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HR Specialist

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Overall Score
(6.0 out of 10)

Number of Jobs

35,400

Median Salary

$55,930

Unemployment Rate

5.3 percent

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This Job is Ranked in
Best Business Jobs #15
The 100 Best Jobs #71

A human resources training specialist may have a different set of tasks to complete every day, ranging from recruiting or training new employees to answering questions about employee benefits and addressing compliance issues. “Human resources jobs may literally involve any aspect of an employer’s workforce,” says Nancy H. Segal, owner of HR consulting firm Solutions for the Workplace, LLC. “There’s enough variety for everyone, and each specialty requires a different knowledge base.” These professionals have five major specialities: compensation and benefits; training and development; employment, recruiting and placement; information systems; and employee assistance. The work requires analytical skills, a fresh perspective and business knowledge. Jobs often include flexible hours and telecommuting, and involve collaborating with project teams and employees who are based outside the office.

The Bureau of Labor Statistics projects 15.5 percent employment growth in this field between 2012 and 2022, which is faster than the average for all occupations. That equates to 35,400 new jobs for HR training specialists.

Salary

HR training specialists earned a median salary of $55,930 in 2012, according to the BLS. The highest-paid 10 percent earned $93,470, while the lowest-paid 10 percent earned $31,910. The best-paid in the profession work on the West Coast in San Luis Obispo, Calif., Oakland, Calif., and Seattle.

Salary Range

75th Percentile $74,070
Median $55,930
25th Percentile $41,440

Training

A bachelor’s degree is required for a job in this field, but it doesn’t have to be in business or even related to human resources. Still, Segal says, “I encourage people to take business classes because HR is a management function, and if you ultimately want a seat at the table, then an understanding of how HR affects the bottom line is essential.” Professional in Human Resources and Senior Professional in Human Resources are the “industry standard” certifications, according to Segal. A graduate degree in human resources, a Masters of Business Administration or a law degree will also give you a leg-up in the field. For college students and recent graduates looking to land an entry-level position, internships are a great route.

Reviews & Advice

If Segal was hiring a new specialist, she says she would consider “someone who is smart, understands that HR is part of the management function, has business savvy and a keen analytical mind.” Like other areas of business, HR focuses on innovation and return on investment, she says. “HR needs creative, innovative thinkers to take us past the traditional paper processing and compliance focus to show our value and ROI in the global economy in new ways,” she says. In addition to having fresh ideas, Segal says you must demonstrate good writing skills, be able to work with financial data and have a solid understanding of your industry. “Being in HR in a startup tech company is not the same as being in HR in a bank or a manufacturing company or in the entertainment industry,” she says. “While there is some obvious overlap, if you want to be truly effective, be seen as more than a paper pusher and have a seat at the table, you need to show that you understand the business you’re in and how HR can support the bottom line.”

Job Satisfaction

Upward Mobility fair Average
Stress Level poor Above Average
Flexibility poor Below Average
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Last updated by Evan Taylor.


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