HR Salary in the District of Columbia

Washington, D.C. is one of the best places in the country for HR professionals to find employment opportunities that lead to high-end salaries. High wages and outstanding professional opportunities, made possible by one of the strongest economies in the nation, await everyone from aspiring HR specialists and assistants to current HR pros with ambitions of advancing in their current positions.

In fact, DC is home to some of the highest earners in human resources in the nation. For example, DC is the top-paying state for human resources specialists, human resources assistants, and compensation, benefits, and job analysis specialists.

Some of the big earners among HR professionals here include HR managers, who earn a median salary of $157,250, HR specialists, who earn a median salary of $140,130, and compensation and benefits managers, who earn a median salary of $129,960.

Great Ways to Earn a Higher Salary Working in HR

The highest paid HR professionals in the field are often found in supervisory, managerial, directorial, and executive positions that require a large amount of education, experience, and training. In order to qualify for these esteemed positions, HR professionals are encouraged to increase their marketability by:

  • Earning a Master of Business Administration (MBA) in Human Resources Management
  • Becoming a certified human resources professional through a nationally recognized certifying agency like the Society for Human Resource Management
  • Gaining ongoing work experience through internships, volunteer positions, and paid jobs
  • Receiving specialized training in areas such as compensation and benefits, training and development, recruitment and placement, or information system analysis

Human Resources Management Salaries in Washington D.C.

Human resources management professionals in the Washington D.C. metro area, which includes the Arlington and Alexandria (DC-VA-MD-WV) region, earn more than the overall Washington D.C. area in some professions and less in others. For example, compensation and benefits managers earn a higher median salary in the metro area ($142,250 vs. $129,960), while human resources managers in the metro area earn less than the overall Washington D.C. area ($149,280 vs. $157,250).

The following table provides a closer look at average salaries among HR managers in the D.C. metro area:

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Washington-Arlington-Alexandria DC, VA, MD, WV

Annual 25th percentile wage
Annual 75th percentile wage
Compensation and Benefits Managers
Human Resources Managers
Training and Development Managers


Human Resources Specialists and Assistant Salaries in Washington D.C.

The highest earning HR specialists in the Washington D.C. metro area are human resources specialists, who earn a median salary of $83,830.

Additional information on what HR specialists and assistants in the metro area earn at all levels in the Washington-Arlington-Alexandria metro is provided in the following table:
Washington-Arlington-Alexandria DC, VA, MD, WV

Annual 25th percentile wage
Annual 75th percentile wage
Human Resources Specialists
Labor Relations Specialists
Compensation, Benefits, and Job Analysis Specialists
Training and Development Specialists
Human Resources Assistants, Except Payroll and Timekeeping


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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 – 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. 

All salary data accessed in September 2019.

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