Strong job markets make for strong HR professional salaries, and New Mexico is booming with an unemployment rate under five percent as of 2019. A 2018 report from the University of New Mexico Bureau of Business and Economic Research found that incomes were already beginning to respond to increasing hiring demand, a trend that is likely to continue.
While the federal government is a large employer in New Mexico with Los Alamos National Laboratory and Sandia National Laboratories, the state is also home to seven rapidly growing Inc. 5000 companies that have been responsible for driving job growth, and by extension, driving demand for HR professionals in the state.
Companies such as InkSoft, Las Ventanas Homes, LadyBoss, and the Burgos Group require talented new employees to help them continue to grow. Both well-established businesses and new start-ups require skilled hiring managers, training specialists, and compensation managers to procure, screen, train and manage a growing workforce.
HR Salaries Climb in New Mexico as Demand Grows
The UNM report found broad-based growth in employment throughout the state, including in nonmetropolitan areas, Albuquerque, and increasingly in Las Cruces and Santa Fe. That has been pushing up salaries throughout the state for HR professionals, among others.
With government sector jobs making up more than 20 percent of positions in the state according to the Department of Workforce Solutions, HR professionals have to factor in compensation beyond salary to find the best positions.
And on the flip side, more benefits from employers means more benefits administration work, an HR staple that will continue to spur public sector employment in the state.
Human Resources Manager Salaries in New Mexico
Although there are relatively few management positions in human resources in New Mexico, those positions offer wages that are relatively high for the state and verge on competing with national levels. The specifics can vary considerably based on location within the state, however.
Albuquerque has both the highest levels of employment for HR managers and the highest salaries in the state at every level.
The Bureau of Labor Statistics found the following employment and salary data for HR managers in Santa Fe in 2018:
Salaries for Human Resources Specialists and Assistants in New Mexico
The bulk of the day-to-day work in human resources in New Mexico is handled by specialists and assistants in the field. Although pay levels don’t often reach the same ranges as those of managers, they can still be quite lucrative, particularly as workers ascend into the top ten percent earning bracket.
Labor relations specialists in Albuquerque bring home the highest pay at the top ten percent of the profession out of any area in the state.
Although it’s a smaller job market, human resources specialists in Santa Fe command a higher wage at the median than those in Albuquerque or other parts of the state.
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_nm.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 New Mexico Department of Workforce Solutions 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.