Wisconsin’s overall employment growth has lagged that of the United States as a whole, according to the state Department of Revenue (DOR), but the state unemployment level has been consistently below the national rate since 2008. It’s a clear win for Wisconsin workers, and particularly for the HR staff who hire, train, and retain those workers in a robust regional economy.
Trade, transportation, and utilities is the largest single employment sector in the state, providing over half a million jobs with solid companies operating here like Johnson Controls, Oshkosh, and Rockwell. DOR projections show continuing growth in that sector and in construction, leisure and hospitality, and education and health services… all driving strong demand for HR professionals.
In fact, according to the Department of Workforce Development, most categories of HR specialization in both the staff and managerial roles are expected to expand at ten percent or more through 2026, beating out the national rates for those jobs in almost every case.
Strong Demand for Skilled HR Pros is Boosting Salaries in Wisconsin
Strong demand means strong wage growth for HR staff across the state. Professionals at every level can expect to make at least the state median salary, near $55,000, annually, while managers in particular can make nearly double that amount.
With increasing job growth across the spectrum, even more wage growth is anticipated in the state, with DOR projections showing a robust 4.4 percent increase in personal income through 2020.
Human Resources Manager Salaries in Wisconsin
HR managers command top dollar in the field by dint of an advanced master’s-level education and extensive experience in their specialty area. The right fit can be crucial for companies looking to retain an edge in their recruiting and staff retention, an emphasis that is reinforced here through the high wages earned by compensation and benefits managers in particular. With a top-end salary of $174,170 in the upper ten percent of the profession, they are consistently the highest paid managers in the field.
All categories of managers in Milwaukee are looking at median salaries at or near $100,00 per year.
Madison’s training and development managers earn the highest median wage in their category in the state at $105,080 annually.
Human Resources Specialist and Assistant Salaries in Wisconsin
In a state with such a strong union background, it only makes sense that labor relations specialists have both a strong presence (more than 3,000 are employed state-wide) and the highest salary range in the top ten percent, reaching $96,870 at that level. In fact, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics in 2018, the state has the highest concentration of such positions in the nation. But almost all specialists and assistants in the state enjoy salaries of more than $60,000 per year once they reach the top 25 percent of the profession.
In a city grounded firmly in manufacturing and blue-collar industrial labor, it only makes sense that labor relations specialists here command a top-end salary of more than $107,000 annually in the upper ten percent of the profession.
Here you’ll find the employment levels and salary ranges for human resources specialists and assistants in Madison:
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_wi.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 Wisconsin Department of Workforce Development 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.