Starting Salaries for HR Managers


Human resources managers, also known as HR managers, control recruiting, benefit and other employee relations functions in an organization. At larger entities, an HR manager is responsible for overseeing the HR department, while at smaller companies the HR manager may represent the entire human resources staff. A bachelor's degree in human resources or business is the most common entry route into the field.

HR Managers Starting Salaries

  • The Bureau of Labor Statistics estimates that the 2009 starting salary for HR managers averaged $58,490 per year or $28.12 per hour. This figure, which represents the average of the bottom 10 percent of pay for all HR managers, is far below the median wage of $96,550 per year for all HR managers across the nation.

HR Manager Starting Salaries By State

  • The starting salary for HR managers was heavily influenced by their state of employment. The top five states in terms of starting salary in 2009 were: Delaware ($82,110); New Jersey ($77,350); Rhode Island ($74,480); the District of Columbia ($72,740); and Virginia ($70,720). The bottom five states were: Tennessee ($44,920); Indiana ($44,900); North Dakota ($44,880); New Mexico ($44,480); and Oklahoma ($36,500).

Best Municipalities For HR Manager Starting Salaries

  • All of the top 10 municipalities offered starting salaries for HR managers that were more than 50 percent higher than the average nationally. As of 2009, the top 10 municipalities were: San Jose-Sunnyvale-Santa Clara, CA ($85,330); Wilmington, DE-MD-NJ ($84,990); Trenton-Ewing, NJ ($84,620); Oakland-Fremont-Hayward, CA ($80,270); Bethesda-Frederick-Gaithersburg, MD ($79,610); York-Hanover, PA ($79,440); Boulder, CO ($79,270); San Francisco-San Mateo-Redwood City, CA ($79,080); Newark-Union, NJ-PA ($77,620); Kennewick-Pasco-Richland, WA ($77,170).

Career Information For HR Managers

  • The Society For Human Resources Management, the largest industry organization for the profession, lists a variety of job functions common to HR managers: benefits, compensation, diversity, employee relations, ethics, global employment, union relations, employee development, safety, recruiting and technology. In small companies, a single HR manager may be responsible for all areas, while at larger firms HR managers generally have a specialty. Most HR managers hold a bachelor's degree in business upon starting employment. More experienced HR managers may have a specialized bachelors in human resources or a master's degree in human resources.

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