Human resources departments are responsible for maintaining solid communication between employees and administration. From regulating federal guidelines on discrimination to hiring and terminating employees, human resources professionals perform a variety of tasks related to maintaining this line of communication. Like other jobs, human resources is not restricted to one level or tier; human resources managers oversee HR departments and provide further administrative support to higher management professionals. Likewise, a human resources consultant holds a position of authority among other HR professionals and acts in a supervisory role with a wide range of responsibilities. Read on to learn more about the role of a human resources consultant.

Education and Certifications

It might surprise those interested in this career that an HR consultant does not need an advanced degree in order to become a successful professional in the field. The Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM) lists a bachelor’s degree in business administration or a related field as the only degree requirement. In addition to the bachelor’s degree, HR consultants also need three years of professional experienced working in an HR department.

Because human resources policies change frequently, HR consultants are required to stay up-to-date on the latest rules and regulations. The National Association of Human Resource Consultants (NAHRC) expects its members to remain “educated and up to date on the latest technology and services available in the human resources industry.” As such, HR consultants may be required to attend various professional development seminars and adhere to state and local guidelines for continuing education.

Major Responsibilities

According to the SHRM, an HR consultant will “Perform advanced, specialized and administrative duties in a designated human resource program or section area” and is responsible for providing high-level support in the administration of a human resources program.” Human resource consultants undertake a lot of administrative responsibility in their day-to-day tasks. In essence, they interpret human resources policy and offer advice on its implementation in an organization or business. From answering questions on policy to presenting training sessions on complex HR procedures, HR consultants are largely responsible for a company’s continued compliance with human resources policy.

Job Outlook & Salary

In an article on the best 100 jobs in America for 2010, CNN ranked human resources consultant as number 43 with a median pay of $92,000 per year. In its 2012 Occupational Outlook Handbook, the U.S. Bureau of Labor and Statistics (BLS) listed the median salary for human resource managers as $99,180 per year with a projected job outlook of 13 percent growth over the next decade. Suffice it to say, the median salary and job growth expectations look promising for HR consultants. As professionals who perform high-stress jobs in HR departments, their pay is commensurate with the experience and qualifications necessary for the job.

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For those who enjoy working with individuals, companies and organizations to maximize employee potential and helping to solidify growth, human resources consulting offers a rewarding career path with great job advancement. As legal requirements evolve and companies are required to meet the ever-changing demands of professional ethics, human resources consultants will be valued for their ability to perform high-level support to human resources departments across the country.