Labor Relations

Earnings Potential

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the lowest 10 percent earned less than $48,060, and the highest 10 percent earned more than $136,600. Labor realation specialists make an average of $93,800 a year, while labor relations managers can make an annual salary of $60,000-$100,000.

Facts at a glance

  • In filling entry-level jobs, many employers seek college graduates who have majored in human resources, human resources administration, or industrial and labor relations; other employers look for college graduates with a technical or business background or a well-rounded liberal arts education.
  • For many specialized jobs, previous experience is an asset; for more advanced positions, including those of managers, arbitrators, and mediators, it is essential. 
  • Keen competition for jobs is expected because of the plentiful supply of qualified college graduates and experienced workers.

Summary of what this career entails

Human resources work usually takes place in clean, pleasant, and comfortable office settings. Arbitrators and mediators may work out of their homes. Many human resources, training, and labor relations managers and specialists work a standard 35- to 40-hour week. However, longer hours might be necessary for some workers—for example, labor relations managers and specialists, arbitrators, and mediators—when contract agreements are being prepared and negotiated.

Examples and or details of work

Labor managers apply industrial labor relation programs for staff to follow. The labor relations staff interprets and administers the contract with respect to grievances, wages and salaries, employee welfare, health care, pensions, union and management practices, and other contractual stipulations. For an individual to get into the field of labor relations they need an educational background in human resources, human resources adminirsation, education, instructional

Degrees that lead to this career

The minimal degree an individual may receive is an associate’s degree. Some of the degrees individuals can attain include:

  • A.A. in Business Administration/ Labor Relations
  • A.A. in Interdisciplinary Studies / Labor Relations
  • B.S. in Interdisciplinary Studies / Labor Relations
  • MBA in Business Administration / Human Resource Management.
  • M.S. in Labor Relations

Specific Career openings in this field

Some of the positions available for individuals that want a career in labor relations include director of human resource, employment managers, recruiters, training managers, training specialists, labor specialists, or labor relations managers.


Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, Occupational Outlook Handbook, 2006-07 Edition, Human Resources, Training, and Labor Relations Managers and Specialists, on the Internet at