How to Advance Your Career in HR

There are so many ways to go about navigating your way through an HR career! A lot of those paths lead to great success and happiness and their fair share of challenges. This article will break down all you need to know about human resources career path planning. We’ll also give you advice on navigating career paths in human resources, starting with the most common route: following your passion.  

Human resource professionals (HRPs) play a crucial role in organizations. They manage employee relations, recruit new employees, train them, and provide benefits. In addition, they also ensure compliance with federal laws and regulations. 

Proven HR Career Tips You Should Consider 

Regarding human resources career path planning, you don’t necessarily need a degree in HRM or even experience in the field to get started. There are plenty of entry-level positions available, and you can start working at a company immediately after graduation.

career paths in human resources

1. Education Requirements 

There is no specific education requirement for those interested in pursuing career paths in HRM. The only caveat is that you must be able to pass pre-employment tests such as the Standardized Test of Adult Basic Education Skills (STABLE), written by the Occupational Information Network. You should expect to have some basic knowledge of English and math before applying for jobs.

2. Job Outlook 

The Bureau of Labor Statistics predicts a 5% HR career growth rate between 2010 and 2020.

3. Work Environment

This type of position requires extensive physical activity, including standing for long periods and lifting to 50 pounds occasionally. Most companies offer free snacks and beverages during breaks, which helps keep workers happy and healthy.

4. Employer Profiles 

Employees with career paths in human resources typically work for publicly traded companies, government agencies, colleges and universities, and non-profit organizations. Other common employers include healthcare facilities, insurance providers, financial institutions, and pharmaceutical companies.

5. Top Companies 

As of 2015, Fortune 500 companies are hiring more HR professionals than ever before. More than half of Fortune’s Top 10 list was made up of Human Resources Managers, showing how popular this profession is today. Here are the top five: 

What Are the Benefits? 

Being a good HR career professional means supervising staff members, recruiting qualified applicants, determining compensation levels, and ensuring workplace safety. Many employers offer additional perks such as flexible scheduling, tuition reimbursement programs, health plans, and HR career growth benefits. 

How Long Does it Take to Become a Professional HR Professional? 

Career paths in human resources are pretty much straightforward like most professions. According to the American Society for Training & Development, it takes about four years to complete a bachelor’s degree program that includes courses related to human resources management. However, many experts recommend combining your education with vocational training and practical experiences. According to the Society for Human Resource Management, people usually receive job offers after completing one or two internships. 

Steps to Becoming an Expert 

Professionals with career paths in HRM gain valuable skills through training opportunities and hands-on experiences. Start searching for volunteer positions while learning the ropes in a college internship. After graduating from college, you may want to pursue a master’s or doctoral degree. 


You’ll need several types of certificates to land a high-level position. Some of these include: 


As of 2016, the IRS has approved 13 licenses that qualify individuals for employment in human resources. These vary by state and include educational licensing boards, occupational licensing boards, private schools, and trade associations. You may also need to get a local business license if you plan to use your home office to conduct business. 

How Do I Get Started As A Human Resources Manager? 

There are over 7,600 HR career fields at, so finding the right one isn’t easy. If you’re just getting started, we suggest reviewing our guide on becoming a personal assistant. Once you have some experience under your belt, apply to entry-level accounting clerk or receptionist jobs. You can also look into mid-range careers in sales or customer service. 

Where Can I Find Recruiters?

Most recruiters specialize in certain industries. For example, medical recruitment firms focus solely on healthcare industry employees. Retailers often hire recruiters who oversee salespeople and retail managers. If you’re interested in a specific field, contact recruiters in that field. 

How Much do HR Professionals Make? 

HR career professionals are some of the highest earners regardless of the industry. The median annual salary for a human resource manager is $98,000, according to PayScale. Job seekers should expect to make around $43 per hour based on their current education and experience. In addition, workers with a master’s degree earn an average of $103,500 annually, and those with a doctorate can expect salaries ranging between $125,000 and $160,000. 

The cost of human resources career path planning 

A company’s payroll costs depend on its size, structure, and industry. The labor portion varies depending on whether a worker is paid, such as hourly, salaried, temporary, or contract. Hourly workers typically pay between 15% and 20% of their wages toward payroll. Salaried workers pay 2%-3%, and contractors pay 4%-6%. Most companies will deduct taxes and insurance premiums for workers covered by the employer’s plan.

Final Words 

When exploring career paths in human resources, it’s important to find the right fit for both you and your employer. Use our tips to help you secure the perfect HR career!  

Anna Verasai
Anna Versai is a Team Writer at The HR Digest; she covers topics related to Recruitment, Workplace Culture, Interview Tips, Employee Benefits, HR News and HR Leadership. She also writes for Technowize, providing her views on the Upcoming Technology, Product Reviews, and the latest apps and softwares.

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