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How to Become a HR Administrator

If you think you would enjoy a fast-paced, challenging job where you get to help others with their needs and questions, a human resources administrator position might be right for you. 

HR administrators help manage the human resources department. From helping answer employee questions to preparing HR documents to updating personnel records, HR administrators keep busy. They are vital team members working to make sure all aspects of the HR department run smoothly.

HR administrators wear many hats as they help employees with essential issues. To tackle all their responsibilities, these professionals need great people and communication skills and a knack for multitasking. 

Sample job description

HR administrators manage the human resources department of an organization. They make sure the HR department runs smoothly by helping to answer employee questions, preparing HR documents, updating personnel records, and more. HR administrators are excellent at multitasking and need to be organized and have exceptional interpersonal and time management skills. [Your Company Name] is looking for an experienced HR administrator to take our company to new heights. As an ideal candidate, you have solid leadership skills and proven experience maintaining personnel records, managing HR documents, and updating internal databases. 

Typical duties and responsibilities

  • Facilitate HR department processes
  • Prepare HR documents
  • Help employees with their questions and issues
  • Assist with employee hiring, onboarding, and training
  • Help with employee health plans, payroll, and benefits

Education and experience

This position requires a bachelor’s degree in human resources management, business administration, or a related field. 

Required skills and qualifications

  • Ability to multitask and organize  
  • Exceptional interpersonal and time management skills
  • Adaptability and accountability
  • Proficiency using Microsoft Office Suite
  • Able to work with minimal direction
  • Excellent customer service skills

Preferred qualifications

  • Master’s degree in business, human resources, or related field
  • 3+ years of experience working in HR
  • Bilingual
  • Strong interpersonal skills

Typical work environment

HR administrators work in nearly every industry. They typically work in offices in front of a computer. Most HR administrators work full time during regular business hours. Some HR administrators might be required to travel to attend professional meetings or to recruit employees.  

Typical hours

The typical work hours for an HR administrator can be from 9 AM to 5 PM, Monday through Friday, in an office setting.

Available certifications

HR administrators are found in almost every type of industry, and many institutions offer certifications that can help enhance their skills. Here are two of the best certifications for HR administrators: 

  • Professional in Human Resources (PHR). This course is designed for HR professionals who have experience working in an HR environment and who are accountable to other HR professionals within an organization. Candidates learn about employee and labor relations, business management, talent planning and acquisition, and rewards. To be eligible to sit for the exam, you must have a certain combination of education and experience. The PHR certification is valid for three years. You must earn 60 recertification credits over the three years to maintain certification or retake the exam. 
  • Senior Professional in Human Resources (SPHR). The SPHR is an advanced certification demonstrating your HR leadership, policy making, and management skills. The exam covers topics such as leadership and strategy, employee relations and engagement, and learning and development. You will need a master’s degree and 4+ years of experience, a bachelor’s degree and 5+ years of experience, or 7+ years of experience without a degree to be eligible. The credential is good for 3 years, during which time you must take 60 credits of continuing education to recertify or retake the exam.

Career path

The career path for an HR administrator starts by obtaining a bachelor’s degree in human resources management, business administration, or a related field. Also, achieving certification as a professional in human resources can help lay the groundwork to advance in an HR career. 

US, Bureau of Labor Statistics’ job outlook

SOC Code: 11-3121

2020 Employment176,500
Projected Employment in 203094,400
Projected 2020-2030 Percentage Shift 9% increase
Projected 2020-2030 Numeric Shift14,800 increase

According to SelectHub, the employee experience will become more central in the roles of human resources professionals; they will have to prioritize employee-centric culture and experience to recruit the best candidates. And while some automation and artificial intelligence (AI) may coexist with human resources jobs, they will serve as complementary technologies, helping HR administrators do their jobs more efficiently.