Delaware’s HR professionals work with the state’s public and private employers to ensure the most efficient management of their human capital. This includes vetting, interviewing, training, and supporting the staff that are part of the state’s economic engines in the healthcare, finance, and defense sectors. A company’s success—or lack thereof—reflects the strength of its HR department.
To attract the best human resources talent, Delaware-based companies offer some of the highest average salaries in the nation for these professionals.
The following job projections from the Delaware Department of Labor and salary stats from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) reveal exciting opportunities for HR managers, specialists, and assistants in Delaware:
Human Resources Management
- Human Resources Managers – Delaware’s human resources are the fifth highest paid in the nation, earning an annual, median salary of $130,840.
- Compensation and Benefits Managers – Compensation and benefits managers in Delaware are the second highest paid in the nation, earning a median salary of $169,100.
- Training and Development Managers – The outlook for training and development managers in Delaware is outstanding. Between 2016 and 2026, the number of these professionals is projected to increase 28.6 percent – far surpassing the national projected growth rate of 10.4 percent for this profession.
Human Resources Specialists and Assistants
- Human Resources Specialists – Human resources specialists in Delaware earn a median salary of $62,420, which is about $2,000 more than the national median for this profession.
- Labor Relations Specialists – There are about 1,190 labor relations specialists in Delaware.
- Training and Development Specialists – The median salary for training and development specialists in Delaware is $68,150 – that’s about $8,000 higher than the national median for this profession.
- Compensation, Benefits, and Job Analysis Specialists – The median salary for compensation, benefits, and job analysis specialists in Delaware is $66,160, which is about $3,000 higher than the national median.
- Human Resources Assistants – HR assistants in Delaware earn a median salary of $36,880, and those in the top 10% earn an average salary of $51,160.
Delaware’s unemployment rate in August 2019 was just 3.4 percent, steadily declining since 2010. A growing workforce signals a growing demand for skilled HR professionals, who are responsible for keeping the state’s private industry and government services running as efficiently as possible. The top employers in Delaware are also those with the biggest and most influential HR departments. The following BLS data reveals the state’s largest employers:
- Christiana Care Health System – 10,000 employees
- Christiana Hospital – 7,000 employees
- Mountaire Farms of Delaware – 3,310 employees
- Bayhealth Milford Memorial – 3,000 employees
- Ncc911 – 3,000 employees
- Allen Harim Foods – 2,800 employees
- AstraZeneca Pharmaceuticals – 2,500 employees
Exploring Human Resources Careers in Delaware
HR careers in Delaware can be divided between the state’s two primary sectors, as identified by the BLS:
- Private sector (non-farm) – 466,000 jobs
- Public sector/government – 68,000 jobs
Private Sector HR Careers
The following job listings provide insight into the types of jobs available in Delaware’s private sector (Shown for illustrative purposes only):
Senior Recruiter with Integrity Staffing Solutions in Wilmington – As the state’s leading staffing company, Integrity Staffing Solutions offers many career opportunities in the field of HR. This senior recruiting position involves implementing strategies that ensure this company attracts, sources, and recruits the best talent possible. Other job duties include identifying hiring needs while working closely with senior management and HR staff.
Employee Relations Specialist with Christiana Care Health System in Newark – This professional provides effective people management guidance and consultation with the goal of resolving problems. Additional job duties include the interpretation and communication of company policy, implementing disciplinary actions, facilitating employee relations training programs, and organizing materials with legal professionals in response to EEO civil suits and unemployment hearings.
Employee Relations Manager with Mountaire Farms of Delaware in Millsboro – This professional will be responsible for ensuring employees comply with company policy, state law, and federal regulations. As such, duties include conducting employee investigations to resolve production concerns and complaints, recommending corrective action, preparing legal materials for presentation in court, and meeting EEO requirements.
Government Sector HR Careers
A sampling of HR job listings in the public/government sector reveal the many opportunities available outside of the private sector (Shown for illustrative purposes only):
Human Resources Administrator with the State of Delaware – This professional is responsible for implementing, directing, planning, and administering major HR policies or the HR department of a major state agency. An important part of this position is maintaining a working relationship with other administrators and labor organizations.
Human Resources Administrator with the City of Wilmington – While this professional may be required to perform all services associated with HR, an emphasis is placed on filling job vacancies and recruitment for all city departments. Other duties can also include employee training, determining unemployment compensation, and producing an employee newsletter.
Human Resources Assistant (GS-07) with the Department of the Air Force in Dover – This professional carries many responsibilities which include monitoring incapacitation pay requests, researching the Unit Personnel Record Group (UPRG), providing procedural guidance to commanders and supervisors, and ensuring the accuracy of information in the Real Time Automated Personnel Identification System (RAPIDS).
The Right Education for a Career in Human Resources
A college education in human resources is one of the most important qualifications future HR professionals can pursue. Many begin their careers as HR generalists and specialists by earning a bachelor’s degree in human resources. For those that advance to leadership positions in upper-level management, a master’s degree or specialized MBA with a concentration in HRM (human resource management) is often the right choice.
Bachelor’s Degree in Human Resources
In addition to campus-based human resources undergraduate programs available through Delaware schools, students also have the option of pursuing online programs and blended programs that combine distance and classroom-based learning.
