Careers in Human Resources: Duties and Average Salaries

Updated 24 July 2023

There is a wide variety of careers available in the human resources (HR) industry. Some roles focus on the administration of human resources, while other roles seek to develop and implement HR training programs. Discovering the roles of different careers in the HR industry can help you gain an understanding of HR management. In this article, we explore some of the careers in human resources and their primary duties.

What are careers in human resources?

Professionals who have careers in human resources typically focus on the organisation and management of human resources. The term 'human resource' refers to the skill, knowledge and abilities of staff. The contribution of team members is essentially an asset to the business, which makes them valuable resources. Managing staff and providing a healthy work environment are some of the primary duties of HR professionals.

Some of the typical tasks and responsibilities of a human resources professional may include:

  • Managing employees

  • Assisting in performance management

  • Implementing performance improvement plans

  • Providing support to team members

  • Helping new staff settle in

  • Recruiting potential team members

  • Evaluating recruitment options

  • Ensuring the fair treatment of team members

  • Training new employees

  • Consulting with managers and staff

  • Conducting staff interviews

  • Coordinating workplace policies

Related: What Is Human Resources? Guide to Roles and Duties

10 human resources careers

Most businesses and companies with several staff members or multiple departments, typically employ HR professionals. The average salary of human resources jobs can vary depending on the responsibilities and tasks of the role. There are a variety of administrative roles that may be good entry-level positions in the HR industry. Human resources management roles generally provide the highest salaries and often involve more responsibilities than entry-level positions. Below you can find 10 careers in human resources, along with their typical duties and national average salary:

1. Human resources assistant

National average salary: $62,161 per year

Primary duties: Human resources assistants help HR professionals carry out their daily tasks and duties. They typically work supervised by HR administrators to help organise human resource documents and files. Human resources assistants usually work for HR managers and in human resource departments.

2. Human resources administrator

National average salary: $63,014 per year

Primary duties: Human resources administrators are generally responsible for managing HR documents and assisting HR managers to complete their tasks. Some of the typical responsibilities of an HR administrator are processing documents and operating management software. They usually gain work within businesses that utilise an HR department.

3. Recruitment resourcer

National average salary: $63,624 per year

Primary duties: A recruitment resourcer is typically an entry-level position in the HR industry. They work with recruiters and managers to find and interview potential candidates. A recruitment resourcer assists recruitment professionals by providing administrative support and conducting initial candidate screening. They generally work for recruitment agencies or HR departments.

4. Recruiter

National average salary: $84,164 per year

Primary duties: Recruiters generally focus on finding and evaluating potential candidates for an employer. Employers may have a set of criteria that are general requirements for candidates to complete. Recruiters help to evaluate and decide which candidates are a good match for the employer's criteria. They often work for recruitment agencies or for large companies that employ an HR department.

5. Human resources specialist

National average salary: $84,711 per year

Primary duties: Human resources specialists are typically experts in a specific field of HR. Depending on their specialisation they can expect to have several responsibilities and tasks. Human resources specialists can specialise in recruitment, job analysis, training and development, employee relations and employee compensation. They tend to work in large companies that have a human resources department.

6. Human resources generalist

National average salary: $87,495 per year

Primary duties: Human resources generalists are often fluent in several HR management processes. They generally have a wide variety of responsibilities and tasks. Human resources generalists can expect to find employment in roles focused on recruitment, evaluation and performance improvement. Human resources generalists typically work for large companies that employ an HR department.

Related: What It's Like Working in HR (with Duties and Skills)

7. Recruitment manager

National average salary: $105,904 per year

Primary duties: Recruitment managers are responsible for coordinating and operating a recruitment team. Recruitment managers often employ management methods to improve the effectiveness and efficiency of the recruitment process. Recruitment managers mostly work for recruitment agencies and large companies with an internal HR team.

8. Human resources manager

National average salary: $114,032 per year

Primary duties: Human resources managers typically gain employment from large companies to oversee or assist the management of an HR department. Their tasks and responsibilities may include creating workplace policies, implementing performance plans and managing HR professionals. Human resources managers typically work for HR agencies, large corporations or any business with an internal HR team.

