Human resources specialists handle an organization’s day to day human resources functions, such as recruiting and interviewing new employees, administering company policies and procedures, employee training and development and administering employee benefits. Gaining human resources experience involves possessing the skills that employers seek out, acquiring educational qualifications and finding various ways to gain work experience in the field. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, job opportunities are best suited for aspiring human resources specialists and labor relations managers who have college degrees.
Assess your qualifications and develop the skills that employers look for in hiring human resources professionals. Working in the human resources field entails having the ability to work well with varying personalities and diverse groups of employees. Patience, integrity and fair-mindedness are good qualities for prospective human resources professionals. Human resources specialists and labor relations managers should have strong written and verbal communication skills. In addition to having specific qualities, strong computer skills, analytical and conflict resolution skills are beneficial for these types of job positions. You can develop these qualities and skills by gaining a wide range of experience in different industries and professions.
Acquire a bachelor’s or master’s degree in human resources, human resources administration, labor relations or related field. Most colleges and universities offer graduate-level degree programs in human resources related courses of study. However, it is beneficial to take undergraduate courses related the human resources specialty, such as courses in business administration, management, finance, law and economics.
Obtain an internship in human resources while you are completing your educational degree requirements. Completing an internship can help you apply the skills and theories that you learned in your classes. Also, while you are working to acquire your bachelor’s or master’s degree, obtaining part-time or summer employment in a human resources or labor relations department of an organization can help you gain valuable experience, which can ultimately help you acquire a position as a human resources professional. Additionally, volunteering with community development projects and campus organizations can help you develop your organizational skills and add to your qualifications.
Take an entry-level position in a human resources department, such as a human resources assistant or benefits assistant position. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, many employers hire individuals who have a technical, business or liberal arts degree for entry-level human resources positions; this is an alternative option to gaining experience in the human resources field if you’re trying to gain experience without having a degree in human resources. Having a master’s degree in a human resources course of study can provide the best opportunities for gaining experience.
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.