How Much Do Human Resource Managers Make: Understanding Salaries in the HR Field

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Human Resource Managers

Are you considering a career in human resources? One of the burning questions on your mind might be, “How much do human resource managers make?” Understanding the salary range for this role is crucial for planning your career path and setting realistic expectations. In this article, we will delve into the factors that influence human resource manager salaries, provide an overview of the average salary range, highlight the highest paying industries, and address frequently asked questions to help you gain a comprehensive understanding of HR manager salaries.

Factors Affecting Human Resource Manager Salaries

When it comes to determining the salary of a human resource manager, several factors come into play. These factors can significantly impact the earning potential of HR professionals. Let’s take a closer look at some key factors:

Education and Qualifications

Education plays a vital role in shaping the salary potential of human resource managers. Typically, holding a bachelor’s degree in human resources or a related field is the minimum requirement for entry-level positions. However, obtaining advanced degrees like a Master’s in Human Resources or an MBA can open doors to higher-paying roles and increased responsibilities.

Experience and Expertise

As with many professions, experience plays a significant role in determining salary. Human resource managers with several years of experience are generally compensated more than those in entry-level positions. Additionally, specialized expertise in areas such as talent acquisition, compensation and benefits, or employee relations can also contribute to higher salaries.

Industry and Company Size

The industry in which a human resource manager works can have a substantial impact on their salary. Industries with high demand for HR professionals, such as technology, finance, and healthcare, often offer more competitive compensation packages. Additionally, the size and financial stability of the company can influence salaries. Larger organizations tend to offer higher salaries and better benefits packages compared to smaller companies.

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Geographic Location

Geographic location is another significant factor that affects human resource manager salaries. Salaries can vary greatly depending on the cost of living and the demand for HR professionals in a particular area. For instance, HR managers in major metropolitan areas or regions with a high cost of living generally earn higher salaries compared to those in smaller towns or rural areas.

Average Salary Range for Human Resource Managers

Now that we have explored the key factors that impact HR manager salaries, let’s dive into the average salary range you can expect in this field. It’s important to note that these figures are approximate and can vary based on factors mentioned earlier.

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), as of May 2020, the median annual wage for human resource managers was $121,220. The lowest 10% earned less than $68,300, while the highest 10% earned more than $205,720. These figures provide a general overview, but keep in mind that salaries can differ based on factors such as location, industry, and experience level.

Highest Paying Industries for Human Resource Managers

While the average salary range provides a broad understanding of HR manager earnings, it’s worth exploring the industries that offer the highest compensation. Here are some industries known for their higher-paying HR positions:


The technology sector is renowned for its competitive salaries, and human resource managers are no exception. As technology companies often compete for top talent, they value HR professionals who can attract, develop, and retain skilled employees. This demand translates into higher salaries for HR managers in the tech industry.

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Finance and Banking

The finance and banking industry relies heavily on HR professionals to navigate complex regulations, manage talent, and foster a positive work environment. HR managers in this sector are responsible for handling compensation packages, benefits, and employee relations. Given the financial nature of the industry, HR professionals working in finance and banking often enjoy attractive remuneration packages.


With the constant need for qualified medical professionals, the healthcare industry places a premium on HR managers who can recruit and retain top talent. The complex and ever-changing nature of healthcare regulations adds an additional layer of responsibility for HR professionals in this field. Consequently, human resource managers in healthcare often receive competitive salaries.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Q: What is the starting salary for human resource managers?

A: The starting salary for human resource managers can vary depending on factors such as location, industry, and company size. On average, entry-level HR managers can expect a starting salary in the range of $50,000 to $70,000 per year. However, keep in mind that these figures can differ based on individual circumstances.

Q: How does experience impact salary in the HR field?

A: Experience plays a crucial role in determining HR manager salaries. As HR professionals gain more experience, they tend to take on higher-level roles with increased responsibilities, which often come with higher compensation. Additionally, experienced HR managers are more likely to have a track record of success, making them attractive to employers and potentially commanding higher salaries.


In conclusion, understanding the salary range for human resource managers is essential for anyone considering a career in HR. Factors such as education, experience, industry, and location all play a role in determining HR manager salaries. While the average salary for HR managers is around $121,220, salaries can significantly vary based on these factors. By exploring the highest paying industries and addressing frequently asked questions, we hope this article has provided valuable insights into the earning potential of human resource managers. Remember, it’s crucial to research specific industries, companies, and locations to get a more accurate understanding of salary ranges in your desired field.

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