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Admin, HR, legal

Human resources officer

Human resources (HR) officers hire, develop and look after employees in a company.

Annual Salary

£18,000 to £40,000

Average UK salary in 2022 was £33,200
(source Office for National Statistics)

Working hours

38 to 40 a week

You could work: between 8am and 6pm;

Future employment

There will be 2.9% more Human resources officer jobs in 2027.

Day to day tasks

In this role, you'll deal with staff at all levels in an organisation.

You could:

  • help recruit new employees
  • handle complaints and disciplinary procedures
  • give advice on sickness absence, performance and employment relations
  • plan and put into place employee training and development activities
  • make sure employees have the right pay and benefits
  • arrange employee support services like welfare and counselling
  • keep up to date with equality and health and safety laws
  • give advice on pay negotiations, redundancy and employment law
  • develop HR policies, handbooks and procedures
  • maintain confidential employee records

Working environment

You could work in an office, from home or remotely.

You can get into this job through:

  • a university course
  • a college course
  • an apprenticeship
  • working towards this role
  • specialist courses run by professional bodies

You could do a foundation degree, higher national diploma or degree in any subject. You could then apply for a graduate HR training scheme.

You may have an advantage if you study an HR related subject like:

  • human resources management
  • business management and human resources
  • psychology
  • economics

Find advice on how to check if a course is accredited by the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development (CIPD). Accredited courses will give you automatic entry to CIPD membership.

If you already have a degree, you could do a postgraduate qualification in human resource management, though this is not essential.

Graduate jobs

You can find graduate HR opportunities with:small and medium sized private sector companies in most industries; large multi-national companies; charities and education organisations; public sector employers like the NHS and Civil Service

Some employers may expect you to have, or be working towards Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development (CIPD) qualifications.

Entry requirements

You'll usually need:

  • 1 or 2 A levels, or equivalent, for a foundation degree or higher national diploma
  • 2 to 3 A levels, or equivalent, for a degree
  • a degree in any subject for a postgraduate course
For more information

You can study Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development (CIPD) qualifications like:

  • Level 3 Foundation Certificate in People Practice
  • Level 5 Associate Diploma in People Management
  • Level 7 Advanced Diploma in Strategic People Management

For more information

You may be able to work your way up through the apprenticeship route by starting as an HR assistant on an HR support advanced apprenticeship.

From this you could go on to do a higher level apprenticeship to become a human resources officer.

Relevant apprenticeships include:

  • human resources consultant partner higher apprenticeship
  • senior people professional degree apprenticeship

You can find out more about HR apprenticeships through the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development (CIPD).

For more information

You could start as a human resources assistant or a business administrator in a company's HR department and work your way up through training and promotion.

Other routes

You can study a range of professional qualifications in human resources, either online or at a training centre approved by the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development.

More information

Career tips

Take a look at the CIPD Profession Map to find out more about the values, knowledge and behaviours needed from professionals like HR officers.

Professional and industry bodies

You may find it useful to join organisations like the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development for professional recognition, training opportunities and to make industry contacts.

Further information

You can find out more about careers in human resources from the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development and Personnel Today.

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You could move from small organisations to large public, private or voluntary sector HR departments.

You could take further training through part-time study or an apprenticeship to become a human resources manager.

You may also be able to:become an HR specialist in an area like staff development or training; set up your own consultancy to give recruitment or policy advice; work as a HR specialist in the Army or the Royal Air Force

Skills required and how your skills match up

What skills are required?

You'll need:

  • administration skills
  • knowledge of human resources and employment law
  • to be thorough and pay attention to detail
  • the ability to work well with others
  • the ability to monitor your own performance and that of your colleagues
  • excellent written communication skills
  • business management skills
  • sensitivity and understanding
  • excellent verbal communication skills
  • to be able to use a computer and the main software packages competently
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