How to Become a Labor Relations Manager

The labor relations department is an essential part of human resources that deals with the relationships between the upper management of companies and organizations and its employees. Labor relations managers are trained professionals that coordinate the implementation of a variety of labor relations programs.

What does a labor relations manager do?

Labor relations managers are responsible for evaluating the labor needs of their organization. They usually work for organizations that are mandated by labor unions. They create plans for negotiating contracts to meet staffing needs. They obtain data on labor laws, wages, and negotiation to create contracts that meet the needs of employees and stay within a designated budget. They also interpret and administer contracts and handle grievances that are filed by employees. They also handle employee welfare, wages and salaries, health care options, union and management practices, different types of pensions, and other stipulations of contracts.

What kind of training does a labor relations manager need?

Labor relations managers typically need at least a bachelor degree in human resources, business, or other related field. Many labor relations managers have master degrees in business administration with concentration on human resources or master degrees in labor relations. Prospective labor relations managers typically complete courses in business management, human resources management, labor law, compensation, training and development, labor economics, and labor history. Many aspiring labor relations managers complete internships in human resources departments to gain practical experience in the field. Labor relations managers must stay up to date with the current advancements in the field and often complete continuing education throughout their careers.

What are the prospects for a career as a labor relations manager?

Employment of labor relations managers is expected to grow faster than average for all professions, increasing 16% from 2006 to 2016 (1). The increased focus on labor relations management activities will drive job growth.

Job prospects are expected to be good especially for labor relations managers with advanced training and certifications. Many job openings will stem from the need to replace labor relations managers that retire, transfer, or leave the profession for other reasons.

How much do labor relations manager make?

As of November 2009, the middle 50% of labor relations managers earn annual salaries between $88,376 and $120,698. The top 10% earn annual salaries of more than $137,493 (2).

A career as a labor relations manager is a great choice for individuals with a strong interest in coordinating labor relations activities for a variety of companies and organizations. Labor relations managers must be aware of the current skill and federal and state law trends and aspects that are associated with negotiating contracts. They must be confident and have the ability to manage a team or labor relations staff. They must also have excellent communication and interpersonal skills. Labor relations managers must be able to deal with different points of view and be able to work under stress and pressure.

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