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How do I Become a Labor Relations Specialist?

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  • Written By: Elva K.
  • Edited By: J.T. Gale
  • Last Modified Date: 01 August 2018
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Labor relations is a sub-field of the human relations career field. People who become a labor relations specialist typically have expertise in economic theory, wage data, grievances, health care, pensions, union practices, management practices, and employment law. The job might also entail interpreting contracts and preparing information for management to use during collective bargaining sessions. To become a labor relations specialist, you usually will need a college degree, to have good grades, to have gained experience through a job or an internship, and be willing to pursue a post-graduate degree.

It can be important for you to get a college degree with a major or specialization in human resources. This can be challenging because quite often the human resources department is housed within the school of business, and business is a competitive major at many universities. If you do get accepted to a business school, you typically will have the option of pursuing a major in human resources so you can become a labor relations specialist.

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While working on your undergraduate degree, take the required courses to successfully complete a college major in human resources. Getting good grades can be essential — your grade point average (GPA) will be something that many prospective employers will want to see. The career services department of the school should be able to help you apply for an internship in labor relations, as well. Having an internship on your resume can help — it will provide you with real-world experience to balance your classroom learning.

It is generally recommended that you apply for a job in labor relations during the last semester of college. The career services department at your college usually can provide job-search suggestions and assistance. Talking with your supervisor from your internship may also give you help when searching. Online job searches might help you find entry-level job opportunities, as well.

Once you become a labor relations specialist, it can be important for you to work hard at everything you do. After your first year of work, you might consider applying to a Master in Business Administration (MBA) degree program in human resources so that you can take additional coursework in human resources and labor relations. This could enable you to be more effective in your job and make you eligible for promotion into jobs with higher levels of responsibility and pay.

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