HR Pay Rising Faster in Top Jobs: Survey

June 25, 2001 ( - Reflecting both the challenging economy and the evolving human resource function, pay for some higher level HR jobs is sharply on the rise but holding relatively steady for lower level positions.

These are among the findings of a new survey conducted by William M. Mercer, Incorporated and the Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM).

For the most highly populated jobs in this year’s survey, increases in median total cash compensation over the past year ranged from 8.7% for a payroll manager to 2% for a compensation analyst or HR generalist. This pattern was consistent throughout all jobs in the survey.

Top corporate security managers, for example, today receive median total cash compensation of $102,500, representing an increase of 10.2% over 2000.

Other jobs with large increases were:

  • top corporate training executive (10.5% increase in median total cash compensation to $137,600)
  • eeo/diversity manager (11.5% increase to $90,000)
  • technical trainer (15.2% increase to $58,100).

In contrast, a number of lower-level jobs (including most analyst, administrator, clerical, and generalist jobs) saw increases in median total cash compensation of 2% or less over the past year.

However, certain mid-level and senior jobs, such as training manager and top corporate compensation executive, also saw pay remain flat.

“The economic uncertainty appears to be holding down pay increases in certain areas where qualified HR talent is more readily available, including many of the entry-level positions,” says Patricia Schaeffer, a Mercer senior compensation consultant.

“However, in certain areas – including jobs requiring specialized skills, such as corporate security and HRIS – pay rose at a fairly brisk pace.”

Several new jobs were added to the survey this year to reflect HR’s changing and emerging roles. They include immigration/expatriate services manager, senior HR service center representative, and HR service center representative.

The 2001 Human Resource Management Compensation Survey, includes data provided by 1,156 companies that collectively have more than 10 million employees.

The survey covers more than 37,000 employees in 103 HR jobs, ranging from top management to clerical positions in HR.