Entry-level human resources jobs: What are my options?

Recruiting top talent, managing employee relations, and driving business operations — even entry-level HR professionals can greatly impact their company.
Written by Tanika Johnson, Contributor

If you're interested in an HR career, you have many possibilities for your first role. You could recruit and hire, manage budgets and timelines, and offer logistical and technical support.

Careers in human resources feature several diverse skill sets such as recruiting and hiring, managing budgets and timelines, logistics, and technical support.

As you review the possibilities detailed below, consider your current skills and preferences for work settings to determine which role is best for you.

How to land an entry-level human resources job

  • Most entry-level human resources positions require an associate or bachelor's human resources degree, HR-related degree, or HR certification.

  • Many HR professionals join the profession by networking within the company where they currently work to achieve an entry-level role through internal hiring processes.

  • Graduates should tailor their resumes to each job description and highlight collaboration talent, leadership experience, and problem-solving abilities. 

  • Networking with HR professionals on Facebook, LinkedIn, and Twitter can strengthen business connections and help you find career support and job openings. You can also build relationships through real-life networking events and public service opportunities.

  • Join the local Society for Human Resource Management to locate a mentor and gain career advice.

  • Make sure your professional social media profiles reflect your professional achievements to attract recruiters.

Human resources jobs for recent grads

Wondering how to launch a career as an HR professional? The following jobs are generally considered entry-level. Though experience and education requirements vary, an HR degree-holder should qualify for these positions.

Some positions are typically salaried, while others are hourly positions and may be part-time. Be sure to thoroughly examine the job and pay descriptions for each job you consider.

Pay data is drawn from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics and PayScale.

Benefits management assistant

Average pay: $16.73/hour 

Benefits management assistants support benefits managers with administering company-wide employee benefits programs.

Employee relations analyst

Average pay: $59,938/year

Employee relations analysts help administer human resources policies and procedures for training, professional development, and employee relations. Industry professionals examine human resources and employee relations data and recommend disciplinary actions.

HR compliance analyst

Average pay: $59,708 to $69,407/year

HR compliance analysts develop and enforce organizations' labor and employment law policies, procedures, and practices. Together with interdisciplinary teams, compliance analysts support compliance projects. Analysts lead training and investigations while collaborating with employee relations teams to resolve concerns.

HR coordinator

Average pay: $19.75/hour

HR coordinators manage health insurance plans and liaise between employees and insurers. Coordinators schedule meetings and interviews, execute investigations, and verify I-9 documentation. They assist with background checks, preparing performance reviews, and processing terminations.

HR generalist

Average pay: $55,859/year

HR generalists consult with leadership to identify job qualifications and skills. Generalists recruit and interview qualified job candidates. These professionals facilitate the hiring process, administer background checks, and verify I-9 documentation. Generalists oversee employees' compliance with training, continuing education, and evaluations.

HR operations coordinator

Average pay: $43,500/year

HR operations coordinators serve as liaisons for disseminating feedback from consumers and employees to leadership and executives. These professionals resolve production-related problems, manage projects' budgets and timelines, and oversee daily business operational activities. Coordinators ensure all projects meet local, federal, and industry standards.

HR specialist

Average pay: $63,490/year

HR specialists recruit and interview job candidates. Industry professionals hire or refer qualified candidates. Professionals perform background and reference checks. Specialists review job descriptions, work environment, responsibilities, and benefits with candidates. 

Human resources assistant

Average pay: $17.35/hour

Human resource assistants oversee the accuracy of files, records, and documents. Assistants offer clerical support and execute periodic audits of files and records. Industry professionals may aid with payroll processing, correcting processing errors, and issuing checks. Assistants may liaise between the company, benefits providers, and vendors.

Payroll management assistant

Average pay: $16.57/hour

Payroll management assistants organize compensation data, solve payroll discrepancies, and ensure deductions are appropriately processed. Assistants evaluate information and prepare reports with earning summaries, taxes, and deductions along with medical leave, short-term and long-term disability, and nontaxable income.


Average pay: $53,009/year

Recruiters staff qualified job candidates. Industry professionals work alongside management to prepare job descriptions and hiring standards. They post jobs, screen applications, and schedule interviews. Recruiters recommend salary ranges and adhere to local, state, and federal employment laws.

Training management assistant

Average pay: $40,197 to $50,838/year

HR training assistants manage office and administrative tasks, schedule and support the delivery of training courses, communicate with the venue personnel, and format presenters' materials. They help develop needs assessments and monitoring systems. Assistants upload training materials and offer logistical and technical support.

This article was reviewed by Krystal Covington, MBA

Krystal Covington, a woman with medium-length, curly hair, smiles at the camera.

Krystal Covington, MBA, is a business growth strategist with 15 years of experience in marketing and public relations. Her company, Go Lead Consulting, provides clients foundational tools to build new client and customer relationships. 

Covington founded Women of Denver, one of the largest privately held membership organizations in Denver, Colorado. Her program helps women increase their business acumen, sharpen leadership skills and connect with other high-achieving women. Covington received her MBA from Western Governors University in 2012.

Krystal Covington is a paid member of the Red Ventures Education freelance review network. 

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