According to the Maryland Department of Labor, in May 2019, Maryland added slightly more than 10,000 jobs—the largest single monthly gain since May 2015, while its unemployment level fell to 3.7 percent – the lowest level in the past decade. Add to that a GDP of $413 billion in 2019, the 15th largest in the nation, and it’s clear that Maryland’s human resources professionals have plenty to cheer about.
Salary statistics from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) and job projections from the Maryland Department of Labor reveal some of the highlights for professionals in the human resources field:
Human Resources Management
- Human Resources Managers – Human resources managers in Maryland earn a median salary of $132,080 – that’s about $19,000 more than the national median salary for this profession.
- Compensation and Benefits Managers – Compensation and benefits managers in Maryland earn a median salary of $137,330, which is $18,000 more than the national median for this profession.
- Training and Development Managers – Training and development managers in Maryland earn a median salary of $121,770, which is about $10,000 more than the national median salary for this profession.
Human Resources Specialists and Assistants
- Human Resources Specialists – HR specialists in Maryland earn a median salary of $71,280 – the fifth highest salary in the nation for these professionals.
- Labor Relations Specialists – Labor relations specialists in Maryland earn a median salary of $89,470 – that’s $26,000 more than the national median salary for this profession.
- Training and Development Specialists – Training and development specialists in Maryland earn a median salary of $66,210 and a top (90th percentile) salary of $103,380.
- Compensation, Benefits, and Job Analysis Specialists – Compensation and benefits specialists earn a median salary of $71,650 in Maryland – that’s about $8,000 more than the national median salary for this profession.
- Human Resources Assistants – Maryland’s HR assistants earn a median salary of $44,380, which is about $4,000 more than the national median for this profession.
Maryland’s Top Employers of Human Resources Professionals
Jobs in human resources can be found at virtually any company, although larger companies often have human resources teams and more organized efforts for overseeing employee benefits, assistance, and support.
The high concentration of military installations and civilian agencies also generate a significant number of jobs, highlighting the need for human resources professionals to oversee the employees of these agencies, organizations, and businesses.
Maryland’s top employers (as identified by the BLS in 2019) make a strong contribution to the creation of human resources jobs in the state:
- Maryland Department of Public Safety and Correctional Services: 15,000 employees
- NASA: 13,500 employees
- US Social Security Administration: 11,400 employees
- NASA Goddard Space Flight Center: 11,000 employees
- University of Maryland Medical Center: 10,494 employees
- National Institutes of Health: 10,000 employees
Job Requirements for Human Resources Professionals in Maryland
A sample of job descriptions from recent postings highlight the opportunities available to qualified human resources professionals, and the requirements that often accompany these positions (Shown for illustrative purposes only):
Human Resources Assistant/Facilities Coordinator, Maryland Insurance Administration:
- Responsible for assisting the human resources division by performing a variety of personnel and administrative tasks, including coordinating and scheduling interviews, and administering approved writing exercises for interview candidates
- Requires a bachelor’s degree from an accredited college or university along with at least one year of experience in administrative or professional work
Human Service Administrator, Maryland Department of Human Resources, Health Care Reform:
- Responsible for delivering technical assistance directly to district offices as needed and monitoring corrective actions so as to ensure operational improvement
- Requires a bachelor’s degree from an accredited college or university and at least seven years of experience in administrative, professional, or technical work
HR Manager, Elizabeth Cooney Care Network (nursing and healthcare services company):
- Responsible for providing assistance, advice, and follow-up on company policies, procedures, and documentation and for overseeing the full cycle of recruitment
- Requires a bachelor’s degree in human resources or business management and at least five years of experience in a healthcare setting
HR Generalist, John Hopkins Medicine, Bloomberg School of Public Health:
- Responsible for providing human resources support and consultation in a range of areas, including performance management, employee relations, employee development, and risk development
- Requires a bachelor’s degree in human resources, business administration, or a related field, along with three years of progressive work experience in professional human resources; a master’s degree and PHR certification is preferred
Human Resources Professionals, National Security Agency, Fort George G. Meade:
- HR Generalist: Responsible for assisting employees with leave, benefits, retirement, policy interpretation, resignation, and other HR-related matters; requires an associate’s degree and at least two years of experience or a bachelor’s degree and no experience; a degree in HR is preferred
- HR Program Manager: Responsible for assisting managers and employees as a consultant for performance management, awards and promotions, staffing, and policy interpretation and guidance; requires an associate’s degree and at least two years of experience or a bachelor’s degree and no experience; a degree in HR is preferred
- HR Technical Specialist: Responsible for HR administration by processing and monitoring personnel actions; requires an associate degree, with an HR degree preferred
How to Become a Human Resources Professional: Degrees and Certification
Although some entry-level positions require only an associate’s degree or related administrative experience, most managerial and senior-level positions require bachelor’s and often master’s degrees.
Individuals pursuing bachelor’s degrees for jobs in human resources most often choose to complete their undergraduate degree in human resources, although degrees in business management and business administration are also often chosen.
Bachelor’s Degrees in Human Resources
A bachelor’s degree in human resources (which may be designed as a Bachelor of Science, a Bachelor of Arts, or a Bachelor of Business Administration) is designed to help students learn how to select, develop, and retain employees that complement the culture of the business or organization.
Students in a human resources bachelor’s degree program are taught to successfully execute key functions; understand the essential candidate analysis techniques; understand compensation models and training skills; and more. Typical coursework in this type of program includes general educational requirements, a business core, and human resources coursework, such as:
- Human resources management
- Training and development
- Compensation and benefits
- Employee and labor relations
Master’s Degrees in Human Resources
Students who want to pursue senior-level positions in human resources often choose to pursue a graduate degree or add a graduate certificate onto their existing master’s degree.
While specific undergraduate coursework is often required for admission into master’s programs in human resources, most programs accept students with a variety of undergraduate degrees, making them the ideal choice for career changers who hold bachelor’s degrees in a variety of subjects.
Jobs requiring graduate degrees in human resources often include:
- Compensation consultant
- Benefits consultant
- HR analyst
- Labor relations representative
- HR director
Human resources master’s degrees may be designed as Master of Arts (MA), Master of Science (MS), and Master of Business Administration (MBA) degrees. These programs may be offered as traditional on-campus programs, online programs, or blended programs.
Similar types of graduate programs in human resources include:
- Master of Labor Relations and Human Resources
- Master of Science in Organizational Management with a concentration in Human Resources
- Master of Science in Human Resources and Organizational Management
- Master of Human Resource Management
- Master of Professional Studies in Human Resource Management
- Master of Human Resources
A number of human resources master’s degrees also allow students to focus their course of study in specific areas, such as:
- Staffing, training, and development
- Employment and labor law
- Labor and collective bargaining
- Benefits and compensation
Core coursework in a master’s degree in human resources often includes:
- Managing for effective and ethical organizational behavior
- Recruitment and selection
- Personnel psychology
- Advanced training and development in organizations
- Strategic management of human resources
Professional Certification in Human Resources
Professional certification is commonplace in the human resources field, as it provides an opportunity for HR pros to display a commitment to continued education and to the profession.
The most widely recognized human resources professional certifications include (both credentials are examination-based):
- 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)
Resources for Maryland’s Human Resources Professionals
There are many organizations throughout Maryland that serve as valuable resources for both aspiring and practicing HR professionals:
- Maryland Society of Human Resource Management State Council
- Human Resources Association of South Maryland
- Maryland Association of Human Resources Officers
- Maryland Department of Human Resources
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_md.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 Maryland 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.