Top HR Jobs That Pay the Most: What HR Jobs Pay the Most in 2021?

Are you curious to know what HR jobs pay the most? Most people think that human resources is one of those fields where you won’t make a six-figure salary. However, that’s not always the case. In fact, the HR positions you wouldn’t typically think to be high-paying can actually bring in a substantial amount of income.

In this article, we’ll be diving into the top HR jobs that pay the most and the earning potential for each of them. We’ll also be uncovering some of the factors that can impact your earnings in this profession. Surprisingly, HR roles such as Talent Acquisition Managers, HR Business Partners, and HR Directors rank higher than most would expect on the list of high-paying HR jobs. So, whether you’re considering HR as a career path or are just curious about the earning potential in this field, keep reading!

One of the biggest misconceptions when it comes to HR jobs is that they don’t earn as much as other corporate positions. However, times are changing, and HR professionals are starting to earn more respect (and money!) for the crucial roles they play in organizations. With the right experience and skills, HR professionals can now earn some of the highest salaries in the industry. If you’re looking to climb up the ranks and earn a substantial income, then there are some HR positions you should definitely consider.

Highest Paying HR Jobs

Human Resources is a crucial function within any organization. It is the department responsible for managing and developing a company’s most valuable asset – its people. HR jobs are in high demand, and the industry is constantly evolving with new technologies and approaches. As such, HR jobs can come with a handsome paycheck. Here are the highest paying HR jobs:

  • Chief HR Officer (CHRO): As the top executive in HR, a CHRO is responsible for overseeing the entire HR function and developing strategies that align with the company’s goals. This role requires extensive experience in HR, leadership skills, and a deep understanding of business operations. With an average salary of $250,000 per year, a CHRO is the highest paying HR job.
  • VP of HR: Next in line to the CHRO is the VP of HR. These professionals are responsible for managing the HR department and developing policies that support employees and the company’s goals. With an average salary of $180,000 per year, this is a high-paying job that requires a wealth of experience and knowledge in the HR field.
  • HR Director: The HR Director is responsible for overseeing the HR department and ensuring that it operates efficiently and effectively. This role requires extensive experience in HR strategy, talent management, and employee development. With an average salary of $120,000 per year, HR Directors are well-compensated for their expertise.

The above roles are the highest paying HR jobs, but there are also several other high-paying jobs within the HR industry. These include HR managers, talent acquisition managers, and compensation and benefits managers. All of these roles require specialized knowledge and experience in the HR field, as well as strong communication and leadership skills.

So if you’re considering a career in HR, know that the industry has much to offer in terms of job satisfaction and income potential. With the right education, experience, and credentials, you could land one of the highest paying HR jobs and enjoy a successful and fulfilling career.

Top HR executive salaries

HR executives play a significant role in managing and administering human resources policies and procedures within an organization. They are responsible for overseeing HR tasks such as recruitment, training, employee benefits, and compensation programs. Naturally, their compensation packages reflect the level of responsibility and specialized skills required for the role.

  • Chief HR Officer (CHRO) – As the highest-ranking HR executive in an organization, the CHRO earns an average annual salary of $401,000. This role requires excellent communications skills, leadership abilities, and the ability to work closely with the CEO and other executives to develop and implement HR strategies.
  • Vice President of HR – The VP of HR oversees the HR department’s daily operations and earns an average annual salary of $193,000. They manage recruiting activities, compensation and benefits strategies, and employee relations programs.
  • Director of HR – As the liaison between the executive team and the HR department, the Director of HR’s average annual salary is $114,000. They supervise HR staff, design HR policies and procedures, and ensure compliance with employment laws and regulations.

These salary ranges may vary based on factors such as company size, industry, location, and experience. Additionally, HR executives may receive bonuses, stock options, and other incentives, which can increase their total compensation package.

Overall, a career in HR can be rewarding, challenging, and financially lucrative, particularly in executive-level positions. As organizations continue to recognize the importance of attracting and retaining top talent, the demand for skilled HR leaders is expected to grow.

HR Executive Role Average Annual Salary
Chief HR Officer (CHRO) $401,000
Vice President of HR $193,000
Director of HR $114,000

Overall, pursuing a career in HR can offer a promising career path, from entry-level positions to executive-level roles with high earning potential. If you are interested in HR, consider earning a degree, pursuing certification, and gaining experience managing people and programs to position you for success in this exciting field.

HR Manager Salary Range

As the name suggests, HR managers are responsible for overseeing the entire human resources department of an organization, from recruitment and hiring to employee training and compensation. They ensure compliance with labor laws and company policies, and provide guidance and support to employees and management alike.