Related: What is Human Resource Management? (With Jobs)

9. Human resources business partner

National average salary: $114,405 per year

Primary duties: Human resources business partners are usually experts in human resources and work closely with a company's director or managing staff. They assist and advise a business on how their HR team can meet the goals of the organisation. Human resources business partners implement performance plans and help to form HR objectives. They often find work within companies that are seeking to improve their HR department.


  • What Is an HR Business Partner? (And How to Become One)

  • How to Become an HR Consultant: A Step-by-Step Guide

10. Employee relations manager

National average salary: $119,048 per year

Primary duties: Employee relations managers typically work on behalf of a company to resolve or improve any workplace issues. Employee relation managers help employees and their managers understand each other. This can lead to a positive work environment which may resolve workplace conflicts. Employee relation managers typically gain employment in HR companies and provide consultation to businesses.

Skills relevant to human resources professionals

Many skills may assist HR professionals to carry out their daily tasks and duties. Technical skills such as technical writing can help recruiters when reporting their evaluation of potential candidates. Several soft skills may also assist HR professionals, such as effective communication and a level of empathy. Below you can find some of the skills that may assist you in a career in HR:


Empathy generally refers to the ability to care for other people. The role of an HR specialist may include evaluating employees who are not meeting workplace performance requirements. In some situations, this may be due to personal issues. An HR specialist often requires a level of empathy to ensure employees receive fair treatment. If you can experience how other people live and make an effort to be more considerate it can help you improve your empathy.


Teamwork is essentially the ability to work well with others and to consider everyone's ideas. Teamwork is usually an important skill for HR careers. One of the primary responsibilities of an HR professional is to promote teamwork in the workplace. Participating in group activities, such as club sports, or volunteering for charities can often help increase your teamwork skills.

Related: Teamwork Skills: Definition and Examples

Technical writing

Management and consultancy roles may have responsibilities such as forming workplace policies or advising policy changes. Technical writing skills can help HR managers create policies with clear objectives and structured programs. You can generally learn technical writing skills by attending various skill workshops, completing online courses or undergoing tertiary education.


Effective communication skills can help HR professionals convey information in a clear and informative way. One of the main responsibilities of HR roles is to promote communication between managers and employees. Internal communication in businesses can help reduce the number of workplace issues. Attending communication skills courses, practising being a good listener and engaging in frequent reading can often help you develop your communication abilities.


An HR consultant may be responsible for identifying workplace issues within a business. Being able to identify problems and create solutions can require good problem-solving skills. If an employee is having issues carrying out their duties, an HR consultant may implement unique training programs to advance their job skills. You can improve your problem-solving skills by using strategies such as brainstorming and analysing different solutions.

Computer literacy

Human resources administrators can usually benefit from having a general understanding of computer platforms and management software. Computer software is often used to organise reports, compile documents and contact staff. You can usually improve your computer literacy by attending computer skill workshops or completing tertiary courses, such as a Bachelor of Computer Science.

Frequently asked questions

Two commonly asked questions about working in the HR sector are:

Is it hard to find a career in HR?

Some roles may be easier to obtain than others due to employment requirements. An entry-level position such as HR administration doesn't usually require any qualifications or work experience. If you're applying for the role of an employee relations manager, you may require extensive work experience and postgraduate studies in human resources. Typically, the more qualifications and experience you have, the more chance you have of finding a career in HR. You can search for HR careers using the Indeed Job Board.

Do HR professionals get paid well?

Working in the HR industry may provide you with opportunities to advance your career. Salaries in the HR sector can vary depending on the responsibilities and duties of a role. If you gain employment as an HR manager, you can expect to have a higher salary and more responsibilities than an HR assistant or administrator.

Salary figures reflect data listed on Indeed Salaries at the time of writing. Salaries may vary depending on the hiring organisation and a candidate's experience, academic background and location.

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