Forbes Magazine ranked North Carolina the number one state for business in the country in 2019, which is music to the ears of current and future HR professionals looking to establish or advance a career in the state. Forbes further places the state at number eleven overall for labor supply, and number two for business costs.
HR professionals have a lot to do with those results, and, consequently, they can expect both excellent salaries and future job growth in the Tarheel State. In fact, North Carolina is one of the few states in which positive job growth is expected in all HR job categories that we evaluate.
Salary Expectations for North Carolina’s HR Professionals
North Carolina hews pretty closely to the national averages at all of the salary levels we track here for most specializations. However, as any HR professional is quick to point out, total compensation includes many things beyond simply a base salary. The Forbes Best States for Business List is quick to identify the state as twelfth best in the nation for quality of life, which is a kind of compensation you can’t buy.
With corporations like Bank of America and Lowe’s headquartered here, and with major operations of Fortune 500 stalwarts like GE and Boeing continuing to grow in the state, there are plenty of job opportunities for HR professionals, and every reason to expect salaries to continue to grow with them.
Salaries of Human Resources Managers in North Carolina
Although state-level averages for HR managers tend to align closely to national rates at the median and in the top 25 and top 10 percent, there are significant differences depending on the specific metropolitan area you are looking at.
Charlotte busts off the top of BLS wage rankings for HR managers and compensation and benefits managers, where those in the top ten percent of the field exceed the $208,000 per year level.
Although Raleigh doesn’t quite hit the Charlotte levels, managers here generally beat the state averages at each level. The presence of the exploding Research Triangle area between Raleigh and Durham ensures even more expansion here in the future.
Human Resources Specialist and Assistant Salaries Throughout North Carolina
Human resources staff at the line level range between around $38,000 and $60,000 throughout North Carolina, levels that approach those of national wages at the median. But those working in specific nonmetropolitan areas can come in considerably above those levels, particularly in certain fields, such as compensation and benefits.
Charlotte is a great place to be a human resources assistant, with a median wage of more than $42,000, versus the state median of $38,000.
Compensation and benefits specialists in Raleigh can make nearly $70,00 a year at the median, comfortably above the national rate of $63,000 for this profession.
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_nc.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 North Carolina Department of Commerce 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.