A labor relations degree offers an excellent educational foundation for those who would like to become labor relations managers or specialists.
Labor relations managers and specialists help management prepare and implement employment policies. With extensive knowledge in labor law and collective bargaining procedures, they prepare information for management for negotiations and also administer contractual provisions whenever there are complaints and grievances.
Labor relations managers may also handle dispute resolution on issues such as wages and salaries, pensions, union activity, management practices, insurance provisions, and more.
Those interested in a career in labor relations should consider pursuing a bachelor’s or master’s degree in human resources, human resources administration, or labor relations. A master’s degree in business administration with a focus in human resources is another option to consider.
Moreover, for those who would like to pursue mediation or arbitration as a specialty, a law degree may be advisable as well. Certification as a labor relations specialist is also a possibility.
A labor relations degree involves basic courses in labor law, collective bargaining, labor history, and labor economics; other useful classes could include human resources management, organizational structure, and industrial psychology.
Salaries of labor relations professionals vary according to education, experience, location, and other factors, but a recent report by the Bureau of Labor Statistics states that the median annual wages of compensation and benefits managers were $86,500. For human resources managers in general, the median salary was $96,130.
The industries that employed human resources, training, and labor relations managers and specialists with the highest median salaries were computer systems and design ($97,630) and insurance carriers ($94,340).
The U.S. Department of Labor predicts “much faster than the average” employment growth for human resources and labor relations managers and specialists. Changing legislation along with increased health care costs will make sure the demand stays strong for such individuals, especially those who hold at least bachelor’s degrees and who are certified.
*Source: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics