A human resource specialist or manager with a PHR designation has passed a certification exam to become a “Human Resource Professional.” PHRs are certified in many different areas of human resources, including labor management; employment practices; staffing management; organization and employee development; benefits and compensation; and employee relations. Some may choose to specialize in one area of human resources or work as a generalist with many responsibilities. PHRs earn salaries averaging over $60,000 annually.
Salary and Qualifications
PHRs earned average annual salaries of $65,000 as of 2013, according to the job website Indeed. Most PHRs have at least a bachelor’s degree in human resources or business. Employers may also prefer at least a year or two of experience in human resources. The HR Certification Institute lists the following requirements for PHR certification: one year of experience in human resources with a master’s degree; two years of experience with a bachelor’s degree; and four years of experience with a high school diploma. Other essential requirements for PHRs include an attention to detail and decision-making, management, interpersonal, organization and communication skills.
Salary by Region
In 2013, average salaries for PHRs varied considerably within certain U.S. regions. In the West region, they earned the highest salaries of $71,000 in California and the lowest of $46,000 in Hawaii. Those in the Northeast made $57,000 to $78,000 per year, respectively, in Maine and New York. PHRs working in the Midwest earned between $50,000 and $69,000, respectively, in South Dakota and Illinois. In the South, they made the most in Washington, D.C., and the least in Louisiana – $76,000 versus $55,000, respectively.
A PHR’s salary may vary within certain industries. While the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics doesn’t list specific salaries for PHRs, it does for human resources specialists, who perform similar functions to PHRs. In 2012, human resources specialists earned the highest average salaries in the sound recording and securities and commodities’ industries, according to the BLS – $83,490 and $81,360, respectively, versus an industry average of $60,660 annually. PHRs may also earn more working for the federal government, which paid human resources specialists $80,410 per year.
The BLS projects that jobs in the employment services industry will increase 55 percent in the next decade. This means PHRs may find more job opportunities with companies that offer human resources services to corporations. Many companies are outsourcing their human resources departments to cut labor expenses. PHRs may also find more job opportunities in healthcare companies, or as specialists in employee benefits. The healthcare industry is growing. Moreover, new federal health-care laws in 2014 – when everyone must have health insurance – may produce more jobs for PHRs.
2018 Salary Information for Human Resources Specialists
Human resources specialists earned a median annual salary of $60,880 in May 2018, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. On the low end, human resources specialists earned a 10th percentile salary of $44,620, meaning 90 percent earned more than this amount. The 90th percentile salary is $78,460, meaning 10 percent earn more. In 2018, 625,700 people were employed in the U.S. as human resources specialists.