HR Pay Gap Widens

May 17, 2001 ( - Although Human Resources Directors have a median annual income of $78,968, the top jobs in this field pay over $500, 000, a recent survey finds. Apparently, it also helps to have "director" in your title.

The study of 34 benchmark jobs by Abbott, Langer & Associates, Inc shows that the human resources practitioner with the highest annual income, which includes salary, cash bonus and cash profit sharing, is a Human Resources Director whose responsibilities include industrial relations.

Individuals with the highest paychecks in the HR field typically hold graduate degrees, have 15 to 20 years of experience, and oversee a staff of 10 or more human resources employees.

Location, location, location

These best-paid HR pros are employed in the following cities:

  • New York City,
  • Indianapolis,
  • Milwaukee,
  • Ventura County, California,
  • Washington DC,
  • Newark/Jersey City,
  • Birmingham,
  • Richmond,
  • Chicago,
  • San Francisco,
  • Dallas/Ft. Worth, or
  • San Jose.


Human Resources Records Clerks can be found at the other end of the pay spectrum, with a median annual income of $24,960, although lowest earners in this group earn less than $12,000 per annum. This clerk has little or no college education and works for a company with under 1,000 employees.

The median total cash compensation of a selection of the jobs included in the survey report are:

  • Compensation Directors $109,975
  • Benefits Directors $105,865
  • Recruitment & Interviewing Managers $70,000
  • Benefits Supervisors $60,393
  • Recruitment & Interviewing Specialists (Executive, Managerial, & Professional Jobs) $51,669
  • Training Generalists (Computer) $43,388
  • Job Evaluation Specialists $43,155
  • Human Resources Records Specialists $32,732

These composites are based on data from 1,047 organizations on current salaries, salary ranges, cash bonuses and profit sharing, and demographic variables of over 5,500 human resources practitioners and support staff.