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Career profile: Human resources officer

human resource officer chairDo you like working with people and making the best of their talents? Human resource (or HR) officers are in charge of recruiting staff, looking after their interests and in some cases, firing them.

A what?

Sometimes thought of as the hirers and firers, HR officers (also called personnel officers) play an important part in making sure the right people get promoted and assessing the mood and atmosphere in an organisation.

On the job

Most large companies tend to have a human resource or personnel department, which is responsible for things like the recruitment, training, pay and motivation of the staff. Human resource officers may have to deal with all of these areas, or specialise in just one.

Day-to-day the work involves dealing with emails, letters and job applications as well as a certain amount of data and statistics in the form of accounts. As well as the more admin side of the job, HR officers also need to be skillful in negotiating as they will often have to mediate between managers and staff.

How do I get there?

There are no official minimal requirements for the role, but most human resource officers have a degree. Qualifications in human resource management, business studies, social administration and psychology are all relevant, but any degree could take you there.

Some people start in administration or clerical work and then move on to human resources work. They start with a range of qualifications, including GCSEs, A-levels or BTEC first, or national award.
Apprenticeships which may be available in England are Young apprenticeships, Pre-Apprenticeships, apprenticeships and Advanced apprenticeships. Log onto the Apprenticeships website to find which would be most appropriate for you.

New personnel officers can earn somewhere between £20,000 and £25,000 a year depending on their employer. If they get up to the level of a human resource director, then the salary could reach over £60,000.

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