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What You Need to Know About a Human Resources Assistant’s Salary and Role

What You Need to Know About a Human Resources Assistant’s Salary and Role

The human resources department is the backbone of their company. They have a variety of responsibilities, including hiring and termination paperwork, recruitment, coordinating benefits, and keeping employee records.

With such a wide range of responsibilities, those interested in a career in HR need to be organized and people-oriented. Human Resources Assistant is the entry-level role in the HR department.

Human Resources Assistant Salary & Role

So, what does an HR Assistant do, and how do you become one? And, of course, will it pay my student loans? What is the typical HR Assistant salary? 

HR Assistant Salary Explained

According to, the median human resources assistant salary is $53,597 annually. This combines the median base pay, at $38,420 a year, and bonuses, at $15,177 a year. The typical range is anywhere between $16,000-$184,000. 

The median HR assistant salary per hour without bonuses works out to be about $18.47. If we include bonuses, that’s an hourly rate of $25.76 and a range of anywhere from $7.69-$88.46.

That’s a fairly large range because compensation will often be based on your level of experience and location.

HR Assistant Salary and Experience

Because HR Assistant is an entry-level position, the entry-level salary for a human resources assistant will remain at about the $53,597 amount listed above.

The average time spent in this role before a promotion is about two years. If you’ve advanced to a Senior HR Assistant, you’ll find the median salary increases to $63,416 with a range of $34,000-$124,000.

HR Assistant Salary and Location

The cost of living varies wildly across the United States, and so does the median salary. According to, the city with the highest cost of living is Manhattan, New York.

The median HR Assistant salary in Manhattan is just above the average median at $56,174 annually. 

In California, the median is $55,422, but in their most expensive city, San Francisco, the median salary for an HR Assistant is $57,227. Chicago is between both states physically and with their median, at $55,912.

Seattle comes in higher than all those locations, with a median salary of $58,330. On the low end of things, Orlando, Florida, has a median HR Assistant salary of $52,552.

Job Description of an HR Assistant

An HR Assistant’s job is to assist the HR manager with typical HR tasks.

HR Assistant Working on a Project

These tasks aren’t always the same between companies, but lists the following as typical HR Assistant Responsibilities:

  • Recruitment and hiring
  • Onboarding new employees
  • Scheduling training sessions
  • Processing payroll
  • Coordinating benefit enrollment
  • Maintaining employee paperwork and documentation
  • Termination paperwork and exit interviews

HR essentially deals with the clerical side of things for their companies. While HR is also there to mediate friction between employees and ensure employees act as good representatives of the company, those responsibilities are for HR senior employees and managers. 

The Typical Day of an HR Assistant

With the job of a Human Resource Assistant encompassing so much, there isn’t a typical day. An HR Assistant may be filing paperwork, posting job listings, answering employee questions, or assisting employees with their paperwork.

HR Department

They may be going through hiring paperwork in the morning and termination paperwork in the afternoon.

A typical day will also depend on the time of year. If it’s benefits enrollment season, they may be chasing down employees who haven’t responded yet or answering questions about the difference between insurance deductibles and copays. 

In January, the HR Assistant’s job may be to ensure everyone has their W-2s. Regardless, you can expect a typical day to be spent making phone calls, sending emails, speaking with employees, and dealing with paperwork.

Becoming an HR Assistant–The Roadmap

An HR Assistant is an entry-level role, but according to, employers prefer it if you have administrative experience. This often employers would like you to have basic clerical responsibilities, such as filing paperwork and scheduling appointments. 

There are also educational requirements and skills you need under your belt to land a job as an HR Assistant and nail your job interview.  


An associate’s degree is the bare minimum for an HR Assistant. An associate’s degree in business administration will give you a basic overview of business practices, sales, marketing, and human resources.

For a better shot at getting a job in HR, you need a bachelor’s degree in business administration. This will build on the foundation of the associate’s degree while training you in organization, management techniques, and business operations and practices.

If you’re hoping to reach a high-level HR position, you can continue with a master’s degree in business administration or an MBA. This will continue to build on your previous degrees and offer you more specialized training in human resources.

Want to really bolster your HR Assistant resume? Get a certification. Having education specifically in the HR field will really help your resume stand out.

Two of the most popular ones are the PHR and the SHRM-CP. The PHR requires a bachelor’s degree and two years of experience and is a 150-question exam. The SHRM-CP requires an associate’s degree and three years of experience and is a 160-question test.


To work in HR, you need a variety of hard and soft skills. For hard skills, computer proficiency and database management are a must.

Soft skills are more difficult to quantify, but a good HR Assistant’s skills will include organization, discretion, and communication. Adopting these skills will assist you in making a lasting impression as an HR Assistant.  

Career Path

As I’ve already mentioned, the HR Assistant job is an entry-level position, and it usually takes a couple of years to get promoted.

HR Manager shaking hands with the candidate

The actual titles and hierarchy will vary from company to company, and there could be several roles above you or just a couple.

An HR Assistant may move up to a Senior HR Assistant or an HR Manager. Beyond that may be roles like HR Director, VP of HR, or Chief Human Resource Officer.

Depending on the size of the company, the human resources department could have a variety of roles and specialties. Roles like analyst, recruiter, coordinator, and administrator each tackle a specific section of HR.

If you find one area that interests you or your HR assistant skills are better suited for a particular niche, you may end up getting promoted to one of those specialties.

Final Thoughts

The HR department is an integral part of a company. Companies will always have human needs, so they’ll always need people with human resources training and skills.

A job in human resources isn’t for everyone, but if you’re an organized people person who wants to learn about business, it’s a career to consider.