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turn to the HR pros

The events of 2020 triggered truly seismic shifts not only in where we work, but how we work — and no one knows that better than the pros in your HR department. From adapting to large-scale remote work environments to creating remote hiring processes to ensuring that diversity and inclusion initiatives are baked into the organization at every level, HR leaders had a very busy year.

So in 2021 and beyond, the "human" in "human resources" needs to be emphasized more than ever. That means creating a culture of caring in which employees feel valued and respected — and showing them the ways your business is investing in their well-being and long-term futures. For those companies not leveraging the power of HR as a trusted advisor to move business forward and drive employee satisfaction, 2021 is only going to prove more challenging.

2021 trends

Here are some of the most in-demand human resources roles for the year ahead.

2021 outlook

Ongoing disruption looms on the horizon for everyone in the human resources arena — not only in 2021, but for the foreseeable future. And since organizational redesigns and a concerted push to upskill and reskill employees can drive tremendous business value, only the companies that have the right resources and talent ready to meet those challenges will see growth. That means positioning HR leaders as strategic guides who can manage the shifting demands taking place in the workforce and ensure that employee engagement and retention stay strong. Those who don't will run the risk of falling behind permanently.

salary key

This guide presents nationwide pay information for today's most prevalent and in-demand human resources positions.

For non-executive titles (managers and below), annual salaries are organized by interquartile ranges across three levels of professional experience:

entry-level mid-level senior-level
one year of experience five years of experience ten years of experience
25th-75th percentile 25th-75th percentile 25th-75th percentile

For executive titles (directors and above), annual salaries are organized by interquartile ranges across three levels of company revenue:

small mid large
$50M $100M $250M+
25th-75th percentile 25th-75th percentile 25th-75th percentile

national salaries

Let's review the salaries of entry-level, mid-level, and senior-level.

benefits
benefits entry-level mid-level senior-level
benefits analyst $51,861 - $61,447 $60,071 - $71,174 $69,115 - $81,889
benefits assistant/associate $34,684 - $40,602 $41,397 - $48,461 $47,967 - $56,153
benefits director $115,323 - $161,678 $122,972 - $172,401 $130,525 - $182,989
benefits manager $85,561 - $103,843 $98,160 - $119,136 $112,503 - $136,542
retirement specialist $41,064 - $49,243 $47,929 - $57,476 $55,407 - $66,442
benefits/compensation/HRIS
benefits/compensation/HRIS entry-level mid-level senior-level
benefits and compensation specialist $50,847 - $60,974 $59,304 - $71,115 $68,897 - $82,620
benefits and HRIS specialist $44,183 - $52,982 $50,840 - $60,967 $58,729 - $70,426
director of HRIS, benefits, compensation $115,518 - $161,138 $123,194 - $171,853 $131,458 - $183,382
manager of HRIS, benefits, compensation $87,275 - $105,924 $101,775 - $123,522 $117,571 - $142,694
compensation
compensation entry-level mid-level senior-level
compensation analyst $58,759 - $70,462 $70,766 - $84,862 $82,864 - $99,368
compensation director $123,289 - $166,722 $131,275 - $177,522 $140,301 - $189,727
compensation manager $92,615 - $112,405 $108,223 - $131,349 $125,104 - $151,836
employee/labor relations
employee/labor relations entry-level mid-level senior-level
employee relations director $114,668 - $158,838 $122,437 - $169,598 $130,894 - $181,314
employee relations manager $84,533 - $103,837 $96,142 - $118,097 $109,636 - $134,672
labor relations director (JD) $125,192 - $169,297 $133,658 - $180,744 $142,579 - $192,808
labor relations manager $94,761 - $115,009 $116,757 - $141,706 $138,881 - $168,557
generalist
generalist entry-level mid-level senior-level
HR coordinator $36,033 - $42,181 $42,281 - $49,496 $46,703 - $54,672
HR director $114,668 - $158,838 $122,437 - $169,598 $130,894 - $181,314
HR generalist $58,645 - $71,140 $65,251 - $76,824 $72,537 - $86,273
HR manager $85,613 - $103,907 $99,961 - $121,321 $115,800 - $140,543
HR specialist $41,233 - $49,445 $48,132 - $57,718 $55,594 - $66,667
vice president of HR $152,366 - $258,872 $171,586 - $290,563 $197,513 - $334,684
HRIS
HRIS entry-level mid-level senior-level
compensation director $123,289 - $166,722 $131,275 - $177,522 $140,301 - $189,727
HRIS analyst $57,781 - $69,290 $69,089 - $82,850 $80,688 - $96,758
HRIS manager $83,650 - $101,524 $98,942 - $120,083 $115,107 - $139,703
learning and development
learning and development entry-level mid-level senior-level
learning and development director $136,881 - $170,174 $145,759 - $181,210 $156,893 - $195,053
learning coordinato $51,254 - $61,462 $63,724 - $76,415 $75,148 - $90,116
learning manager $82,671 - $100,337 $94,806 - $115,064 $108,657 - $131,875
learning specialist (trainer) $51,289 - $61,505 $60,497 - $72,547 $70,344 - $84,355
recruiting/talent acquisition
recruiting/talent acquisition entry-level mid-level senior-level
director of talent acquisition $110,925 - $152,462 $118,208 - $162,957 $125,560 - $173,140
head of recruitment $96,772 - $128,449 $102,586 - $135,856 $109,500 - $142,993
manager of talent acquisition $85,733 - $102,600 $97,833 - $119,538 $112,720 - $136,588
recruiter $51,877 - $62,525 $60,355 - $72,186 $69,465 - $83,874
recruiting manager $74,276 - $90,984 $87,129 - $106,959 $100,339 - $123,127
talent acquisition/staffing specialist $51,450 - $62,010 $57,777 - $70,109 $66,978 - $80,728
talent management/organizational development
talent management/organizational development entry-level mid-level senior-level
director of talent management/OD $116,434 - $160,498 $123,568 - $171,088 $131,488 - $181,345
manager of talent management/OD $87,833 - $105,925 $102,431 - $124,261 $119,271 - $143,691
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