HR Salary in the US: Build Career in HR

Did you know that the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics predicts the employment of human resource (HR) managers to grow 6% from 2019 to 2029, faster than the average projected increase for all professions? 

Human resource managers are an indispensable part of every organization. They oversee employee hiring, staff training, development, and organizational processes and policies. As companies worldwide adapt to new and emerging technologies, laws, and programs aimed at improving employee experiences and interrelationships, the critical role of HR managers has gained prominence across industries.

Naturally, those interested in pursuing a career in HR management would be inclined to know about the average HR manager salary in the U.S. But what does an HR manager actually do? How does the job profile look like? How can prospective professionals develop their skills to build rewarding careers in this evolving and challenging role? 

Read on to find out all about the HR salary in the U.S., factors affecting compensation, the job profile, and upGrad programs that will help you develop the skills required to flourish in the field. 

Average HR Manager Salary in the U.S.

The average base salary of an HR manager in the U.S. is US$ 68,766. 

Here is a breakdown of the average total compensation an HR manager in the U.S. can expect based on work experience (according to Payscale):

  • An entry-level HR manager with less than one year of experience can expect to draw an average annual compensation of US$ 52,280. This includes bonuses, tips, and overtime pay.
  • An early-career HR manager with 1-4 years of experience will earn an average total compensation of US$ 60,420.
  • An HR manager in their mid-career with 5-9 years of experience can expect an average annual salary of US$ 69,326.
  • The average total annual compensation of an experienced HR manager with 10-19 years in the field can be around US$ 73,990.
  • Employees in their late-career with more than 20 years of experience can expect an average annual salary of US$ 75,719.

Major Factors Affecting HR Manager Salary

Managing personnel and overseeing recruitment processes has never really been the kind of job that requires formal education or training. In fact, it is not extraordinary to find HR managers who have entered the profession through circumstance rather than through planning and design. 

Nevertheless, HR manager salaries today are determined by the candidate’s qualifications, job scope, and job location. Generally, the HR manager’s pay for a particular location will fall within a range, typical for professionals engaged in comparable jobs in similarly situated companies. Beyond that range, an exact salary will generally be based on factors unique to the candidate and the job profile.

Following are some significant factors that affect the HR salary:

  • Education: HR manager salaries are usually set based on an evaluation of the potential hire’s academic credentials, that is, candidates who have some sort of formal education such as a Master’s in Business Administration (MBA) and those who do not. A candidate with a Master’s degree will generally fetch a better salary offer than one who does not.
  • Skills: The skills of a prospective employee are entry-level criteria for the determination of the pay. You can upskill yourself with upGrad’s Professional Certificate Program in HR Management and Analytics and upgrade your resume for upcoming job interviews.
  • Work Experience: Typically, more years of work experience results in higher pay, but only up to a point. Suppose, if the HR manager position calls for a minimum of 5 years of work experience and you do not meet that requirement, you may find yourself on the lower end of the pay scale.
  • Performance: An employee’s performance review is an essential variable for considering salary hikes and promotions. In addition, your performance reviews from your previous job/jobs will give a complete idea of your abilities to your prospective employer when applying for a new job.
  • Scope of the job: The scope of the job is an essential determinant of the HR manager’s salary. This includes the number of employees to be managed, the complexity of employment policies, and the locations of the company’s operations. For instance, an HR manager overseeing a few hundred employees situated at one place can expect a lower salary than a manager who handles thousands of employees spread across multiple company locations.
  • Certifications: Although voluntary, a relevant certificate can go a long way in validating your professional credibility and expertise and, in turn, improve your job opportunities. Moreover, many employers prefer candidates with certification. upGrad offers an excellent Professional Certificate Program in HR Management and Analytics that can enhance your professional skills, making you an attractive prospect for potential recruiters. 

