*Revised for accuracy on 1/30/17
Starting off as an HR professional can be exciting. You have the opportunity to directly influence the way that people are treated within your organization and potentially even on a grander scale in the workforce. While the ideals for starting out as an HR professional are noble, it’s important to consider pay in order to make sure you are getting a fair salary.
Average HR Professional Salary
According to Glassdoor and Indeed, the average salary for an HR professional in the United States is about $70,000 per year. According to the Occupational Outlook Handbook from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the median salary for an HR manager is $106,910. While these averages can help you to estimate earnings, they may not actually be representative of your earnings, as there are many variables that can influence pay.
Professions within HR Field
The actual salary that you receive may vary depending on your job title and where you work.
HR managers tend to draw salaries around $70,000 – though the top 10% of HR managers bring in closer to $190,000. The median income for benefits managers is about $116,000. HR specialists and recruiters are lower on the spectrum, earning around $55,000 to $60,000 per year.
HR in Different Industries
HR salaries can also be very different depending on the industry that you choose to operate within. HR professionals working in information services or commodity contracts brokerage can expect to earn about $165,000 per year. HR professionals in the hospitality industry should expect to gross around $65,000.
Location, Location, Location
Salary averages across every industry and profession can vary widely depending upon the location in which the company operates. In California, HR managers enjoy a median salary of about $110,000, while in Tennessee a more modest salary of about $59,000 is standard. When considering job opportunities, it’s important to factor in the cost of living in the area, as an inflated salary may be indicative of high local expenses.
Gaining Seniority within Your Organization
Exhibiting company loyalty can really pay off when it comes to salary. Most companies provide pay raises annually or bi-annually. Companies may also provide merit increases as an incentive to perform well.
Over time, it can be lucrative and smart to stay with a company. Raises will continue to accumulate, but promotional opportunities will also likely open up and provide an avenue for growth, development, and increased earnings. Additionally, you prove your value to the organization and solidify your position, which can offer a degree of job security not available to those that move quickly from one organization to another.
Certifications and Raise Potential
HR certifications demonstrate a level of commitment to HR excellence that many companies appreciate. It’s not unheard of for HR professionals that have certifications to start off with higher salaries than professionals that haven’t attained certifications. Some companies will also increase salaries for professionals that pursue certification while employed.
The HR field offers a range of salaries depending on your skill level and ambition. Research your area and exact position title to ensure a fair starting wage before accepting a position. Realize that infinite possibilities exist once you have entered the field for increasing your salary and growing.