A Degree in Human Resource Salary Overview

Find Your Degree!

Are you interested in becoming a human resources professional? If you are planning on applying to an online human resources program or a traditional college to attend a human resources degree program, it is important to educate yourself about the career paths that you can take before you invest your valuable time and your hard-earned money. Many people take time to research employment opportunities and growth within the field when they are considering a profession or a specific degree. While these are important indicators to keep in mind when you are choosing an occupation, you should also consider your entry-level earning potential and long-term earning professional in human resources. Here is your guide to the human resources salary:

Related Resource: Entry Level Human Resources Jobs

What is the Average Human Resources Salary?

If you are wondering what your bachelor’s degree human resources salary expectations should be, the first thing you should do is research the average human resources salary reported in the United States. The United States Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) is dedicated to gathering data on the salaries that all tax-paying human resources professionals earn each year.  They then calculate an average of the high and the low salaries to come up with a median figure. While it is possible to earn significantly more or less than the average salary, these figures can help you see what entry-level earning potential averages out to.  The BLS reports salary information for several popular HR positions.  We take a look at the HR average salaries for each of these positions.  

Bachelors in Human Resource Management Salary Information

Human resources have come a long way in the recent years. Now, there are a variety of different titles within the HR department, and all of these titles contribute in their own unique way. You could become an HR generalist when you graduate college and eventually work your way up to becoming an HR manager or Coordinator once you gain experience. Earning potential is directly related to your title and the organization that you work for. If you work in an organization that employs a huge base of employees, the employer will generally pay HR professionals higher salary bases and raises.

Human Resources Specialists

As a specialist in the field of HR, you can earn a median annual wage of $62,290/year.  Human resources specialists work in an office setting, with a variety of possible responsibilities including:

  • interviewing job applicants
  • training new employees
  • administering benefits

The lowest 10% of earners make less than $37,680 while the highest 10% earn over $108,160/year.  Top paying industries for HR specialists include:

  • Professional, scientific, and technical services – $76,920/year
  • Government – $74,150/year
  • Manufacturing – $72,370/year

The human resource degree salary outlook also varies by location.  Specialists in California have an annual mean wage of $81,360/year while a Specialist in Ohio can expect an annual mean wage of $63,910.  

Human Resources Manager

HR professionals with experience and education may want to consider becoming a human resources manager.  According to the BLS, a human resources manager has a median annual salary of $126,230/year.  Most jobs require at least a bachelor’s degree, although some require at least a master’s degree.  

The best paying industries for human resources managers are:

  • Professional, scientific, and technical services – $133,980/year
  • Management of companies and enterprises – $130,340/year
  • Manufacturing – $125,080/year

The top paying states for human resources managers are located on the East Coast.  While HR managers can find work in any state, if salary is most important, these states are worth looking at.

  • New York – $180,380/year
  • New Jersey – $170,850/year
  • District of Columbia – $162,810/year

The highest 10% of human resources management professionals earn over $208,000/year while the lowest 10% of earners make less $75,000/year.  Compensation also includes a quality benefits package that includes medical, dental, vision, and paid time off. These are all worth additional value.

Compensation and Benefits Managers

Another popular job for those looking for a high human resources bachelor’s degree salary is a compensation and benefits manager.  According to the BLS, the 2021 median pay for this role is $127,530/year.  This professional role is responsible for managing compensation and benefits for employees.  They plan, development and oversee an organization’s efforts in this area.  They are needed in every industry.  A bachelor’s or master’s degree in human resources is typically required for this role.

The highest paid compensation and benefits managers work in these industries:

  • Management of companies and enterprises
  • Professional, scientific, and technical services
  • Insurance carriers and related activities
  • Healthcare and social assistance

While benefits and compensation professionals can find jobs in any state, the top paying states are on the East Coast.  The top paying states for this professional role are:

  • New York – $185,620/year
  • New Jersey – $174,680/year
  • Connecticut – $160,520/year

Training and Development Manager

Training and Development Managers plan and coordinate staff training and professional development efforts for an organization.  The human resource degree salary outlook is favorable with the median annual salary for this role being $120,130/year.  While a bachelor’s degree is the minimum requirement for these roles, due to the professional nature of the job, many find a master’s degree is the way to secure the best jobs.  

The sky is the limit in terms of salary for a training and development manager.  The highest 10% of workers earned over $207,420/year.  The lowest 10% of workers earned $64,370/year which is still above average.  

The highest paying industries for training and development managers are:

  • Professional, scientific, and technical services – $132,020/year
  • Management of companies and enterprises – $127,020/year
  • Finance and insurance – $119/400/year
  • Healthcare and social assistance – $100,720/year

The job outlook for training and development managers is favorable.  The BLS reports a projected growth rate of 7% through 2031, with 3,700 openings projected each year.


You must consider the size of the employer, the type of employer, required educational level, and experience when you are calculating your earning potential. Once you earn your degree, you can start searching for job openings and see how much you can earn in your region. While experience in HR is important, so is a formal education. Choose a specialty that pays well and that interests you, and once you set your sights to this specialty you can focus on professional development in the future.

Related Resource: Is an HR Degree Worth It?