Job profile of an HR Manager

The primary role of a human resource manager is to oversee the administrative functions of an organization. An HR manager is typically associated with the following responsibilities:

  • Human resource managers plan and coordinate the organizations’ workforce for optimum utilization of the employees’ talents.
  • They supervise and manage the recruitment of prospective candidates, coordinate interviews with qualified applicants, and oversee the selection and hiring process.
  • Human resource managers are the link between a company’s management and its employees.
  • Human resource managers supervise employee benefit programs and payrolls to ensure that payments and benefits are processed correctly. Setting up incentive programs for new recruits also falls within the ambit of the HR manager’s job profile.
  • Human resource managers manage employee relations and various workplace issues such as sexual harassment claims, disputes, labour law negotiations, and workplace health and safety. They are also in charge of initiating disciplinary actions.
  •  The human resources manager also looks after the maintenance of training and development programs of new recruits. In addition, organizing and maintaining upskill programs for current employees is also a part of the HR manager’s job.

Build a Career in HR Management With upGrad

The first step towards building a bright career in human resource management is getting the relevant academic degree or certification. After all, a legitimate qualification has a massive role to play in improving your chances of becoming an HR manager.

upGrad is your best call if you are looking for an online higher education platform with flexible learning options. With a plethora of industry-relevant programs and courses spanning disciplines such as Management, Data Science, Software, Marketing, etc., upGrad combines the best-in-class technology and educational practices to deliver an extraordinary learning experience. With 40,000+ paid learners worldwide and a learner base across 85+ countries, upGrad has an unmatched reputation of providing world-class learning experiences to freshers and working professionals alike. 

If you want to enhance your credibility as a potential HR manager, apply at upGrad’s Professional Certificate Program in HR Management and Analytics from IIM Kozhikode and earn a prestigious certification from one of the top B-schools in the world. By enrolling in this program, you will be able to upgrade yourself in HR and Talent Analytics, understand industry trends by applying Analytics and grasp fundamental HR concepts from the IIMK faculty. To be eligible for the course, you either need a Bachelor’s degree with at least two years of work experience or a Master’s degree.

Program Highlights:

  • Program duration: 5 months
  • Professional certification from IIM Kozhikode
  • Cutting edge industry-relevant curriculum developed by IIMK faculty
  • Comprehensive coverage of essential HR concepts and analytical tools through live sessions
  • One-on-one feedback and discussion sessions with IIMK faculty
  • Career assistance to help learners face the industry upon completion of the course

If you want to take your career prospects a notch higher with a Master’s in Business Administration, enroll in MBA (Global) from Deakin Business School. This MBA degree from Australia’s top B-school will help you advance your career and pursue job opportunities in HR Management, Management Consulting, Business Development/Sales, Strategy, Operations, Marketing, and Finance.

Program Highlights:

  • Project duration: 24 months
  • Dual credentials – MBA from Deakin Business School, Australia and PGP in Management from IMT, Ghaziabad.
  • Recognized by World Education Services (WES).
  • Industry-relevant content by premier faculty and industry leaders.
  • 40+ live sessions, 20+ expert sessions, 10+ Harvard case studies, and a 6-week capstone project.
  • Industry networking, peer learning, Q&A forums, and one-on-one mentorship from industry leaders


Human resource managers are the lifelines of organizations. They usually have a lot on their plate, from overseeing procedures, policies, and compliance-related issues to managing employee benefit and incentive programs. However, the role is continuously evolving as organizations strive towards policies and laws targeted at maximizing employee experiences. Consequently, the HR manager’s salary in the U.S. will be dictated by several factors, including the scope of the job, work experience, skills, and candidates’ academic qualifications. 

With upGrad, you can rest assured that your journey towards becoming a successful HR manager will be smooth and full of immersive experiences. So, apply today to find a course that aligns with your career aspirations and meets your professional goals!

Are HR jobs in demand?

Yes, HR jobs are pretty high in demand. Data by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics predicts a 6% growth in the employment of human resource (HR) managers from 2019 to 2029, faster than the average projected increase for all professions.

What HR jobs pay the most?

Some of the highest paying HR roles include:
1. Change Management Specialist
2. International Human Resources Associate
3. Compensation and Benefits Manager
4. Training and Development Manager
5. Human Resources Director.

Which degree is best for HR?

A Bachelor’s degree is the minimum qualification for entry into the HR field. While it is not uncommon for candidates from diverse fields to pursue a career in HR management, a Bachelor’s in Human Resource Management is the most direct path to a career in human resources. With the increase in competition and talent, many employers may give more preference to candidates with a Master’s in HR Management or an MBA.

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