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When deciding on a career, graduates are often attracted to professions such as accountancy, law, medicine and teaching as these opportunities have traditionally offered relatively high and secure pay and benefits. However, there are other professions that pay well and can offer good job satisfaction.

HR and recruitment is one of them. Contrary to what you might think, HR can offer excellent rewards and benefits. The Croner Personnel Reward, published in conjunction with Chartered Institute of Personnel Development (CIPD) finds that the average entry level salary for graduates in HR is £24,375. Graduates are therefore starting off with a higher salary than many of their counterparts working in other professions.

Salary overview

According to this year’s Personnel Reward Survey, the average pay for the various levels of responsibility is. Salaries also vary based on the specialism on which a professional chooses to focus.

  • HR Officer – Graduate level: £24,375
  • HR Officer: £29,271
  • Corporate Trainer/Presenter: £22,041 – £28,523
  • Senior Training Officer: £27,492 – £30,843
  • Training Officer: £36,000
  • HR Manager/HR Business Partner: £35,000 – £45,900
  • Head of HR department/ HR Director: £75,000 – £100,000
  • Group HR Director: £200,000
  • FTSE20 Group HR Director: £500,000

At the top of their profession, Directors can earn between £100,000 and £500,000 a year. The majority of these top earners are in private sector firms with over 1,000 employees.

Recruitment consultants

Role  London  South  North  Midlands  Scotland  Temp
Assistant/Admin  £24 – 32,000  £20-25,000  £17-25,000  £17-25,000  £17- 23,000  £11-15 ph
Officer/Adviser  £35-45,000  £25-36,000  £20-30,000  £20-28,000  £20-30,000  £15-22 ph
Manager  £45-60,000  £36-55,000  £30-45,000 £ 30-45,000  £30-45,000  £150-300 pd
Senior Manager  £60-70,000  £55-70,000  £45-60,000  £45-60,000  £45-60,000  £300-500 pd
Heads of Depts  £80,000+  £75,000+  £65,000+  £65,000+  £65,000+  £450+ pd

 Source: Michael Page HR Salary Survey 2011

Organisation size and salaries

The size of an organisation is also a determinant of salary. People working for larger organisations tend to be better remunerated than those working for smaller ones.

Typically, private services and manufacturing firms link a person’s pay to their individual performance while public sector organisations mainly link pay to the cost of living, though at senior levels pay is increasingly being linked to individual performance.

Boosting your salary

If you want to boost your earnings, then gaining qualifications and professional membership can help. Members of CIPD found that they are earning an average of £46,000 whilst non-members are earning an average of £38,000.

Additional benefits

In manufacturing and private sector services the other perks on offer can include a car, private medical insurance, a pension and a bonus. Other than a pension, these perks are less common in the public sector. However, those working in the public sector still have access to potentially lucrative final salary pension schemes and they also tend to have a better work-life balance typically working a shorter week than their colleagues in the private sector.

When looking at any career it is important to look at the total rewards on offer, in terms of the financial and the non-financial. Clearly, a HR or recruitment career can beneficial in many ways but most importantly it can provide you with job satisfaction.

Source: CIPD website – Explore HR Careers.

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