HR Salary in California

Human resources professionals in California are benefitting from ideal employment conditions and access to the largest number of high-paying jobs in the field nationwide. In 2016, there were 142,900 professionals working in human resources in California; by 2026, this number is projected to grow to 157,500 – an increase of nearly 15,000 jobs.

Facilitating career advancement is the key to earning the highest salaries in the field. Through proactive professional development, entry-level HR professionals may eventually qualify for managerial, director, or executive HR positions – often the most coveted because they are among the highest-paying.

You can accelerate your career in human resources by:

  • Building a strong résumé by gaining as much field-related work experience as possible. Working in volunteer positions, paid jobs, and internship opportunities is encouraged.
  • Investing in higher education by earning a graduate degree. High paying HR jobs typically require at least a master’s in human resources management (MHRM) or similar degree.
  • Earning a professional HR credential. Certifying agencies like the HR Certification Institute (HRCI) and the Society for Human Resources Management offer several HR certification options.
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Pepperdine
Online master's in HR. Aligns with SHRM requirements - No GRE/GMAT required
Rasmussen College
Online Human Resources and Organizational Leadership Associate's/Bachelor's
Capella University
100% online DBA, PhD, MS, and BS degrees in Human Resources Management
Southern New Hampshire University
MS and BS in Human Resource Management
Benedictine University
Online Bachelor of Arts in Management in Human Resources Management
University of Scranton's
Online Master of Science in Human Resources Program
Saint Joseph's University
MS in Strategic Human Resource Management Program

Human Resources Management Salaries

The highest paid human resources managers in May 2018 were in San Francisco, where they earned a median salary of $150,770. Los Angeles and San Diego HR managers followed closely behind, at $128,070 and $125,950, respectively.

The following tables provide a closer look at all HR management positions at all levels in the metro areas of Los Angeles, San Diego, and San Francisco:

 
Los Angeles

Occupation
Employment
Hourly median wage
Compensation and Benefits Managers
600
62.14
Human Resources Managers
6780
61.57
Training and Development Managers
1560
55.84

 
San Francisco

Occupation
Employment
Hourly median wage
Compensation and Benefits Managers
510
77.63
Human Resources Managers
4180
72.49
Training and Development Managers
950
69.83

 
San Diego

Occupation
Employment
Hourly median wage
Compensation and Benefits Managers
130
52.83
Human Resources Managers
1450
60.55
Training and Development Managers
380
50.09

 

Human Resources Specialist and Assistant Salaries

Human resources specialists in the San Francisco metro area earned higher median salaries in almost all cases in May 2018, with labor relations specialists coming out on top here with a median salary of $84,220.

Salaries for California’s HR specialists and assistants in the largest metro areas of Los Angeles, San Diego, and San Francisco are detailed in the following tables:

 
Los Angeles

Occupation
Employment
Hourly median wage
Human Resources Specialists
24100
31.93
Labor Relations Specialists
3540
35.58
Compensation, Benefits, and Job Analysis Specialists
2840
34.92
Training and Development Specialists
9810
31.51
Human Resources Assistants, Except Payroll and Timekeeping
5010
19.05

 
San Francisco

Occupation
Employment
Hourly median wage
Human Resources Specialists
12800
38.23
Labor Relations Specialists
1620
40.49
Compensation, Benefits, and Job Analysis Specialists
2080
36.79
Training and Development Specialists
5320
39.73
Human Resources Assistants, Except Payroll and Timekeeping
1750
24.37

 
San Diego

Occupation
Employment
Hourly median wage
Human Resources Specialists
5790
30.93
Labor Relations Specialists
370
32.57
Compensation, Benefits, and Job Analysis Specialists
640
30.51
Training and Development Specialists
2590
33.44
Human Resources Assistants, Except Payroll and Timekeeping
1200
21.22

 

Salary and employment data compiled by the United States Department of Labor’s Bureau of Labor Statistics in May of 2018 for human resources managers, specialists, and assistants – https://www.bls.gov/oes/current/oes_ca.htm#11-9111. The BLS salary data shown here represents median – 90th percentile salary ranges for the state and its MSAs (Metropolitan Statistical Areas) and includes workers at all levels of education and experience. This data does not represent starting salaries. 

 Job growth projections sourced from the California Employment Development Department and published in the U.S. Department of Labor-funded Long Term Occupational Projections (2016-2026) database – https://projectionscentral.com/Projections/LongTerm. Employment conditions in your area may vary.

All salary and job growth data accessed in October 2019.

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