{Study} Starting salaries in human resources 2016: What do young recruiters earn?


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For many, the HR department is a long-term goal. For others, employment in human resources only arises during the course of study or after a few years in the job. Compensation Partner has determined the entry-level salaries for the “Human Resources” field. {Study} Entry-level salaries in human resources in 2016: What do young recruiters earn? einstiegsgehaelter-in-personalmanagement-2016


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Academic career starters in human resource management

In spring 2016, we also looked at the composition of employees in the human resources department, as well as the academic background of most HR professionals.

We were able to analyze data sets of academic employees with less than three years of professional experience. With the average salary, recruit recruiters are ranked first in our rankings. At the beginning of your career, you can expect roughly 46.000 Euro gross per year.

Further personnel are employed in personnel development (45.121 Euro) and in personnel consulting (40.483 Euro). The average annual salaries for beginners are for 39.897 Euro traders, 37.183 Euro employees and 35.828 Euro staff members.

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HR entry containers with completed vocational training

We also looked at the wages of newcomers who start their careers with a completed vocational training in the HR field. Here too, speakers for personnel procurement and personnel development are ranked first in the ranking. However, and that is the difference, we can make a salary difference of around 10.000 Euro annually:

The salaries for young apprentices in personnel procurement are an average of 37.795 Euro, which is under development at 36.663 Euro. This is followed by a professional entry-level apprentice (30.546 Euro), personnel consulting (30.546 Euro) and trainer (29.264 Euro). Personaldisponenten, with an average of 28.395 Euro, also received the comparatively lowest salary at the beginning of vocational training.

It is not uncommon for employees in human resources management to decide to supplement their own specialist knowledge by means of a supplementary course of study, for example personnel management or business administration, after completion of vocational training. It is also possible to continue training as a personnel manager. As a result of this, employees are more likely to expect management to be taken over, and accordingly, higher salaries. Even an entry into the management level is possible.

Academic Entry Level:Q1:Median:Average:Q3:
Personnel consultant, procurement38.188 €43.577 €46.080 €49.824 €
Personnel development, further education39.350 €43.734 €45.121 €48.853 €
consultancy32.248 €37.990 €40.483 €44.647 €
Trainer (Behavioral / personality trainer)27.535 €38.749 €39.897 €48.396 €
Personalsachbearbeiter33.013 €36.263 €37.182 €42.155 €
personal planner29.900 €35.157 €35.828 €39.204 €
Young professionals with vocational training:Q1:Median:Average:Q3:
Personnel consultant, procurement29.652 €35.236 €37.795 €42.189 €
Personnel development, further education29.835 €35.297 €36.653 €42.465 €
Personalsachbearbeiter25.427 €29.866 €31.181 €35.114 €
consultancy26.040 €31.000 €30.546 €34.910 €
Trainer (Behavioral / personality trainer)21.464 €26.138 €29.264 €35.481 €
personal planner23.740 €27.507 €28.395 €31.200 €

Size as an important factor in salary

A further important factor in the influence on the amount of the salary is the company size.

Little one Company With fewer than 100 employees, their academic entry-level employees pay an average of 39.089 Euro. Employees with a staff size between 101 and 1.000 employees pay graduates of universities and colleges around 42.816 Euro. HR beginners in corporations or large companies (more than 1001 employees) even get around 48.300 Euro at the beginning of their careers.

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With regard to the size of the company, entrance fees for graduates of vocational training are also significantly lower: in small companies, they reach an average of 28.534 euros, while in medium-sized businesses they average 32.954 euros. The annual salary of professional graduates with completed training is in large companies with more than 1001 employees with an average value of 35.386 Euro per year.

Salary difference depending on company size:

Academic Entry Level:Q1:Median:Average:Q3:
Small <101 Employees (MA)30.800 €36.737 €39.089 €43.721 €
Medium 101 - 1000 MA37.000 €42.426 €42.816 €46.484 €
Great> 1001 MA39.366 €43.835 €48.322 €53.823 €
Young professionals with vocational training:Q1:Median:Average:Q3:
Small <101 MA23.489 €27.400 €28.534 €32.459 €
Medium 101 - 1000 MA26.714 €30.481 €32.954 €37.367 €
Great> 1001 MA28.345 €33.193 €35.386 €42.352 €

Academic part in human resources

In an analysis from the May 2016, we have also determined, using 4.462 data sets, whether and which academic backgrounds have employees in the human resources sector: In this case, we were able to establish a fairly large heterogeneity:

We determined the largest proportion of academics (55 percent) in the profession of "personnel developer", closely followed by the personnel officer with a share of 49,4 percent. Surprisingly, according to the study, only 43,2 percent of HR managers have a university degree. This shows that a career in the highest personnel level is possible even without an academic background.

Psychotherapists: Psychology and jurisprudence are not a rarity

If HR employees can have an academic degree, this does not always have to be a subject-related course in “HR Management”. We were able to determine that 48 percent of the employees had a degree in economics. This is not surprising, since numerous economics courses offer the focus on "human resources".

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9,9 percent of employees were enrolled in “law” before starting their career, and another 9 percent were enrolled in “social sciences”. Psychology is also one of the most common courses of study for HR staff, at 8 percent.

The following are followed by postgraduate students (6,7 per cent) and students with a degree in language and cultural sciences (4,7 per cent) and engineering sciences (2,3 per cent).

Further education as a useful supplement

All in all, career changers have a good chance of pursuing a career in human resources - at least in recruiting and applicant management - even with a course that is not related to the subject. Previous knowledge of communication and coaching as well as business thinking is definitely an advantage. However, administrative tasks or topics with a focus on employment law often require specific specialist and application knowledge that employees do not always acquire during “learning on the job”. In such cases, workshops and further training are recommended.


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