If you’re looking to pursue a career as an HR manager, you might be curious about the salary range you can expect to earn. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the median annual wage for human resources managers was $121,220 as of May 2020. However, several factors can influence an HR manager’s earning potential, including:

  • Years of experience
  • Industry or sector
  • Geographic location
  • Level of education and certification

As such, it’s important to keep in mind that HR manager salaries can vary significantly based on these factors. Below, we’ll dive into each one in more detail.

Years of Experience:

While HR managers typically need several years of work experience in human resources or a related field to qualify for the role, the more experience they have, the higher their earning potential. According to PayScale, HR managers with less than five years of experience can expect to earn an average salary of $65,000 per year, while those with 5-10 years of experience can earn around $80,000 per year. HR managers with more than 10 years of experience can earn upwards of $100,000 per year or more.

Industry or Sector:

Another variable that can affect an HR manager’s salary is the industry or sector in which they work. For example, HR managers working in the finance sector tend to earn more than those in the retail or hospitality sectors. According to PayScale, the highest paying industries for HR managers include professional, scientific, and technical services, financial services, and healthcare.

Geographic Location:

Geographic location is another factor that can heavily influence an HR manager’s earning potential. The cost of living tends to be higher in some areas than others, which can affect how much companies are willing to pay their HR managers. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the top-paying states for HR managers as of May 2020 were New York ($175,420), New Jersey ($157,200), and California ($154,470).

Level of Education and Certification:

Finally, an HR manager’s level of education and professional certification can also impact their salary. Many HR managers have at least a bachelor’s degree in human resources, business administration, or a related field. Specialized HR certifications, such as the SHRM-CP or PHR, can also help HR managers stand out in the job market and command higher salaries.

Years of Experience Salary Range
Less than 5 years $44,000 – $108,000
5-10 years $57,000 – $119,000
10-20 years $72,000 – $151,000
20+ years $86,000 – $193,000

Ultimately, while HR manager salaries can vary widely based on several factors, the earning potential for this role is generally quite high. With the right experience, industry knowledge, and education, HR managers can enjoy a fulfilling career with a strong salary to match.

HR Director Compensation

HR directors are responsible for overseeing the human resources teams within a company. They are highly skilled individuals who manage and motivate employees, coordinate recruitment and retention programs, and develop strategies for employee engagement and organizational growth. As a result, their salaries often reflect their extensive experience and knowledge.

  • According to, the average HR director salary in the United States is $105,438 a year
  • However, HR directors can earn even higher salaries working in certain industries, such as technology and finance
  • In the technology industry, HR directors can earn an average of $140,823 a year, while in the finance industry, the average salary is $136,712 a year

Aside from industry, location can also have a significant impact on HR director salaries. Metropolitan areas tend to pay higher salaries due to higher costs of living and greater competition for skilled professionals. According to, some of the top-paying cities for HR directors in the US include:

City Median Base Salary
New York, NY $156,000
San Francisco, CA $144,000
Los Angeles, CA $132,000
Washington, DC $130,000
Chicago, IL $124,000

Overall, HR directors are some of the highest-paid professionals in the HR industry due to their extensive experience and skills. Those who work in industries such as technology and finance, as well as those who are based in major metropolitan areas, are likely to earn the highest salaries.

HR Analytics Specialist Pay

HR analytics specialists are highly sought-after professionals who use technology and data to inform and guide HR processes and decision-making. These professionals play a crucial role in helping organizations gather and analyze data to optimize their human resources strategies. HR analytics specialist pay varies depending on several factors such as level of experience, location, the size of the organization, and industry.

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), the median annual wage for HR specialists, including HR analytics specialists, was $61,920 as of May 2020. However, the top 10% of these professionals earned more than $105,550.

Factors that Influence HR Analytics Specialist Pay

  • Experience: As with many professions, HR analytics specialist pay is positively correlated with experience. Professionals who possess a solid track record of success and several years of experience can command higher pay.
  • Location: Geographic location also plays a significant role in determining an HR analytics specialist’s pay. Cities and states with a high cost of living, such as San Francisco and New York, generally offer higher salaries to these professionals compared to others.
  • Organization size: HR analytics specialists working for larger organizations with complex HR needs may receive higher pay to reflect their roles’ added complexities and responsibilities.

HR Analytics Specialist Skills

In addition to education and experience, HR analytics specialists are compensated based on their skills and technical knowledge. Professionals with skills in data analytics, machine learning, and artificial intelligence are particularly in high demand and may receive higher pay than their colleagues.

HR analytics specialists must have expertise in specialized software such as human resource information systems (HRIS) and data analysis platforms. These professionals should also possess excellent analytical skills in areas such as statistics, data modeling, and database management.

HR Analytics Specialist Salaries in Different Industries

According to data from Payscale, HR analytics specialist salaries vary significantly across different industries. The table below shows HR analytics specialist salaries in various industries.

