Pennsylvania’s Independent Fiscal Office projected an increase in real GDP for 2019 and 2020 of almost 2 percent per year, continuing the health expansion that has been boosting HR professional prospects in the Keystone State since 2009. Job growth in general always creates competition for the skilled human resources professionals needed to recruit, hire and train the new talent businesses need.
Pennsylvania is home to the sixth-largest economy in the U.S. and hosts 44 of the 1,000 largest public and private companies in the country according to Forbes.
As of 2019, nearly 200 of the Inc. 5000 fastest growing companies had major operations in Pennsylvania, including three from the top 100: Perpay, Netizen, and Patton Warehousing. These are also among the companies driving much of the demand for the recruiting specialists, hiring managers, training and development staff and other HR professionals required to support a large labor force.
Job Growth and Salary Expectations for HR Professionals in Pennsylvania
When businesses compete for skilled HR professionals, they invariably start offering higher salaries as a way to attract top talent.
In fact, this already appears to be occurring, with IFO projections estimating that wages and salaries in the state will be bumping up by 4 percent year-over-year… a healthy boost over the rate of inflation in the state.
With growth in all HR specialty roles coming in north of 7 percent in all but a few areas, anyone hunting for a job in the field in the next few years is sure to benefit from the trend.
Human Resources Manager Salaries in Pennsylvania Cities and Rural Areas
Managers in Pennsylvania command the highest salaries of all HR professionals in the state, and some of the highest in the country. Compensation and benefits managers, for example, break the bank on the Bureau of Labor Statistics data for 2018, literally off the charts at over $208,000 per year in the highest percentile.
The specific numbers and employment levels vary considerably from region to region within the state, however. Some of the top urban areas include:
Philadelphia is the fifth highest paying metropolitan areas for human resource managers in the nation.
Pittsburg HR managers in all areas pull in six figures at the median.
Compensation and benefits managers in Harrisburg are far fewer in number than their counterparts in Pittsburg, but command a substantially higher salary in the top ten percent.
Salaries for Human Resources Specialists and Assistants in Pennsylvania
Both human resources specialists and compensation and benefits analysts are expected to enjoy faster than average rates of growth in Pennsylvania through 2026. Annually, the two positions combined will have more than 2,500 openings, a combination of new job creation and turnover in existing positions.
The state is also the fifth best in the nation for labor relation specialist salaries according to BLS, and has the fifth highest employment level overall for HR specialists.
Philadelphia has a lot of great opportunities for HR specialists of every stripe, but labor relations specialists make considerably more here at every level than in any other region of the state.
These are the employment and wage statistics for HR professionals working in Pittsburgh in line staff roles as of 2018.
Compensation and benefits analysts are the only HR specialists in Harrisburg with any hope of breaking the six-figure income mark, but they do it in a big way in the top ten percent of the profession, pulling in the highest salaries in the state for the role at $117,510.
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_pa.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 Pennsylvania Department of Labor and Industry 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.