These programs start with basic courses that will prepare students for a more in-depth study of the HR field:
- Desktop business applications
- Introduction to psychology
- Introduction to accounting
- Critical writing
- Introduction to human resources management
- Management and organizational behavior
- Business statistics
- Business law
- Operations management
- Talent acquisition and management
With a bachelor’s degree in human resources, applicants can fulfill the education requirements for the following positions (Shown for illustrative purposes only):
- Senior Recruiter with Integrity Staffing Solutions in Wilmington – Candidates for this position are required to have a bachelor’s degree and a complete understanding of HR, and especially recruitment, fundamentals
- Employee Relations Specialist with Christiana Care Health System in Newark – Applicants must have a bachelor’s degree in a field related to Human Resources
- Employee Relations Manager with Mountaire Farms of Delaware in Millsboro – Candidates must have a bachelor’s degree in Human Resources, Business, or a related field
- Human Resources Administrator with the State of Delaware – Applicants can qualify for this position with a bachelor’s degree in a field related to Human Resource Management, Public Administration, Business Administration, Political Science, or Psychology
- Human Resources Administrator with the City of Wilmington – Candidates for this position must have at least a bachelor’s degree in a field related to Human Resource Management, Public Administration, or Business Administration
Master’s Degree in Human Resources – MBA in Human Resource Management
Just as an undergraduate degree is often a requirement for entry-level HR careers, a master’s degree is a typical requirement for more advanced leadership roles in HR. Graduate programs are commonly offered as a Master of Science in Human Resources or as a Master of Business Administration with a concentration in Human Resource Management. There are at least two schools in Delaware that offer such programs, with additional options for online completion.
While each school will have its own admission requirements, prospective students can start thinking now about some of the more common admission criteria:
- Any bachelor’s degree
- Completion and minimum GPA in HR core undergraduate courses
- Minimum cumulative GPA
- Letters of recommendation
- Admission to the general college or university
- Minimum GRE or GMAT scores
As part of a graduate program in human resources management, students can expect to study topics like:
- Advanced organizational theory and design
- Law, regulations, and the workplace
- International human resources
- Compensation and benefits
- Accounting and financing for HR management
- Decision making analysis
- Organizational talent acquisition
- Advanced personnel training and management
- Strategic HR management
- Marketing strategies
Some schools also offer a graduate certificate in HR Management. These certificate programs can take around two semesters to complete and cover many of these advanced graduate topics. A graduate certificate demonstrates completion of relevant master’s-level education in the field of HR.
Candidates can fulfill the education requirements for the following jobs with a master’s degree in human resources management (Shown for illustrative purposes only):
- Senior Recruiter with Integrity Staffing Solutions in Wilmington – Applicants for this position are preferred to have an advanced academic degree
- Employee Relations Specialist with Christiana Care Health System in Newark – Candidates are preferred to have a master’s degree and related experience
- Human Resources Assistant (GS-07) with the Department of the Air Force in Dover – Candidates can qualify for this position by having at least one year of masters-level education or exceptional academic performance as an undergraduate, according to the federal General Schedule (GS) classification system
- Human Resources Supervisor with the Lake Forest School District in Bear – Applicants must have a master’s degree in a field related to Human Resource Management or Educational Leadership
- Senior HR Manager of Compensation and Benefits with Solenis in Wilmington – Candidates can qualify for this position with a master’s degree and at least eight years of HR experience
Professional HR Certification
As opposed to graduate HR certifications, professional HR certifications are sponsored by national agencies that offer their brand to qualifying candidates. Professional certification can fulfill employment qualification requirements or be a preferred trait for hire. Some examples of HR certification agencies include:
- SHRM-CP (certified professional)
- SHRM-SCP (senior certified professional)
HR Certification Institute (HRCI)
- Associate Professional in Human Resources (aPHR)
- Associate Professional in Human Resources – International (aPHRi)
- Professional in Human Resources (PHR)
- Professional in Human Resources – International (PHRi)
- Senior Professional in Human Resources (SPHR)
- Senior Professional in Human Resources – International (SPHRi)
- Global Professional in Human Resources (GPHR)
- Certified Professional (IPMA-CP)
- Senior Certified Professional (IPMA-SCP)
Examples of some jobs that either require or prefer a professional HR certification include (Shown for illustrative purposes only):
- Human Resources Administrator with the State of Delaware – candidates can qualify for this position by having a certification issued by the PHR or the IPMA-HR
- Human Resources Administrator with the City of Wilmington – candidates for this position are preferred to have a certification from the PHR or the IPMA-HR
- Human Resources Specialist III with the State of Delaware
- Human Resources Manager with Hologic in Newark
- Human Resources Manager with Dentsply International
Local Resources and Major Employers for HR Professionals in Delaware
HR professionals in Delaware will find they have access to a number of resources throughout their local area and the state:
Professional HR Organizations
Major HR Departments
- Christiana Care Health System
- State of Delaware Human Resource Management
- City of Wilmington Department of Human Resources
- Federal employment website USAJOBS
- Delaware Workforce Development Board
- City of Dover Human Resources Department
- AstraZeneca Pharmaceuticals
Professional Staffing Agencies
- Integrity Staffing Solutions
- Net Temps
- CBI Group
- Contemporary Staffing Solutions
- J and J Staffing Resources
- Delmarva Temporary Staffing
Examples of HR positions were taken from a survey of job listings in the state at the time of this writing and are shown for illustrative purposes only. These examples do not represent job offers or positions that are currently available.
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_de.htm#11-9111. The BLS salary data shown here represents median – 90th percentile salary ranges for the state and includes workers at all levels of education and experience. This data does not represent starting salaries.
Job growth projections sourced from the Delaware Department of Labor 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 September 2019.