Businesses and government agencies must maintain many documents on the employees they hire, including applications, resumes, references, employee exams, drug tests and I-9 forms, which substantiate the legal status of employees. Entry-level human resource assistants help maintain employees' files and perform various clerical functions for human resource managers and specialists. They coordinate interview schedules, conduct background checks on job candidates and distribute orientation and benefits folders to new hires. Human resource assistants typically need only a high school diploma. You can expect to earn an average salary of slightly less than $40,000 annually.
Salary and Qualifications
The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics last reported salary data for human resource assistants in 2008, when they earned average salaries of $36,810. In 2013, entry-level human resource associates earned annual salaries of $37,000, according to the job website Indeed. To become a human resource assistant, you'll need a high school degree and at least one or two years experience working in a human resources department. Other essential requirements for the job are attention to detail, and communication, organizational and computer skills.
Salary by Region
Average salaries for entry-level human resource assistants varied somewhat by region in 2013. In the Midwest region, they earned the lowest salaries of $29,000 in South Dakota and the highest of $39,000 in Illinois, according to Indeed. Those in the South made between $31,000 and $44,000, respectively, in Louisiana and Mississippi. If you worked in the Northeast region, your earnings would range from $33,000 to $44,000, with the lowest salary in Maine or Pennsylvania and highest in New York. And you would earn $27,000 or $41,000, respectively, in Hawaii or California, which were the lowest and highest salaries in the West region.
Entry-level human resource assistants can increase their salaries as they gain experience. For example, they may qualify for higher-paying positions once they have five years of experience. You would also likely earn more working for a larger company, as they have the financial resources to support the higher salaries. Moreover, you can expect to earn more in certain industries. Human resources managers, for example, earned the highest salaries working in the motion picture and securities and commodities industries in 2012, according to the BLS – $157,790 and $149,220 per year, respectively. Average salaries for human resources managers were $109,590 the same year. Since you would likely work for a human resources manager as her assistant, you may also earn more in the aforementioned industries.
Jobs for information clerks, including entry-level human resource assistants, are expected to increase 11 percent in the next decade, according to the BLS, which is statistically about average compared to the 14 percent growth-rate for all occupations. Demand for human resource assistants is starting to decline as more companies start using electronic data in human resources, from the application to departure stages. You may find more job opportunities in this entry-level job when applying with companies in high-growth industries: Computer software and wireless. More corporations are also outsourcing their human resources departments, so consider applying for companies that offer human resources independently. Convergys and Accenture are two companies that offer human resources to corporations.