A steadily growing GDP (its output grew from $300 billion in 2016 to $305 billion in 2017.), a low unemployment rate of just 3.3 percent (as of August 2019), and a diverse economy that’s propelled by some of the biggest companies in the U.S., including Target, 3M, General Mills, Ameriprise Financial, and St. Jude Medical, makes Minnesota’s economic environment prime for outstanding professional opportunities in human resources.
This means that whether you’re a recent high school grad, career changer, or an experienced HR professional interested in taking your career to the next level, Minnesota is where your dreams can become reality.
Salary statistics from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) and job projections from the Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development provide a closer look at the professional opportunities awaiting aspiring and practicing HR professionals in Minnesota:
Human Resources Management
- Human Resources Managers – Human resources managers in Minnesota earn a median salary of $109,950 and a top (90th percentile) salary of $180,530.
- Compensation and Benefits Managers – Compensation and benefits managers in Minnesota earn a median salary of $129,240, which is about $10,000 more than the national median salary of $119,120 for this profession.
- Training and Development Managers – Minnesota’s training and development managers earn a median salary of $103,880.
Human Resources Specialists and Assistants
- Human Resources Specialists – HR specialists in Minnesota earn a median salary of $60,350 in Minnesota. As of May 2018, there were 12,670 of these professionals in Minnesota.
- Labor Relations Specialists – Labor relations specialists in Minnesota earn a median salary of $75,670, which is about $12,000 more than the national median salary for this profession.
- Training and Development Specialists – Minnesota’s training and development specialists earn a median salary of $63,640 and a top (90th percentile) salary of $98,460.
- Compensation, Benefits, and Job Analysis Specialists – The number of compensation, benefits, and job analysis specialists in Minnesota is projected to increase 11.6 percent between 2016 and 2026 – that’s much higher than the national projected growth rate of 8.4 percent for this profession.
- Human Resources Assistants – HR assistants in Minnesota earn a median salary of $43,000, which is about $3,000 more than the national median salary of $40,390 for these professionals.
What Minnesota’s Top Employers are Looking for in HR Management Professionals
Jobs in human resources may run the gamut from administrative, entry-level positions to director and senior-level positions in non-profit, for-profit, academic, and government agencies and companies.
Job descriptions for recent job postings reveal some of the responsibilities of these professionals and what it takes to land an HR job with some of Minnesota’s top employers (Shown for illustrative purposes only):
Senior Human Resources Generalist, Brownsworth: Plymouth
This position involves coordinating all recruitment activities to ensure the most efficient sourcing processes are utilized. The job also involves researching, recommending, and implementing new methods for recruitment and employee retention.
Candidates for this position must possess a bachelor’s degree in human resources, business, or a related field, along with at least 3 to 5 years of experience as a human resources generalist.
HR Generalist, Insight Imaging: St. Louis Park
This position requires partnering with and supporting operations in assigned markets related to recruiting, employee relations, training, and compensation.
Candidates for this position must possess a bachelor’s degree in human resources or a related field, PHR or SPHR certification, and at least 3 years of experience in HR.
HR Business Partner, Green Tree: Saint Paul
This HR job requires consulting and supporting a designated business unit and partnering with managers and employees to provide professional counsel regarding the interpretation and application of policies related to staff employment concerns.
Ideal candidates will possess an advanced university or post-graduate degree at least 5 years of HR generalist experience in all HR disciplines, including talent acquisition, employee engagement, learning and development, and labor relations.
Human Resources Coordinator, Digital River: Minnetonka
This position requires assisting recruiters in scheduling interviews and creating interview agendas, facilitating communication and the collection of new hire paperwork, managing the employee referral program, and providing backup support for delivering and facilitating on-boarding for new hires.
Candidates for this position must possess a bachelor’s degree or equivalent experience and at least 2 years of experience in human resources and/or recruiting.
Human Resources Consultant, Children’s Hospital and Clinics of Minnesota: St. Paul
This position involves analyzing HR and business-related problems, recommending solutions to frontline managers, and resolving issues related to HR policies, procedures, and union contracts.
Candidates for this position must possess a bachelor’s degree or equivalent experience and at least 3 years of HR generalist experience or experience in employee relations. An SPHR or PHR certification is preferred.
Degree and Certification Requirements for a Career in Human Resource Management
Most of Minnesota’s top employers of human resources specialists and managers require a bachelor’s degree in business or human resource management at minimum, although a master’s or specialized MBA is often preferred.
Bachelor’s Degrees for Human Resources Professionals in Minnesota
A bachelor’s degree in human resources may be structured as a:
- Bachelor of Arts (BA)
- Bachelor of Science (BS)
- Bachelor of Business Administration (BBA)
These programs prepare students to supervise a human resources personnel department in which they would oversee business, financial, and legal issues related to company employees. Coursework in these programs emphasizes the management of human capital and the mastery of knowledge and skills associated with:
- Human resource planning and analysis
- Equal Opportunity compliance
- Human resource development
- Employee and labor/management relations
Master’s Degrees for Human Resources Professionals in Minnesota
A master’s degree in human resources is designed to allow students to obtain the skillset needed to become a business leader, so this is most often the degree-level of choice for those pursuing management positions in human resources. A master’s degree in human resources is the ideal pursuit for both practicing HR pros with a bachelor’s degree and career changers who hold a bachelor’s degree in another field.
Many times, graduates of these programs are prepared for exciting careers as directors and vice presidents of human resources departments, senior HR specialists or generalists, or business leaders with a strategic human resource management focus.
Master’s degree programs in human resources may be structured as a:
- Master of Arts (MA)
- Master of Science (BS)
- Master of Business Administration (MBA)
An MBA with a Human Resource Management concentration involves studying HR-specific and other business-related topics. These programs are designed to improve a graduate student’s general management perspective and competency. HR coursework in this type of program includes:
- Human Resources Management Strategies
- Ethical Decisions in Business
- Leadership Development
- Organizational Communication and Information Management
- Best Practices in HR
Although admission requirements into master’s programs in human resources vary, many require the completion of specific undergraduate coursework and a minimum undergraduate GPA. Most of these programs culminate in an internship or capstone experience.
Professional Certification for Human Resources Professionals in Minnesota
Professional certification in human resources is optional, yet it helps exhibit leadership skills and a high level of expertise and competence. The most widely recognized professional designations in human resources 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)
Minnesota’s Top Employers of Human Resources Management Professionals
Whether they are called analysts, specialists, coordinators, or advisors, human resources professionals in Minnesota are most plentiful in companies that employ the most workers.
According to the Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development, some of the largest industries driving the demand for HR professionals include bioscience, manufacturing, and wind power.
Some of the top employers in Minnesota in 2019, according to the BLS, include:
- Mayo Clinic: 30,000 employees
- Mayo Clinic at St. Mary’s Hospital: 28,144 employees
- University of Minnesota, Twin Cities: 18,000 employees
- 3M: 11,000 employees
- Target: 10,000 employees
- Park Nicollet: 9,000 employees
- Best Buy: 6,000 employees
Resources for Human Resources Professionals in Minnesota
Both aspiring and practicing HR professionals in Minnesota have a number of professional organizations at their disposal that serve as valuable resources:
- Twin Cities Human Resource Association
- Society for Human Resource Management, Minnesota State Council
- Healthcare Human Resources Association of Minnesota
- Minnesota Counties Human Resources Management Association
- Southern Minnesota Area Human Resource Association
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_mn.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 Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development 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.