Senior managers in the insurance sector are the best paid in the HR profession, with an average salary of £99,000, according to salary benchmarking site Emolument.com.
When bonuses totaling an average of £19,894 are added, HR professionals in this sector with 10 to 15 years of experience could be earning as much as £118,894 per year. Banking and financial services were ranked second highest, with a base salary of around £88,500 and bonuses of £28,000.
Among junior managers (defined as those with between zero and five years' experience), the best-paid positions were in banking and finance, with an average salary of £36,850 and £2,250 in bonuses; insurance, with an average salary of £37,000 and average bonus of £2,200; and the energy, chemicals and environmental industry, with an average wage of £38,600 but no bonuses.
Since 2011 HR managers' salaries have dropped from a median of £75,000 to £56,000. The Emolument.com report suggests this could be explained by the advancement of HR software and systems, competition from cheaper RPO services, and limited personnel growth over the period.
The study also found that on average, based solely on salary and excluding bonuses, men are paid 21% more than women in HR.
Alice Leguay, co-founder & COO of Emolument.com, said that stress levels vary widely across the HR sector, resulting in differing pay rates.
“HR careers range from working for a recruitment firm or as part of an internal HR department, across a wide range of sectors and in very different stress levels,” she explained. “In banking HR departments are usually under pressure from line managers who resent HR's intervention in the recruitment process.
“From our findings though, it seems HR salaries take the extra stress into account with both high fixed and discretionary pay. Beyond HR salaries stands a wider issue of the job description itself and how it is currently being redefined through new tech tools and processes, with the need to have a presence on Glassdoor or monitor staff mood. We certainly expect HR as a career to morph substantially in the coming years.”