The 10 Highest Paying Jobs in Human Resources

Human resources is primarily the act of taking care of an organization’s greatest asset: it’s people. In human resources roles you help to ensure practices are in place to preserve a quality culture, to attract top talent, to nurture this talent, and to help make sure that any disagreements can be resolved within the workplace. Additionally, human resources professionals may be in charge of ensuring benefits are adequately offered. 

If you have a mind towards one of the most humane sides of organizational management, human resources can be a great career path. And it can be entered with nothing more than a bachelor’s degree in many settings. As individuals have the chance to move up the organizational ladder, they may choose to return for degrees such as a masters in business administration with a focus on human resources. 

Head of Human Resources

An organization’s head of human resources may go by a number of names including executive director of human resources and chief human resources officer. This individual is typically employed in organizations that have multiple teams devoted to finding, nurturing, and growing human talent. As the head of an organization’s human management, the head of human resources should be aware of strategic bottlenecks, and have an eye on large scale changes to the availability of talent, expectations of employees, and ongoing human resources development efforts. Many individuals in this position will hold an advanced degree in human resources such as an MBA with a concentration in this discipline. 

The average salary of head of human resources roles varies depending on the size of the organization. With that said an average salary for the role is $159,000. 

Chief Diversity Officer

Chief diversity officers are tasked with one subset of human resources tasks. In particular, these individuals may try to build pipelines for historically underrepresented audiences to gain employment and advancement opportunities. Additionally, these individuals may tackle cultural issues within an organization that don’t tend to make them as equitable towards every audience. A relatively new job title, these individuals are typically employed in large organizations that get a great deal of press coverage. Or organizations that are dedicated to taking a next level step towards equality. 

The average salary for chief diversity officers is presently $189,000. 

Chief Culture Officer

Chief culture officers have the hard task of wrangling with the culture of an organization. Often something hard to quantify or manage, the culture of organizations’, however, is often palpable and relates to the quality of work that can be achieved as well as attracting and maintaining top talent. Examples of initiatives that chief culture officers may endeavor upon researching the best practices for creating a more inclusive, collaborative, or “faster moving” culture. In some fields, culture officers will attempt to empower workers to experiment and try new things even if they may fail. 

The average salary for chief culture officers is presently $86,000. 

Human Resources Manager

Human resources managers are employed in both large and small organizations. If there is a team of human resources specialists who deal with payroll, talent retention, education, and talent identification, there is likely a human resources manager involved. This individual may act as a liaison between upper management and try to support strategic initiatives or the attraction of talent in key areas. More than human resources specialists, this individual is expected to be a bit of a thought leader in what makes a good work environment and happy, productive workers. 

The average pay for a human resources manager is presently $115,000. 

Diversity Manager

In some organization that have a large push for diversity such as academia or in fields that are under a lot of scrutiny for their diversity practices, diversity managers may be employed. This individual may be the highest ranking individual focused on diversity if an organization does not have a chief diversity officer. Or they may prove the tactical lead under the strategy of a chief diversity officer. Initiatives may include informing other managers or human resources professionals about quality diversity-enhancing and supporting practices, as well as reporting on the progress of diversity-boosting initiatives. 

The average pay for diversity managers in the United States is presently $120,000. 

Technical Or Professional Educator

Not all educators work in school settings. In technical fields, manufacturing, or any field reliant on updates to their practices with regularity (STEM fields or business), technical or professional educators may be employed to keep teams up-to-date. Examples of where technical or professional educators may be heavily employed include large companies who maintain “academies” for their managers or technicians to advance in their skill set through time. This individual likely has hands-on knowledge of what is being taught as well as is specialized in adult education. 

The average salary for professional educators in the United States is presently $53,000. 

Human Resources Specialist

Human resources specialists are employed in every size of organization and in public and private settings. These individuals may be in charge of onboarding, hiring (in conjunction with the manager of the team the individual may join), helping to implement policies that attract and retain top talent, and efforts to nurture talent and provide opportunities for workers to continue learning in their field. These individuals are primarily tasked with supporting the leadership of a human resources manager, but they are also more “on the front lines” and may be the actual professionals who interface with workers in other parts of the location, as well as help to perform interviews. 

The average salary of a human resources specialist is presently $61,000. 

Human Resources Coordinator

Human resources coordinator perform functions similar to human resource managers. These individuals, however, are likely to be employed in smaller organizations and actually be the head of human resources (but for a smaller team). Additionally, roles by this name sometimes refer to positions within nonprofits or governmental organizations who are tasked with providing human resource aid to other organizations. Basically in this sense this role is related to coordinating with another organization or the public at large. Other than that, this individual may coordinate with the executive director of a small organization to help support strategic human resources goals including attracting and retaining talent for key positions.

The average salary for human resources coordinators is presently $50,000. 

Government Human Resources Jobs

In many large governmental organizations, human resources is an entirely different “beast” compared to private enterprise. Departmental and federal regulations have enacted strong policies to protect workers and provide for their retirement. Because the federal government is such a large employer, this task requires a veritable army of human resources. Jobs like this may be in organizations such as the veterans administration, in which individuals retain benefits long after serving as active duty military. 

The average salary for these positions has many, many bands. Though throughout a career can reach upwards of $100,000. 

Office Manager

Office managers are a hybrid position often present in small organizations. This individual may also be an assistant to the CEO of an organization. Along with some routine elements like taking notes, supporting upper leadership, and helping to schedule events, office managers may help with things like payroll or to serve as a liaison between the CEO and other individuals within the organization. Office manager positions are also often in charge of routine tasks around a physical office. This role may also be called executive assistant. 

The average salary for office managers is presently $80,000.