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HR pays well and there are a lot of interesting career paths you can potentially take.

If you’re still wondering if a career in HR is for you and what you can potentially earn, you’re in the right spot.

To give you a better answer than “it depends”, we’ve broken down the average human resources salary by position and discussed factors that can affect an HR manager's salary.

Whether you're a current HR manager looking for an upgrade, just getting into HR management, or hiring a new HR manager, this guide will have useful information so you can make your decision.

Like most job markets nowadays, HR management is competitive, so it’s a job-seekers market. Take advantage!

What Does an HR Manager Do?

If you’re in HR, you might have spent some time tracking down salary information for some common HR positions, such as an HR manager salary. 

So if you’re still wondering, what is the average salary of an HR manager, you’re in the right spot. To give you a better answer than “it depends”, we’ve broken down the average human resources salary by position and discussed factors that can affect an HR manager salary.

Whether you’re a current HR manager looking for an upgrade, just getting into HR management, or hiring a new HR manager, this guide will have useful information so you can make your decision.

Like most job markets nowadays, HR management is competitive, so it’s a job seeker’s market. Take advantage!

What Does an HR Manager Do?

HR managers can have many responsibilities. One single HR manager’s role can include recruiting, benefits and payroll, performance management, onboarding, employee retention, and more. 

Larger companies with multiple HR managers will employ individuals with different specializations to ensure all areas are covered, while HR managers at smaller companies are likely to wear more hats.  

There are numerous human resources job titles that have roles related to that of an HR manager. Some of these roles are covered below in our human resources management salary information section.

HR Manager Salary Information

The HR manager salary information and average human resources salaries include data from Indeed for the USA, Canada, and the UK. Some source data was listed as an hourly wage rather than yearly average HR salaries. 

The hourly wage data appears mostly for junior positions that may be paid hourly, rather than salaried positions. However, there are a few anomalies where more senior positions are listed as hourly.  

HR Manager Salary

This HR manager salary average covers several specializations, as well as different seniority levels. Of course, more junior HR managers will be making less, and more senior HR managers can expect higher. 

The human resources manager salary below is highest in the USA, followed by Canada then the UK. This is likely due to the higher population and higher demand for HR managers in the USA.

HR Generalist Salary

HR generalists tend to have less seniority than HR managers, while being involved in many different facets of HR. 

A human resources generalist salary reflects this, with salaries in the USA, Canada, and the UK averaging lower than the HR manager salary. 

Generalists directly support HR managers and HR managers often delegate work to them. The human resource generalist salary information below follows the trend of the USA having a higher population and a higher demand for HR professionals.

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Entry Level HR Salary

Entry level HR positions are associated with job titles such as HR intern. The data below reflects salaries for HR interns. 

HR Coordinator Salary

HR Coordinators are more junior in position. They may be involved in responsibilities such as benefits, payroll, or internal communications rather than larger HR strategy and management. The human resources coordinator salary information reflects this. 

HR Assistant Salary

HR assistants have a similar role to that of an HR coordinator. They may be an assistant to a specific HR manager, or they may be an assistant to the department at large, taking on smaller tasks as needed. 

The human resources assistant salary is listed as an hourly wage in the USA and Canada, as this is another position that may not be salaried. The USA has the highest human resource assistant salary, with the UK and Canada close behind.

HR Associate

HR associates have a similar role to that of HR assistants and HR coordinators. Some companies may consider an HR associate as slightly more senior to coordinators or assistants, but the role is largely the same.

HR Specialist Salary

HR specialists are senior to HR assistants, coordinators, and associates, and they tend to specialize in a particular area, such as payroll or onboarding. The average human resources specialist salary data is consistent with this. Depending on the specialization and the number of years of experience, specialists may also expect to make more than this.

Benefits Specialist Salary

As predicted by the title, benefits specialists focus on employee benefits. Their role may include ensuring employees are enrolled for benefits, as well as ensuring benefits packages meet employee needs. 

HR Recruiter Salary

HR recruiters are primarily focused on attracting talent. If a company decides to outsource recruiting, recruiters assist with the switch to recruitment process outsourcing. As this role requires a higher level of specialization, the salaries are also higher.

