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Highest paying jobs in HR: the forgotten pay packet

Human Resources is often located at the heart of any business, but do we ever stop and think about how much they earn? If you are considering a career in HR, or just curious about how much the HR manager offering you your next job earns, or possibly you are just looking to compare your salary, in any case take a look at our best paying sectors below.

HR Junior Manager pay: a strong start

Sector SalaryBonus
Energy, Chemicals, Environmental38,6000
Banking & Financial Services36,8502,250
Manufacturing & Industrials33,0001,250
Technology & Telecoms32,8000
Consulting & Outsourcing30,0000
Law Practice28,0000
Media, Communication, Music, Gaming27,5000
Construction, Real Estate, Architecture26,7520
Consumer Goods & FMCG25,7500
Services, Tourism, Restaurants25,2500
Charity & Not For Profit24,7360
Retail & Trade24,2000
Public sector & Education23,0000

HR jobs in Insurance & Banking are the highest paid with over 100,000 annual pay packages at junior levels, in line with top front jobs such as places on front office Analyst programmes. Not only are Insurance & Banking the best paying HR sectors for juniors, they are also one of the few to pay bonuses early on in their HR employees' career, again probably mimicking the sectors' practices. Beware though: HR jobs at financial institutions are usually under pressure from line managers who resent HR's intervention in the recruitment process. Is the extra pay worth the extra stress?

HR Senior Manager pay: pick the right spot

Banking & Financial Services88,50028,000
Technology & Telecoms85,00015,000
Retail & Trade80,50011,000
Manufacturing & Industrials79,0003,083
Consulting & Outsourcing77,5003,000
Public sector & Education61,5000
Charity & Not For Profit41,0000

As HR professionals move up through the ranks to Senior managerial positions, HR salaries become much more polarised with as much as a 60,000 gap in base salary between Insurance & banking and Charity sectors. With bonuses averaging 28,000, HR pay flirts with front office bonuses. Coupled with the highest salaries (90,000) in the HR profession, HR pay inches close to average M&A packages currently standing at 148,000 (bonus+fixed salary).

A gender gap in HR pay? Surely not.

Men earn 21% higher salaries than women in the same HR positions. A surprising fact considering HR departments are directly responsible for informing gender and diversity policies.

Since 2011, HR managers salaries have dropped from 75,000 to 56,000, a result of the growth of highly effective HR software and systems, competition from cheaper RPO services and high redundancy growth over the period.

HR - a morphing career?

What is the future of HR and how are strategies and job descriptions

likely to change? Maintaining a corporate profile on is now a pre-requisite for large corporations, as is keeping an eye on employee mood with various apps and controls. New tech tools are both expanding traditional HR roles and imposing new requirements, sometimes inching the job closer to marketing and PR departments.


Emolument provides bonus and salary statistics based on data submitted directly by professionals like you. It is free, anonymous, and already a trusted tool for thousands of professionals worldwide. Are you paid enough? Click here to find out now.

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