How to Become a HR Manager?

Are you thinking of becoming a HR Manager or already started your career and planning the next step? Learn how to become a HR Manager, what skills you need to succeed, how to advance your career and get promoted, and what levels of pay to expect at each step on your career path. Explore new HR Manager job openings and options for career transitions into related roles.

Steps to Become a Hr Manager

HR Managers are responsible for developing, managing, and evaluating an array of programs, services, and policies for a company's human resources department. Duties may include the evaluation of recruitment and interview processes, hiring new employees, developing strategies for the department, and overseeing employee benefit programs. Human resource managers also oversee employee relations, ensuring that the company's practices are compliant with regulations while administering services for employees.

Earn a high school diploma.

To become a human resource manager, you'll need to obtain a high school diploma or an equivalent qualification, such as a General Education Development (GED). This education teaches you a few basic skills necessary to get started in the workforce, such as communication, computer knowledge, and mathematics. While earning this diploma, you may also take advanced classes such as finance, business administration, or economics if they're offered at your school.


Earn an advanced degree in a field such as business administration.

While there are no advanced degree requirements to become a human resource manager, doing so will teach you valuable skills to help you stand out from other applicants, and increase your appeal to employers. You may decide to earn any of the following advanced degrees:

  • Associate's degree. Getting your associate's degree in human resources will take approximately two years to complete. You may earn an associate's degree in business, management, communication, or a related field.
  • Bachelor's degree. A bachelor's degree may teach you about the legal implications, theories, and practices necessary to give you a comprehensive understanding of human resources. Consider earning your bachelor's degree in business administration, human resources, business, economics, or a similar topic.
  • Master's degree. Many human resource managers complete a Master of Business Administration degree, focusing on human resource issues. You may earn an MBA in human resources or a similar field.

What type of degree should you pursue to become a Hr Manager?

89% of people working as a Hr Manager earned a Bachelor's Degree

What skills do you need to be a Hr Manager?

  • Strategic Thinking
  • Leadership
  • Collaboration
  • Consulting
  • Influencing
  • Written Communication
  • Excellent Communication
  • HRBP
Based on resume data from Glassdoor users who reported working as a Hr Manager in the United States.

Consider an HR specialization, such as finance.

Consider specializing your education towards human resources by taking specific courses for the field. You can choose to specialize in areas like training and development, compensation and benefits, recruiting, organizational leadership, or financial management. For example, you could earn a Master's in Business Administration with an emphasis in finance. However, if you wish to pursue a wider variety of career options, a general education degree may be a better fit.


Earn an HR certification.

While it's not required, consider earning a certification from recognized human resource organizations. There are various certifications available, such as the Associate Professional in Human Resources (APHR), the Professional in Human Resources (PHR) certificate, or the Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM) Certified Professional certification. Earning any of these certifications will make you more valuable as an employee and may increase the odds of finding better job opportunities. Many employers prefer to hire those with certifications and frequently offer them higher positions, so you'll reach your human resource manager role more quickly.


Apply for HR manager jobs.

Once you've completed your education and certifications, you're ready to begin applying for HR manager jobs. Your day-to-day duties will vary depending on the job you choose, but each job will require interpersonal skills and organizational skills.

  • Interpersonal skills such as clear communication and team leadership will help you work well with people at your job. You'll need to be able to effectively deliver presentations, make strong decisions, and define expectations.
  • Organizational skills will help you stay on course while finding potential employers, interviewing them, and keeping track of employee paperwork.

HR Manager Career Path

HR Manager

2 - 4Years of Experience
Not Enough Salary Reports
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Senior HR Manager

2 - 4Years of Experience
$113K - $187K /yrMost Likely Range
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Lead HR Manager

5 - 7Years of Experience
$131K - $211K /yrMost Likely Range
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Total Pay Trajectory

HR Manager Career Path

Hr Manager I
HR Manager
Senior HR Manager
HR Manager
Lead HR Manager
Assistant Chief HR Manager
Assistant Director of HR
Associate Director of HR
Head HR Manager
Vice President of HR
Deputy Chief HR Manager
Chief HR Manager
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Related Careers in the Human Resources Industry

Interested in other Human Resources careers? Below are occupations that have high affinity with HR Manager skills. Discover some of the most common HR Manager career transitions, along with skills overlap.

HR Consultant
13% skills overlap
22% transitioned to HR Consultant