Human Resources Specialist

Become a Human Resources Specialist

Human resources is a vital field, serving enterprises across the economic spectrum. If you are interested in becoming a human resources specialist, the choice is really yours about what type of industries, businesses, non-profits, or government agencies you want to work with. Located in Virginia, Fairfax University of America offers courses and degree programs in our School of Business that focus on developing skills and knowledge for a future in human resources.

Start Your Career in Human Resources

Most human resources professionals have a bachelor’s degree in a related field, such as business administration, communications, or education. At Fairfax University of America, students can pursue the following programs:

During their studies, students can take advantage of internship opportunities and professional organizations to expand their networks, knowledge, experience, and skills. While almost every organization needs an employee or department to handle human resources, they often prefer to hire graduates who also have hands-on experience. They may even prefer to hire individuals with experience relevant to their type of business or service providers. Students who keep this in mind when choosing their internships and volunteer work may well have an advantage over other candidates when applying for professional positions.

Desirable Qualities and Skills for Human Resources Professionals

When pursuing a bachelor’s degree with the idea of becoming a human resource professional, it’s important to keep in mind the qualities and skills best suited to this occupation. Students can take advantage of their studies to develop better skills in:

  • Methods of communication, including listening, writing, public speaking, interviewing, and teaching
  • Attention to detail, especially regarding legal paperwork, payroll information, and employer policies and procedures
  • Confidence in making decisions, which comes in handy for evaluating pools of applicants
  • Interactions with other people, including recognizing or negotiating group behaviors and modeling professional workplace behavior
  • Ethical integrity, including understanding the legal ethics associated with employment, as well as the organization’s mission, vision, and values
  • Conflict-resolution principles, helping employees and management teams work together as efficiently and positively as possible

Human Resources Specialist Duties and Responsibilities

Human resource professionals serve at many levels in organizations. As professionals, they may be considered administrative staff, participate at the management level, or even report directly to a president or CEO. It all depends on the structure of the specific company or agency. Among the many duties and responsibilities held by human resources specialists, here are some of the most common:

  • Administrative tasks (documenting employment, payroll, benefits, employee accomplishments, severances, and vacation schedules)
  • Staff education and training (procedures for safety, policies around harassment and discrimination, and routine documents)
  • Designing and writing policies and procedures
  • Maintaining confidentiality and personnel files
  • Assuring compliance with rules of law regarding employment, COBRA benefits, workplace safety incidents
  • Investigating and documenting workplace complaints
  • Recruitment of new employees (preparing job descriptions, advertising, interviewing, documenting, and participating in hiring decisions)
  • Developing benefits and workplace environments conducive to employee retention

Salaries and Advancement in Human Resources

This role is key to productivity and morale among employees. As the human resources specialist gains experience, they may advance to become directors of human resource departments or join management teams across the organization. They also may start their own consulting firms, or work as consultants for a variety of companies, including employment agencies. When graduates join this well-organized profession, they also have opportunities for further certifications and licenses, which can advance their careers.

Pursuing a master’s degree program can raise salaries for human resources professionals. In May 2021, the median annual wage for human resources specialists was $62,290, with the highest 10% earning more than $108,160. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) projects employment to grow through the year 2030 in this field.

Prepare for Human Resources Careers at Fairfax University of America

The business administration degree program at Fairfax University of America in Virginia offers an organizational development and human resources specialization unit. These courses are specially designed to set students up for a career trajectory in both business and human resources. Request information about our affordable, business-oriented degree programs or complete an online application today.