In this Article
Human Resources Education and Career Guide
What Is a Human Resources (HR) Manager's Salary?
Median Annual Salary
The annual median salary for an HR manager with a bachelor's degree is $126,230, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS).
Median Salary: $126,230
Projected job growth: 7.3%
10th Percentile: $75,000
25th Percentile: $95,310
75th Percentile: $163,360
90th Percentile: N/A
Projected job growth: 7.3%
|State||Median Salary||Bottom 10%||Top 10%|
|District of Columbia||$162,040||$100,250||N/A|
Source: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) 2021 median salary; projected job growth through 2031. Actual salaries vary depending on location, level of education, years of experience, work environment, and other factors. Salaries may differ even more for those who are self-employed or work part time.
A Range of Salaries
The role and responsibilities of a human resources manager vary greatly by employer. For example, larger organizations may have more HR professionals working in specialized areas, while smaller organizations have fewer managers who handle multiple areas as the need arises. These factors, along with geographic location, education, and experience affect what HR managers earn.
The BLS reports that HR managers in the top 25% of earners make $163,360, while those in the lowest 10% earn $75,000.
Salaries by Metro Area
Many of the highest-paying metro areas for HR managers in the U.S. are on the coasts. Here are the top 10, according to BLS data.
More Factors that Influence Salary
There are other factors that can influence the salary of an HR manager. Here are some to consider when you think about how much you'd like to earn in this role.
While you can land a job with an associate degree in human resource management, an HR manager typically has a bachelor's degree in human resources, business administration, or a related field. The knowledge, skills, and critical thinking experience you gain from your education are essential for a managerial role, which involves planning, managing, and decision making.
Rue Dooley, SHRM-SCP, the HR knowledge advisor for the Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM), says a growing number of HR professionals have master's degrees, so you may want to consider earning a graduate degree after you're grounded in your career and know which direction you want to take it. "The more formal education a student can get, the better," says Dooley.
An HR manager typically needs two to three years of experience before they're qualified to manage others. Entry-level positions such as HR specialist are likely to offer lower salaries because you don't have practical experience yet. But with some experience, you can increase your opportunities and earning potential.
Entry-level positions such as HR specialist are likely to offer lower salaries because you don't have on-the-job experience yet. But you can increase your opportunities and earning potential with experience from your first roles.
Professional certifications can also increase your earning power. A certification demonstrates to others that you've mastered specific knowledge and skills beyond what you learned in your degree program.
The SHRM Senior Certified Professional (SHRM-SCP), granted by the Society for Human Resource Management, is one such credential for HR Managers.
Human resources managers work in all types of industries, large and small organizations, and public and private enterprises.
According to the BLS, these are the median annual salaries for some of the top workplaces for HR managers.
|Professional, Scientific, and Technical Services||$142,710|
|Management of Companies and Enterprises||$151,750|
|Office Administrative Services||$127,380|
While many HR managers are generalists who manage a department, you may have the opportunity to manage one or more specialties, such as recruiting and hiring, in a larger organization if you have the right experience.
Specializing in a particular industry can also make you more valuable to prospective employers. For example, working as an HR manager in healthcare can allow you to develop expertise specific to that field and the challenges of working with employees in that industry.
Jobs for HR managers are expected to grow by 7.3% through 2031, according to the BLS. That's slightly faster than the projected growth for all occupations.
The BLS reports that professional, scientific, and technical services employ the most HR managers.
If you're wondering about the opportunities in your geographic area, consider the size of your state population. As you might expect, states with higher populations have the most jobs for HR managers, while states with lower populations employ fewer managers.
States with the Most HR Managers
States with the Fewest HR Managers
HR Manager Salaries Compared to Similar Roles
If you're passionate about human resources but curious about your earning potential in comparison to similar roles, here's a look at BLS salaries for HR managers and occupations that require similar education and experience.
|Career||Median Annual Salary|
|Human Resources Managers||$126,230|
|Administrative Services and Facilities Managers||$99,290|
|Computer and Information Systems Managers||$159,010|