business Strategy & Ethics
- Business Writing and Presentations
Students then have to determine their concentration and choose a number of electives from each of those concentrations.
Pursuing an education, especially a master’s degree, is quite expensive. Substantial investments in both time and money are required. But it will all boil down to monetary investments because time has a monetary equivalent. For instance, you may need to reduce your work load while you study, which implies reduced income. And it goes without saying that the tuition and other expenses are quite substantial for higher education. Fortunately, almost all colleges and universities will provide assistance to students in getting financial aid. They may also have scholarships and grants available that you can apply for. At the same time, there are a number of external scholarships that you may want to consider. These include the:
- Art Edgarian and Charles Umshied Scholarship, a scholarship of $1,000 for those who are members of an accepted HR organization.
- Barbara Sanchez Scholarship Fund, a $1,500 award for those who look for a career in the media industry.
- Britt and Vahna Benedict Scholarship in Management, to the value of $1,000, for those enrolled at the University of North Texas.
- CCHRA Member Professional Development Scholarship, a $500 award for those already working in the field of human resources management in Cape Cod.
- Drew Young Student Scholarship Award, a $2,000 award for those who are members of the SHRM.
- Edward S. Goldmacher Educational Scholarship Fund, a $3,500 to $5,000 award for those who are nominated by the International Association for Human Resource Information Management.
- Future Stars in HR Scholarships, a $3,000 award for New England students. It also comes with a one year membership to the Northeast Human Resources Association.
- Garden State Human Resource Leadership Scholarship, a $1,000 award for residents of New Jersey.
- Georgia M. Sherman Award for Excellence in HRM, awarded to those who demonstrate excellence in human resource management.
- Go Further in Human Resources Scholarship Program, a $2,000 award for WGU Texas students.
It should be noted that most scholarships would mean that you have to meet certain requirements. These include studying at a certain school, taking on a certain concentration, aiming to work in a certain field, demonstrating financial need, holding a minimum GPA, belonging to a certain minority group, being a member of a professional organization, or being of a certain gender.
There is no requirement to be certified in the field of human resources management, but it is certainly recommended. It shows that one is committed to the profession, and demonstrates expertise in certain aspects. That said, completing certification does require a further investment of time and money, and you often have to maintain certification through continuous education credits. Luckily, most people would agree that this is a very worthy investment, as it opens up various kinds of careers. Some certifications that you may want to consider in the field of human resources management are the:
- Professional in Human Resources (PHR)
- Senior Professional in Human Resources (SPHR)
- Associate Professional of HR (APHR)
It is a good idea right from the start to become a member of certain professional organizations, even at bachelor’s level. This is because these organizations often have scholarships and grants that you could then be eligible for. Also, you will always be at the forefront of new developments within your field, thus ensuring that your skills and knowledge are always up to date. In addition, you may find it easier to complete certifications and continuous education credits. Finally, you may find it easier to build a professional network that could serve you well as you grow in your career. Some of the organizations to look into are the:
- Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM)
- National Institute of Personnel Management (NIPM)
- Professionals In Human Resources Association (PHRA)
- Recognition Professionals International (RPI)
- Association for Talent Development (ASTD)
- Occupational Outlook Handbook – Human Resources Managers. (2016, May). Retrieved from https://www.bls.gov/ooh/management/human-resources-managers.htm
- Payscale.com – Master of Science (MS), Human Resources Management (HRM) Degree Average Salary. (2017, Apr. 22). Retrieved from http://www.payscale.com/research/US/Degree=Master_of_Science_(MS)%2C_Human_Resources_Management_(HRM)/Salary
- Human Resources Manager Salaries in the United States. (2017, Apr. 27). Retrieved from https://www.indeed.com/salaries/Human-Resources-Manager-Salaries?from=serpsalaryblock
- Bachelor of Science in Human Resource Management. (n.d.). Retrieved from http://www.columbiasouthern.edu/human-resource/bs-human-resource
- MS in Human Resource Management and Development. (n.d.). Retrieved from http://www.scps.nyu.edu/academics/departments/leadership/academic-offerings/graduate/ms-in-human-resources-management-and-development.html