7 Best Paying MBA in Human Resources Careers

Human resource management is undoubtedly a key role in any business operations in that it bridges employees to management in representing the best interests of both sides. Nowadays, businesses are looking not only at the fundamental skills, actual HR area of expertise and years of experience of an HR Professional but also at academic achievement. Many have gone on to pursue an MBA to complement what HR skills have been gained. An MBA teaches the necessary business skills for HR managers to function within management in a strategic manner. Conveniently, in recent years, the curriculum for an MBA has adopted HR-related concepts to address the needs of today’s business challenges by integrating practical HR management skills. Having an MBA has grown in value for HR practitioners mostly for professional growth and proportionately, the pay scale has become even more rewarding with annual pay close to or around 6 digits. Here are 7 careers to pursue for an HR professional with an MBA:

1. Human Resource Manager

You will find employment in most, if not all, industries. You usually need to have had years of progressive experience as a generalist. In this role, you are primarily responsible for overseeing all employee-related administrative functions, from the time an employee is screened and hired, up to the time the employee ends his employment and everything in between including learning and development, conflict resolution, performance evaluation, talent management, etc. Although you will most often have a team to do all these for you, you are expected to be on top of these activities by ensuring all policies and procedures are in place and executed and within the boundaries of labor laws and regulations. As an HR manager, you are to collaborate across other leadership functions and the multiple levels of the organization to encourage and promote a positive work environment. It is a lot of work, but HR managers are compensated just as much with a median pay of $99,720 annually. The business competencies you will need to progress in this function may already have been acquired from an MBA, enabling you to understand financial processes, economics, labor relations and strategic planning and management.

2. Training And Development Manager

A company’s employees are its greatest asset and it is only natural that efforts are in order to enhance the knowledge and skills of employees across all levels. You will fulfill this function along with a team of specialists as the training and development manager. You will mainly be responsible for managing learning and development activities consistent with the organization’s business goals, corporate culture, business outcomes and employee needs, not to mention ensure that these activities are within the budgetary capabilities of the organization. A skills inventory and training needs analysis may be conducted periodically to aid in identifying training priorities. Training and development activities may also be carried out by external training service providers at you and your team’s recommendation. You may already possess the credibility of a training and development professional, but having an MBA in this function will help you embody the business fundamentals needed for a management role. The average salary for this position is $72,491 per year.

3. International Human Resources Professional

You may find yourself in the role of an international human resources professional in an organization that operates globally. Essentially, your role is standardizing HR-related affairs across all geographic locations of operation. You may travel a great deal and get to experience and understand different cultures, both in the workplace and in the social setting. This is the advantage of this role as well as its challenge. The functions of an international HR professional include recruitment, learning and development, compensation and benefits and warrant labor and tax compliance, but with the added intricacies of culture, language and location. The broad coverage and risks of the job comes with a generous median pay of $120,049 annually.

4. Human Resources Consultant

You may be a private practitioner or employed in a consulting firm to be called upon for consultancy services by the human resource department of a company-client as an external eye to their HR-related affairs. You are required to have a solid background and firm understanding of human resource concepts. Your job is to study the organization to find ways of improving employee-and-management relations, address attrition, influence policy changes and improvements and increase overall job and company satisfaction. You may provide consulting services from as basic as clarifying job descriptions to as complex as the complete overhaul of the HRD, the added challenge being to convince the team to adapt to a new set of practices. As an HR consultant, you must clearly demonstrate and communicate the value that you add to the company. The annual salary for an HR consultant can go as high as $100,028. Of course, the higher pay can be achieved by having a management-related master’s degree or more appropriately, an MBA with emphasis on HR.

5. Compensation and Benefits Manager

You will plan, design, coordinate, implement and manage the pay structure of the organization. This can be affected by a variety of factors and thus will require a study of market conditions, the different job functions, the current pay for the same job in comparable fields and nearby locations, and most importantly compliance of compensation policies to state and federal laws. The end goal is to ensure that employees are justly compensated and the organization maintains competitive practices of compensation. Additionally, as compensation and benefits manager, you will also administer the organization’s benefits program. Benefits comprise of retirement plans, insurance, health coverage, policies on leave and may include other employee enablement initiatives. The median salary is at $100,286.

6. Employee Relations Manager

As an employee relations manager, you will work collaboratively with the human resource manager to develop best practices, policies and procedures for conducting investigations, resolving conflicts, determining performance improvement plans, implementing disciplinary actions, arranging settlements and promoting employee satisfaction. You may consider this career when your experience has proven your skills in conflict resolution and you have developed credibility and trust across all levels of the organization. You will need to adhere to privacy regulations, maintain a high level of confidentiality and treat conflicts sensitively. You may also be required to have democratic skills to be able to mediate effectively both sides of a conflict. Additionally, you will need to ensure all HR services are compliant to applicable industry standards and to state and federal requirements. Often, you may already have extensive experience in labor relations and depending on your experience, you may be raking in up to $96,704 a year.

7. Chief Human Resources Officer

You must already be in the business of leading an HR department well over 10 years to qualify for this position, with a proven track record of HR success usually in a well-known company. You will be part of the executive team and will likely report directly to the chief executive officer. You will primarily communicate and collaborate with the executive team to arrive at a consensus for all HR policies and procedure to gain their support in its implementation especially when there are changes and improvements because this may affect how employees accomplish their tasks. Your role is to devise HR strategies that will enable the company to meet its organizational goals starting with having the workforce with the necessary skill set, putting up employee development programs, encouraging retention, conducting performance evaluation and appraisal, and simply ensuring that employees are justly compensated and fairly treated. These efforts also need to be periodically evaluated for effectiveness and may require a lot of groundwork. At this point, you are already at or close to the pinnacle of an HR career. Rightly so, annual median wage for this position can go as high as $149,461.