Median Salary: $81,994
Change in salary (2007–2013): +18%
Total employees: 32,600
While in the past, HR managers did the tedious work like payroll, today they’re some of the most essential people in any organization, being at the centre of big strategic moves like mergers and acquisitions and corporate recruiting. HR managers work not just with business, but also occupy prominent roles in public institutions like universities and governments.
How to qualify: While some level of post-secondary education has been the norm for HR managers, increasingly a bachelor’s degree is a requirement. But to reach the level of manager, you’ll have to climb through the company ranks, usually starting off as a personnel officer or a human resource specialist.
Money: Salaries for HR managers range from $32,000 at smaller firms all the way up to $150,000 at big, multinational corporations.
Opportunity: As labour markets become more fluid, there’s an increased demand for HR specialists who can attract and hold onto the most talented employees. But that won’t necessarily translate into a need for more managers. People looking to get to the top of the ladder can be comforted by the impending retirement of the baby boomers, which will open up many positions.
What it’s like: Lynn Goodayle, who works as a human resources manager with Toronto-based Bravado Designs, enjoys the variety of work she gets to tackle. “Some of it is very detail-oriented and some of it is strategic and big-picture.” And at the end of the day, Goodayle says she gets to see the impact her work has. “You look at a business and ask how I can provide the support and coaching and leadership so that we have great people in all the roles that we have. And you really get to see the results.”