With its persistently strong economic climate, Oklahoma’s companies are frequently hiring new employees to keep their businesses viable. This requires the expertise of an array of HR professionals such as HR managers, labor relations specialists, compensation managers, and other types of HR talent. As companies vie for the limited number of high-level HR professionals in Oklahoma, it raises the bar for salaries.
It’s in the cities, though, that both opportunities and salaries are greatest in Oklahoma. According to Forbes in 2019, Oklahoma City is one of the 50 best places in the country for business and careers, with major oil, natural gas, and petroleum development in the area and the city hosting one of the top livestock markets in the world. All of the thriving organizations in the area are in the market for top HR talent to help hire, fire, and administer their sprawling workforces.
Salary Expectations for HR Professionals in Oklahoma
With a cost of living 5 percent below the national average, and earning very respectable salaries, HR professionals can make a good life out of what they are paid. And the bottom-dollar salaries don’t necessarily capture the big picture of HR work in Oklahoma.
Federal agencies are some of the largest employers in Oklahoma, and while their average wages may fall below those of private sector employers, there is no one who better understands the concept of total compensation than an HR staffer. With government positions come increased job protection, solid health care benefits, and retirement plans.
Human Resources Manager Salaries in Oklahoma’s Major Metropolitan Areas
HR managers in Oklahoma’s urban areas often come out on top in comparison to state-wide salary averages, but that’s not always the case. For example, compensation and benefits managers in the state generally can expect to make over $165,000 annually in the top ten percent of their profession, which is slightly above the $162,350 that the same role commands in Oklahoma City. Nonetheless, with a master’s degree and the right experience, management roles are the most lucrative HR jobs anywhere in the state.
Oklahoma City has the highest number of HR management-level positions in the state.
Tulsa’s HR managers command higher salaries at nearly every level than their counterparts in Oklahoma City.
Oklahoma Human Resources Specialist and Assistant Salaries
HR specialists and assistants across Oklahoma can bring in quite respectable salaries at any level, though few reach the national marks of their respective professions. Nonetheless, increasing demand, such as a forecasted increase of more than 11 percent for training and development specialists, should continue to place upward pressure on salaries in most HR fields.
Labor relations specialists in Oklahoma City earn the highest median level wage of any HR staff position in the state.
Tulsa’s HR staffers don’t enjoy the same pay disparity over OK City as managers do, but those working as HR specialists do have a higher median wage than any comparable group in 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_ok.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 Oklahoma Employment Security Commission 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.