What Is the Highest Level of HR?

In a corporation, human resources professionals are responsible for maintaining employment levels and hiring skilled workers to accomplish company goals. Effective human resources management is crucial to an organization during times of change, such as a company merger. The highest levels of HR employment make decisions that can affect the employment practices of an entire organization.


The highest level of employment for HR professionals includes positions such as director of human resources or director of industrial relations. Some human resources managers at large companies move into an executive role with their company or corporation. The Reference for Business website indicates that the career path from assistant human resources manager to a top-level position such as vice president of human resources can take from 15 to 20 years to complete.


The average salary for human resources managers working in the United States in 2010 was $108,600 per year, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. The top 25 percent of wage-earning HR managers earned a salary of at least $130,090 per year, or $62.54 per hour, as of May 2010. Industries offering the highest pay levels for human resources managers include automotive manufacturers, amusement parks, as well as insurance and employee benefit funds.

High-Level Roles

High-level human resources managers typically take on duties that impact an entire corporate organization. For example, human resources managers can act as a dispute facilitator for senior employees as well as a coach for top executives of the company. High-level HR managers working for multinational organizations also have to consider the consequences of globalization as well as offshoring for their companies, decisions that can impact the salary levels and nature of employment for an entire company.


Advancement prospects for high-level HR management positions can be improved for a professional by earning certifications from various industry organizations. For example, the Association of Business Executives offers four different diploma programs in human resources management. Other organizations offering certification in human resources management include the International Foundation of Employee Benefit Plans, the American Society for Training and Development, and the Society for Human Resource Management. Many universities also offer graduate degrees and doctoral programs in human resource management.

2016 Salary Information for Human Resources Managers

Human resources managers earned a median annual salary of $106,910 in 2016, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. On the low end, human resources managers earned a 25th percentile salary of $80,800, meaning 75 percent earned more than this amount. The 75th percentile salary is $145,220, meaning 25 percent earn more. In 2016, 136,100 people were employed in the U.S. as human resources managers.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *