According to the HR Careers Report 2018 released today by Namely, Connecticut is the highest-paying state for HR professionals, with annual salaries averaging $111,387, followed by Washington, D.C., at $93,110 and California at $96,245.

State's with the lowest HR salaries are Arkansas at $27,788, Montana ($36,000), and Wisconsin ($48,094). Across Namely's database, the average HR salary is $98,048.

The HR Careers Report 2018 analyzed data from over 1,000 companies to uncover trends in the fast-growing HR profession.

In a year of high-profile HR nightmares, key among the report's findings is the impact of hiring C-Suite HR talent. The report showed that only 7% of midsize companies have an HR executive in the C-Suite.

However, there is a direct link between an HR representative at the C-level and employee happiness: Companies with a C-Suite HR leader have an average Glassdoor rating of 3.84, a significant increase over the 3.3 average.

Given that 75% of jobseekers consider an employer's brand before applying, an increased score matters not only for employee retention but also talent attraction.

HR is the top career for women in leadership roles.
Additional insights from the Namely report include:

  • Women lead in HR. Bucking the gender "leadership gap," HR is the top career for women in leadership roles. According to Namely, 73% of C-Suite HR leaders are women, in comparison to marketing (43%) and technology (27%) leaders.
  • Three years means time to job hop. As an employee's tenure at a company lengthens, their salaries decrease relative to peers. Namely's data revealed that HR salaries show a dramatic decrease after year three with a company, suggesting that job hopping can boost incomes.
  • Titles are getting creative. Although the most common titles for HR professionals are pretty straightforward—HR manager, HR director, HR generalist—some are pushing the envelope when it comes to creativity. The report listed the most creative (or weirdest, depending on your point of view): chief happiness officer; culture & geek resource manager; director, talent attraction strategy; office happiness champion; head of optimistic people; and people & culture systems & process guru.

"There's never been a better time to work in HR. Companies are beginning to understand and appreciate the true value of creative and strategic HR professionals," says Matt Straz, Founder and CEO of Namely.

"Our HR Careers Report helps practitioners understand industry trends and know their worth. We hope that this data helps them advance their careers."


Reserve your spot now at the CBIA 2018 Human Resources Conference, March 29 from 8:30 to 4:30 at the Radisson Hotel in Cromwell. For more information or to register, Contact CBIA's Lise Cliche (860.244.1977).