HR Generalist Career Path

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HR Generalist Career Path

It is a common misconception that HR generalist careers are only available in the Human Resources field. The fact of the matter is there are many different types of jobs for an HR generalist.

For example, according to Monster’s database, there are currently 634 job openings for human resources professionals with non-HR backgrounds. This means that you could find employment as an HR generalist in any industry you want!

What does this mean? It means that if you’re looking to switch industries or take your career in a new direction, becoming an HR Generalist may be your best bet because it’s so versatile. Of course, before making any decisions about your future career path, it’s always important to do some research and find out what’s available in your area.

When researching different industries, keep in mind that you’ll likely be able to find multiple openings for HR generalist careers within each one. To learn more about this career path as an HR Generalist, read on!

1. What is an HR Generalist?

An HR Generalist is a professional who supports the overall function of Human Resources by managing human resources generalist functions. An HR generalist performs administrative duties, including keeping personnel records, processing employment verification requests, and completing timesheets. They also make sure that laws concerning discrimination are followed within their organization.

HR generalists support the company’s senior managers in several areas that are important to the business, such as recruitment and selection, training and development, benefits administration, compensation management, performance management programs, and employee relations.

2. What Does an HR Generalist Do?

An HR Generalist performs several duties depending on where they work. Their responsibilities may include:

  • – Assist with the hiring process to screen, interview and hire new employees
  • – Oversee payroll functions, including calculating wages, processing tax forms and preparing paychecks
  • – Maintain employment records
  • – Act as an intermediary between employees and management to resolve disputes, establish fair work schedules and resolve complaints
  • – Ensure adherence to laws concerning discrimination, the privacy of employee information or other HR issues

3. What are the Education Requirements for an HR Generalist?

A bachelor’s degree is required for an entry-level HR generalist position. However, most employers prefer hiring candidates with advanced degrees in HR or a related field. Generalists within the HR department may also be required to take continuing education courses through their local universities’ adult education office, which promotes lifelong learning and professional development, or an online university, such as Capella University.

HR generalists may also obtain a certification from a nationally recognized organization in the HR field. For example, SHRM offers a PHR Certification for HR professionals with at least two years of experience and/or 750 documented hours of training within the past three years or passed PHR exam by another provider.

An HR generalist may also complete an internship to expand his or her knowledge base while gaining hands-on experience in HR. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that 40 percent of all full-time college undergraduates receive work hours related to their central area of study, which still allows for available internships in the field.

4. What are the Salary Ranges for an HR Generalist?

According to Payscale, the national average hourly wage for HR Generalists is $18.00 an hour. HR Generalists earn a yearly mean wage of $37 000, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

The average hourly wage for an HR Generalist with less than one year of experience is $16.00 per hour, while HR Generalists with 5 to 10 years of experience earn on average $19.25 per hour. A highly experienced HR Generalist may expect to earn an hourly wage of $24.00 or more, depending on the professional background.

5. Where Do Most HR Generalists Work?

The majority of HR Generalists are employed by the following industries, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics:

  • Manufacturing
  • Professional, scientific and technical services
  • Information Services
  • Finance and insurance
  • Healthcare and social assistance

6. What are the Top Locations for HR Generalists?

The following cities are four of the nation’s top areas for HR Generalist jobs, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics website:

  • · Dallas-Fort Worth-Arlington
  • · Chicago-Naperville-Elgin
  • · Detroit-Warren-Dearborn
  • · New York-Newark-Jersey City

7. What Certifications Can HR Generalists Earn?

The HR Certification Institute (HRCI) offers the SHRM-CP and SHRM-SCP certifications for HR professionals. The two credentials recognize individuals who can manage human resources to improve employee performance and organizational performance. Candidates must meet educational and experiential standards, pass a certification exam, and agree to adhere to the HRCI Code of Ethics.

Aside from SHRM, professionals in human resources may also earn certifications from APA or HRCI. The American Psychological Association offers the PHR Certification for individuals with two years of experience and 750 documented hours of training within the past three years or certification from another provider. The Human Resource Certification Institute offers the PHR and SPHR credentials, which require passing one exam for each credential. Professionals must also meet educational and experiential standards to earn either credential.

8. The Job Outlook for an HR Generalist

The job outlook for HR Generalists is positive due to the increasing number of companies looking to expand their human resources department. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics predicts a 19 percent increase in jobs for HR Specialists from 2014-2024, twice as much as the national average for all occupations.

9. What is a Typical Day of an HR Generalist?

The job duties of an HR Generalist vary depending on what stage of employment he or she is in. According to OfficeVibe, an HR Generalist may spend some time recruiting new staff members, developing training programs, and preparing reports for upper management. When a company lays off employees or cutbacks occur, the HR Generalist must organize exit interviews with terminated employees to gather important information about why they left the company.

10. What Skills Do You Need as an HR Generalist?

Job skills for HR Generalists may vary, depending on the size and type of organization. According to OfficeVibe, some general skills include:

  • Ability to analyze data
  • Written and oral communication skills
  • Problem-solving skills
  • Interpersonal skills
  • Strategic planning abilities

11. What Jobs are Available for HR Generalists?

HR Generalists may find employment within the following types of organizations, according to JobMonkey:

  • Manufacturing companies
  • Private sector
  • Government sector
  • Community, civic and non-profit organizations

Some of the top companies for an hr generalist include:

  • IBM
  • PepsiCo
  • Marriott International
  • Ernst & Young LLP
  • Abbott Laboratories
  • Deloitte Consulting LLP

12. What is the Difference Between HR Generalist and HR Manager?

HR Generalists are responsible for specific human resources-related tasks, while HR Managers oversee the entire department. According to Payscale, HR Generalists may work in small companies with less than 50 employees, while managers are usually found in organizations with more than 500 or 1,000 staff.

13. What is the Difference Between HR Generalist and HR Recruiter?

An HR Generalist may be responsible for recruiting new employees, while a Recruiter focuses exclusively on finding suitable candidates to fill open positions within an organization. According to The Balance, employers often hire Recruiters looking for a quick solution, while the HR Generalist is responsible for managing the hiring process.

14. What is the Difference Between HR Generalist and HR Director?

An HR Generalist is a junior-level position, while an HR Director oversees the entire department and reports to upper management. According to Monster, HR Managers often need at least a Bachelor of Arts degree in human resources or a related field, while Directors must have experience as an HR Generalist before taking on this senior role.

Best colleges to study human resource management

  • the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
  • Georgia State University
  • San Diego State University
  • Indiana University Bloomington
  • Pennsylvania State University – University Park
  • the University of Texas at Austin
  • Northwestern University
  • University of Florida


This article has given you a glimpse into what it means to become a health generalist. It’s been shown that this career path is not for the faint of heart, but those who have made it through and thrived have come out better on the other side. If you consider becoming a healthcare generalist, we hope these insights help you make an informed decision about your future education and career planning.

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Indu has been educator since last 10 years. She can find all kind of scholarship opportunities in the USA and beyond. She also teach college courses online to help students become better. She is one of the very rare scholarship administrator and her work is amazing.

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