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Human Resources Manager

Human resources managers and specialists in the past performed the administrative function of an organization, such as handling employee benefits questions or recruiting, interviewing, and hiring new staff in accordance with policies established by top management. Today's human resources workers manage these tasks, but, increasingly, they also consult with top executives regarding strategic planning. They have moved from behind-the-scenes staff work to leading the company in suggesting and changing policies.

Hours: Many human resources, training, and labor relations managers and specialists work a standard 35- to 40-hour week. However, longer hours might be necessary for some workers—for example, labor relations managers and specialists, arbitrators, and mediators—when contract agreements are being prepared and negotiated.

Opportunities: Human resources, training, and labor relations managers and specialists were employed in virtually every industry. About 17,000 managers and specialists were self-employed, working as consultants to public and private employers.

The private sector accounted for nearly 9 out of 10 jobs, including 13 percent in administrative and support services; 10 percent in professional, scientific, and technical services; 9 percent in health care and social assistance; 9 percent in finance and insurance firms; and 7 percent in manufacturing.

Pay: Median annual earnings of human resources managers, all other were $88,510 in May 2006. The middle 50 percent earned between $67,710 and $114,860. The lowest 10 percent earned less than $51,810, and the highest 10 percent earned more than $145,600. In May 2006, median annual earnings were $98,400 in the management of companies and enterprises industry.

Training: The educational backgrounds of human resources, training, and labor relations managers and specialists vary considerably, reflecting the diversity of duties and levels of responsibility. In filling entry-level jobs, many employers seek college graduates who have majored in human resources, human resources administration, or industrial and labor relations. Other employers look for college graduates with a technical or business background or a well-rounded liberal arts education.

Citation: Suggested citation: Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, Occupational Outlook Handbook, 2008-09 Edition , Human Resources, Training, and Labor Relations Managers and Specialists, on the Internet at http://www.bls.gov/oco/ocos021.htm (visited July 22, 2009 ).

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