Industry Median Salary
Information Technology (IT) $89,000
Consulting $85,000
Finance and Insurance $75,000
Manufacturing $74,000
Healthcare $72,000

Overall, HR analytics specialist pay is competitive, and it continues to trend upward as the demand for these professionals’ services continues to grow. By staying up-to-date on the latest trends and technologies in HR analytics, professionals in this field will increase their employability and earning potential.

HR Consultant Earnings

HR consultants are in high demand due to their expertise in human resources. They work with organizations to provide solutions to human resources issues and maximize the potential of employees. This is a high paying job that requires a combination of education, experience, and certification.

Let us take a look at the salaries of HR consultants in the United States.

  • The national average annual salary for an HR consultant is $80,588 per year.
  • The top 10% of HR consultants earn more than $121,000 per year.
  • The lowest 10% of HR consultants earn less than $50,000 per year.

As with any profession, location and level of experience play a significant role in determining a consultant’s salary. Those who work in major metropolitan areas tend to earn more than those who work in rural areas, and those with more years of experience can expect to earn a higher salary.

Another factor that contributes to an HR consultant’s earning potential is certification. Many HR consultants hold the Professional in Human Resources (PHR) or Senior Professional in Human Resources (SPHR) certification from the HR Certification Institute. This certification can increase a consultant’s earning potential by up to 31%.

Experience Level Annual Salary
Entry-Level (0-5 Years) $60,000 – $80,000
Mid-Level (5-10 Years) $80,000 – $120,000
Senior-Level (10+ Years) $120,000 – $200,000+

In conclusion, becoming an HR consultant can be a lucrative career choice with an average annual salary of $80,588 per year. It requires a combination of education, experience, certification, and location to reach the highest earning potential in the field.

HR Business Partner Salary Trends

HR Business Partners are typically responsible for implementing HR strategies and initiatives in support of organizational objectives. They act as a consultant to management teams and employees on matters related to HR policies and practices, employee relations, and compliance with employment laws and regulations. HR Business Partners have emerged as a critical link between HR and business, and their salaries have been on the rise.

According to LinkedIn’s 2021 Emerging Jobs Report, HR Business Partner is one of the top emerging job roles globally, ranked 4th in the US and 7th globally, with a year-over-year growth rate of 136%. The report also highlighted that in the US, the median base salary of an HR Business Partner is $85,000 per year, with top earners making more than $120,000 per year.

Key Factors Driving HR Business Partner Salaries

  • Increased demand for HR Business Partners due to the pandemic’s impact on the workforce.
  • The need for HR Business Partners to be more strategic in their approach to aligning HR policies and practices with business objectives.
  • The rise of HR analytics has created an opportunity for HR Business Partners to provide data-driven insights to drive business decisions.

Top-Paying Industries for HR Business Partners

The salary range for HR Business Partners can vary greatly depending on the industry. Typically, industries that are highly regulated or require specialized skills pay the highest salaries. According to Payscale, as of July 2021, the top-paying industries for HR Business Partners were:

Industry Median Salary
Pharmaceuticals and Biotechnology $111,000
Information Technology (IT) Services $97,000
Consulting $95,000
Manufacturing $94,000
Financial Services $92,000

It’s important to note that other factors, such as location, size of the organization, and years of experience, can also impact an HR Business Partner’s salary. Glassdoor and Payscale both offer tools that enable job seekers to explore the estimated salary range for HR Business Partner roles in different locations and industries.

What HR Jobs Pay the Most: FAQs

Q: What types of HR jobs pay the most?
A: The highest paying HR jobs include HR director, chief HR officer, HR manager, compensation and benefits manager, and HR analytics manager.

Q: What is the average salary for an HR director?
A: The average salary for an HR director is around $150,000 per year.

Q: What education or experience is needed for high paying HR jobs?
A: Generally, a bachelor’s degree in HR or a related field is required, along with several years of experience in HR. Advanced degrees such as a master’s in business administration (MBA) or a human resources certification can also boost earning potential.

Q: Are HR jobs in certain industries more lucrative?
A: Yes, HR jobs in industries such as finance, healthcare, and technology tend to have higher salaries compared to other industries.

Q: What skills are important for high paying HR jobs?
A: Skills such as strategic thinking, communication, data analysis, and project management are important for success in high paying HR roles.

Q: Are there any HR jobs that pay well for entry-level candidates?
A: While most high paying HR jobs require experience, entry-level HR positions such as HR coordinator or recruiter can still offer competitive salaries, usually around $50,000 per year.

Q: How can I negotiate a higher salary for an HR job?
A: Researching salary trends, highlighting specific skills and accomplishments, and being confident in your negotiation skills can all help you negotiate a higher salary in an HR job.

Closing Thoughts

Thanks for reading our FAQs on what HR jobs pay the most. We hope this article has helped you understand which HR jobs offer the highest salaries, what education and experience is required, and what skills are important for success. Remember to keep exploring our website for more informative and engaging content about different careers. See you soon!