Pros and Cons of Being an HR Manager

Human Resource (HR) Managers generally act as a sort of middle man (or woman). They’re job is to be a mediator between upper level executives and lower level employees, dealing with questions and complaints. They also help find new personnel to fill open positions. Essentially, they’re in charge of dealing with the most important of a company’s resources: people. Here’s a look at the pros and cons of being an HR Manager.

Pro: You’re in a position to make a lot of positive changes for employees.  

Lower tier employees are often forgotten by upper management. Being an HR Manager means that you get to help make sure that doesn’t happen to a large degree. Employees come to you for help. This might mean understanding their benefits, making the most of those benefits, or bringing up their problems within the company. In this way, you can understand how your company treats its employees—and how it’s making them miserable. The best part? You have the power to make changes in order to help these employees.

Con: It can be stressful to deal with a company’s worth of complaints and conflicts.

The downside of that “positive change” is that everyone comes to you with complaints. This might be a complaint about a direct coworkers, or a sexual harassment charge against a boss. It can create a lot of anxiety for you, especially when you’re trying to fix everyone’s problems. If you can’t leave your work at work, this might not be a good position for you.

Pro: You can make great money with just a bachelor’s degree.

Many companies require only an undergraduate degree to begin working in HR. The median pay for that position is over $100,000 a year—and very few careers allow you to make that much with a bachelor’s degree.

Con: You may have to put in a lot of time to get the necessary experience.

To get positions that pay $100,000 a year, you have to put in a lot of work. The jobs that pay that well generally want a lot of experience. While you may be stepping right into the field out of college, you’ll have to put in a lot of effort over several years to get a promotion to the position you desire. Ultimately, you may even need a master’s degree for some of upper tier positions that catch your eye, which can mean a return to school. On the up side, some companies will help pay for that schooling.

Pro: You’re needed in a broad variety of industries.

Most big companies have an HR department, which means that you have a lot of options. The Bureau of Labor Statistics expects a 9% increase in job growth over the next 10 years, which may not seem like much but is actually higher than normal. With so many companies looking for good HR managers, you’re likely to find a job that fits you.

Con: Entry level positions can be tedious.

Additionally, all that work you have to put in in lower level positions can be, well, boring. Most people starting out in HR spend a lot of time doing paperwork instead of solving employee problems. This might include things like processing new employees or keeping information updated. If you stick it out, though, it can pay off in a big way.