HR Administrator Salary

An HR administrator oversees all administrative tasks and delegates to other HR roles, such as specialists or assistants. However, in some organizations, HR administrators may be more junior and work underneath managers.

HR Supervisor

HR supervisors may oversee an HR specialization or the department as a whole. As with an HR manager salary, HR supervisor salaries vary according to specialization and seniority. The USA has the highest salary, and the UK has the lowest by far, with Canada in between. One potential reason for the low UK salary could be a difference in role definition between the UK and North America. HR supervisors in the UK may be less specialized or at a lower seniority level.

HR Advisor

An HR advisor might be a full time salaried employee or a contractor hired to assist with or advise on HR processes. As they are usually brought in as expert consultants, advisors tend to have more experience and seniority, which translates to a higher salary. This position also has wide gaps in salary between each country. 

The USA has the highest salary, and the UK again has the lowest. This could be explained by a less specialized role definition or lower seniority as compared to Canada and the USA.

HR Director Salary

HR director is one of the most senior positions in HR. The director of human resources provides higher level strategy and planning for the entire department and for items such as workforce planning, onboarding, and training processes. With high level responsibilities and more seniority comes a higher salary. 

The USA and the UK have comparable salaries, while Canada lags behind significantly. This could be due to more HR directors working under VPs of HR in Canada, which would mean less seniority.

Vice President of HR

Vice Presidents of HR are another senior position for HR professionals. Vice Presidents take care of strategy and planning, often delegating implementation to HR directors or managers. Their goal is to create a strategic human resources management plan and streamline operations. 

Factors Affecting HR Manager Salary

Within the averages listed above, there is a lot of variation. There isn’t one HR manager salary that is applicable for every HR position globally. There are several factors that can affect an individual HR manager salary, including location, skills and experience, specialization, and certifications.


One of the main factors affecting HR manager salary is location. A major trend in the data above is higher salaries in the USA than Canada or the UK. This trend continues within the USA, with bigger cities generally paying higher salaries

Skills and Experience

While having a larger skillset is a plus for any position, there are specific human resources skills that are highly valued for HR managers. These include communication skills, knowledge of HRIS, and coaching and training skills.

It’s also important for HR managers to have the soft skills that most job descriptions look for. These include adaptability, teamwork, and accountability.


If an HR manager has a specialization in a specific area such as recruiting, onboarding, DEI, or compensation, this will translate to a boost in salary. 

Another part of specialization that helps boost an individual’s HR manager salary is whether they have the ability to train others in their specialization. 

For example, if an HR manager has a specialization in recruitment, and can train other individuals within their company on recruiting, this makes them more valuable and can lead to a salary increase.

If you’re interested in specializing, you might want to check out our pick of the best compensation courses or best DEI certifications.


A fourth factor that can affect an individual’s HR manager salary is whether they have any certifications. There are a few ways to become certified as an HR manager. 

Many schools and colleges offer programs and diplomas in HR management. There are also many accredited institutions that offer shorter certificate programs, as well as many HR organizations that offer their own certification programs.

For more on this, check out our pick of the 20 Best HR Certification Courses For 2023

HR Manager Salary Outlook

There’s nothing to suggest that the HR manager salary data will trend downward anytime soon. In many high-population locations, they will continue to rise as companies grow big enough to have a need for one or more HR managers. 

Whether you’re thinking of moving to a new HR position, just starting out in HR, or hiring a new HR manager, consult the HR manager salary data above before deciding.

For more expert advice and opinions in the HR world, don’t forget to subscribe to the People Managing People newsletter or check out the latest podcast episodes.

By Tim Reitsma

Tim is the co-founder and General Manager of People Managing People, an online publication focused on building a better world of work. He is experienced with people & culture, leadership, business strategy and operations with a focus on building great teams who are excited about their craft and their organization. With over 15 years of leadership experience, Tim has always been guided by his core values: faith, family, curiosity, and fun. He is a coach, mentor, speaker, advisor, and an active volunteer in his community. Tim loves spending time outdoors with his wife and two kids as well as mountain biking in the north shore mountains.

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