How to Prepare for an HR Administrator Job

by Clayton Browne
Human resources administrators usually supervise an HR department.

Human resources administrators usually supervise an HR department.

A business's human resources functions typically include recruiting and hiring of new staff, coordinating benefits, conducting training, assuring compliance with government regulations, strategic planning with upper management, and providing a channel of communication between management and employees. Larger organizations will have an entire human resources department, supervised by a human resources manager or administrator. The Bureau of Labor Statistics projects that human resources administrators will see a 13 percent growth in jobs between 2010 and 2020.

Complete a bachelor's degree program in human resources, business administration or a related field. Human resources programs typically include classes in business, labor or industrial relations, organizational development and industrial psychology.

Apply for HR-related internships or work-study programs after your junior year. Getting at least a few months of professional experience under your belt will give you an edge in landing your first job.

Work as a human resources specialist for at least two years to gain experience and learn the ropes of your industry. After you have at least two years of HR experience, you qualify to take the Professional in Human Resources certification exam offered by the HR Certification Institute. You will need to study for the PHR exam in your spare time.

Take the Professional in Human Resources exam after you meet the two-year experience requirement. The PHR exam is a comprehensive exam, covering all aspects of human resources. The national pass rate for the PHR exam is typically around 60 percent. HR administrator positions typically require PHR or other professional HR certifications.


  • Consider going back to school to earn a master's degree. Many employers prefer human resources administrator candidates who have a graduate degree in human resources, labor relations or business administration.

About the Author

Clayton Browne has been writing professionally since 1994. He has written and edited everything from science fiction to semiconductor patents to dissertations in linguistics, having worked for Holt, Rinehart & Winston, Steck-Vaughn and The Psychological Corp. Browne has a Master of Science in linguistic anthropology from the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee.

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