According to the Washington state Economic and Revenue Forecast Council, the state comes in second in the nation in innovation drivers and sixth in business performance, making it a great fit for companies in almost every sector. It has strong agribusiness concerns, serves as a regional healthcare hub, and offers easy trade access around the Pacific Rim.
With Seattle long holding the title of Crane Capital of the United States for the highest number of tower cranes erupting from construction sites for commercial and retail developments, businesses from Seattle Genetics, to Google, to Alaska Airlines have all cast their votes: Washington is the place to be for the technology, biotech, and other highly skilled workforce acquisition.
That’s great news for HR professionals who want to turn their degrees into dollars. Human resources managers and staff here bust out of the national averages in every role and at nearly every level of pay. With a high quality of life (also second in the nation in the ERFC analysis) on top of great pay rates, Washington is one of the best places in the nation to start an HR career.
Demand Pushes Salaries Higher for Human Resources Professionals in Washington
With demand so high in almost all sectors, finding qualified employees is a talent all by itself. Hiring all those doctors, scientists, and programmers in a tight labor market requires some of the best-trained and most talented human resource staff available, and companies are showering money on them to make it happen.
It’s hard to find an HR role that doesn’t feature prominently in one area or another of Washington state. According to U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics data, all but one major HR occupation can bring in better than six figures for the top ten percent of professionals. The Seattle metro area ranks 8th in overall employment for compensation and benefits managers and 7th for labor relations specialists.
Human Resources Manager Salaries in Washington
Washington HR managers can expect to make over $120,000 annually nearly anywhere in the state at the median level, with compensation and benefits managers making over $130,000. At the top end, training and development managers blow the top off the BLS charts, making more than $208,000 annually. With a master’s degree being nearly mandatory at that level, managers here will find the additional education invaluable.
Managers in all roles in Seattle make over $200,000 in the top ten percent of their respective professions.
Here you’ll find the employment level and salary for HR managers in Spokane:
Human Resources Specialist and Assistant Salaries in Washington
When it comes down to doing the real work in human resources, there is plenty of opportunity to go around for specialists and assistants throughout Washington state. At the forefront of the tech revolution, companies here understand that constantly upping their employees’ game is critical, so it’s no surprise that training and development specialists will see a more than 22 percent increase in positions through 2026.
Seattle has been a union town for a long time, so the $78,660 per year that labor relations specialists make at the median level beats out salaries in other specialist roles and accurately reflects the emphasis of the market.
Spokane is coming up hard on the heels of the competition in the Puget Sound region, and training and development specialists take in top salaries for training the workforce here, bringing in $97,040 in the top ten percent.
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_wa.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 Washington Employment Security Department 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.