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What Factors Affect Human Resource Management Salaries?

By Theresa Miles
Updated May 17, 2024
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Human resource management salaries are determined by the credentials of the person employed, the scope of the job and the cost of living where the job is located. Generally, salaries for comparable jobs in a specific location are normalized across the industry, so a specific salary will fall within a range that is typical for professionals working for similarly situated companies. Once the range is established, an exact salary will ordinarily be based on those factors that are unique to the individual and job.

Managing personnel has not always been a job that required formalized education and training. Some may enter the field through circumstance, rather than by design. As an initial matter, human resource management salaries are set based on a distinction between those individuals who have some sort of formal education, such as a Master's of Business Administration (MBA) or a continuing education certificate, and those who do not. A master's degree will generate the best salary offer and a certificate a somewhat lower offer.

The human resources industry in many countries also awards certain types of professional certifications that are based on test-taking and educational attainment. Human resource management salaries are often tied to the attainment of these specialized credentials. If a person is hired who does not have a specific certification, he is usually eligible for a bump up in salary once he has met the requirements for the credential.

Another important factor in setting human resource management salaries is the scope of the job. This involves the number of employees to be managed and the dispersement of the company's operations. A person managing a few hundred employees who are all situated at one work site can typically expect a lower salary than a person who manages thousands of employees at multiple work sites across a country.

Job scope can also affect human resource management salaries through the types of employee policies and benefits the company offers. Larger companies often adopt complex employment policies and may have to deal with unions. Some companies also offer an advanced array of benefits that differ based upon employment level and length of time with the company. Professionals who are expected to handle more complex personnel matters are typically rewarded with higher salaries.

Salaries in every industry are typically tied to an acceptable salary range for jobs in a certain location that takes into account the cost of living in that area. This range is established by comparing the salaries for the same position in that location across multiple companies. It is not usually beneficial for any company to disregard the salary range in an area, because such action results in raising the personnel costs for everyone. Human resource management salaries are set by evaluating a person's credentials in relation to the scope of work but within the framework of the salary range for the particular job title in the city where the job will be located.

WiseGeek is dedicated to providing accurate and trustworthy information. We carefully select reputable sources and employ a rigorous fact-checking process to maintain the highest standards. To learn more about our commitment to accuracy, read our editorial process.

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