A Career as a

Human Resource Manager

By: Amanda Sargent

Career Overview

Human Resource (HR) Managers plan and direct policies about employees. They are in charge of all of the other managers in a particular company and offer direction to new policies and ideas. In addition, they hire and train new employees and handle any conflicts within the company. Because of this, communication is a crucial characteristic. HR Managers are also in charge of making sure that their employees are aware of their benefits and their future retirement plans by regularly discussing pension plans, benefit options, and post notices for employment to the public. They also keep records and write reports of safety and positive action in the workforce.

Career Skills and Interests

Listen to others, understand, and ask questions. Express ideas clearly by speaking or writing. Read and understand written information. Judge the costs and benefits of particular situations. Use reasoning to discover solutions to problems. Develop rules or follow guidelines. Identify ways to improve system performance. Use math skills to solve problems. Effectively manage time. Motivate, direct, and develop people as they work.

Career Conditions

Have a high level of social contact. Communicate by telephone, e-mail, and in person on a daily basis. Often placed in conflict solutions where anger may arise; must deal with these situations calmly and effectively. Responsible for the health and safety of others. Regularly work as a group or part of a team. Nearly always work indoors. Often share the same work space with others. Make decisions that strongly impact their employer. Abide by strict weekly deadlines. Usually work a set schedule.

Career Wages and Outlook

In Minnesota, the average wage of Human Resource Managers is $51.99 per hour, making the annual salary about $108,130. In the Minneapolis/St. Paul area, that wage is higher. Nationally, however, most Human Resource Manager earn an average of $44.37, putting their annual salary around $92,290.  Of course, wages vary by employer. In addition, wages also vary on the level of education, experience, and position of the HR manager. Human Resource Managers typically receive benefits such as paid time off, sick leave, health insurance, etc. Most also have retirement plans.

For Minnesota, the employment opportunities are very good, with a moderate level of annual openings. In the rest of the United States, the employment opportunities aren't as plentiful, but the annual openings are still considered to be moderately growing.

Career Related Occupations

The field of Human Services is very broad and offers many different career opportunities including, but not limited to: Administrative Serve Managers, Business Executives, College and University Administrators, Employee Training Specialists, Job Benefits and Analysis Specialists, Psychologists, and Business and Administration Managers.  

Career Program of Study: Human Resources Management

Program Overview

Human Resource Management programs prepare people to manage employment practices and policies in the workplace. Students learn to recruit, hire, and train employees. They also learn about wages, laws, and benefits.

Program Admission

Most admissions require four years of English, three years of Math, three years of Social Studies, and two years of Science. Some colleges require two years of a foreign language. For a bachelor's degree to become a Human Resources Manager, the following high school classes are recommended: Introduction to Business, Basic Computer, Public Speaking, Pre-Calculus, Economics, and Psychology.

Typical Course Work

The typical course work for a Human Resource Manager includes courses such as: Business Law, Business Writing, Calculus for Business, Compensation and Benefits, Employment Law, Introduction to Accounting, Introduction to Human Resources Management, Introduction to Management Information Systems, Introduction to Marketing, Labor and Industrial Relations, Principles of Macroeconomics, Principles of Management and Organization, Principles of Microeconomics, Statistics for Business, and Training and Development.

Related Programs

Some programs similar to an HR Manager are Business Management and Administration, General Business, Business Management and Administrative Services, Child Care Services Management, Entrepreneurial and Small Business Management, Labor and Industrial Relations, Logistics and Material Management, Management Information Systems, Management Sciences, Nonprofit Management, Office Management, Operations Management, Organizational Behavior, Retail Management, and Transportation Management.

College Choices

Schools That Offer The Program

Many schools across the United States and Minnesota offer this program because it is such a broad and widely-sought after career, but a few examples are Metropolitan State University, Ridgewater College, St. Mary's University, Winona State University, Rochester Technical Community College, Riverland Community College, Normandale Community College, and many others. Typically, technical schools and community colleges offer this program.

St. Mary's University - Winona

College Info

St. Mary's University is located in Winona, Minnesota - a rural community with about 27,100 people. The four year university currently has 5,688 students enrolled. St. Mary's has a Catholic religious affiliation, but they do not look at religion when considering applicants.

Admission Requirements

St. Mary's requires you to submit your application for the fall semester by May 1st. St. Mary's requires the ACT, with the Writing portion optional, and has an average test score between 18-23 with the top 50% of class rank according to high school GPA.


The degree required for a career in Human Resources is Business, Management, and Administrations. The accreditation requires is a bachelors degree, but a MBA is also attainable.

The student-faculty ratio at St. Mary's is 16:1 with the typical class size being around 17 students.

Interview with Karyn Margenthaler-Berger; Hilltop Hyvee HR Manager

I sat down with Karyn Margenthaler-Berger, who is my Human Resources Manager at Hilltop Hyvee. I asked her about things such as her tasks and responsibilities, the things she likes and dislikes about her job, how she got to the position, and who she works with on a daily basis.

I learned a lot from Karyn, who is someone I have already established a great relationship over the year I have worked with her at Hyvee. Between her and the other HR Manager (they split the responsibilities), I was glad that I chose her due to how informative she is about the position and that she handles the responsibilities that I find more enjoyable compared to the other manager.

Plans to Reach My Goal

The first step in reaching my goal would be graduating high school with a high GPA and class ranking. From there, I will attend St. Mary's University, Winona or Mankato State University, Mankato, where I will attain a bachelor's degree in Business Administration. After I earn my degree, I plan on looking for a job in Human Resources Management.

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