Human Resource (HR) Degree in California


As the location of corporate headquarters for a full 100 of the companies that made the 2014 Forbes 500 list of largest corporations in the world, California remains a very exciting place to start or advance a career in human resources. The fact that the average salary for HR managers in California is literally off the charts, coming in higher than the US Department of Labor’s maximum reportable salary level (in excess of $187,199), only adds to the excitement.

From associate’s to doctoral programs, California’s universities and respected business schools offer a wide variety of HR degrees designed to help you realize your career goals, whether you’re just looking to get your foot in the door or are competing for the next promotion. 

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HR Degrees Available Through State Schools and Private Universities

Though it is quite possible to work in the HR field with a general business degree, there are many options available to help further your education with a specialized human resources degree. 

Associate’s Degrees in Human Resources – Designed for those seeking jobs as payroll clerks and human resources assistants:

  • Associate of Science in Business Administration, concentrated in Human Resources
    • Located in Riverside
    • 30 Credit Program
  • Associate of Arts in Human Resources Management
    • Online
    • 71 Credit Program
  • Associate of Science in Human Resource Administration
    • Online
    • 60 Credit Program

Bachelor’s Degrees in Human Resources – Designed for those preparing for jobs as HR managers, specialists or training and development specialists:

  • Bachelor of Science in Business Administration with a specialization in Human Resources Management
    • Located in Long Beach
    • 120 Credit Program
  • Bachelor of Science in Business Administration, concentrated in Human Resources Management
    • Locations in San Diego, San Francisco, Irvine, Fresno, and an online option
    • 120 Credit Program
  • Bachelor of Arts in Human Resources Management
    • Located in San Diego, online option
    • 120 Credit Program
  • Bachelor of Science in Business Administration, concentrated in Human Resources Management
    • Located in Fresno
    • 120 Credit Program
  • Bachelor of Science in Business Administration with a specialization in Human Resources Management
    • Located in San Diego
    • 120 Credit Program
  • Bachelor of Science in Business Administration with a specialization in Human Resources
    • Los Angeles
    • 120 Credit Program

Master’s Degrees in Human Resources – Designed for those seeking upper-level management careers and director-level positions in human resources management:

  • Master of Science in Human Resources Management
    • Located in Malibu
    • 39 Credit Program
  • Master of Arts in Human Resources Management
    • Located in La Jolla
    • 36 Credit Program
  • Master of Science in Human Resources
    • Locations in Malibu and West Los Angeles
    • 39 Credit Program
  • Master of Arts in Organizational Leadership
    • Located in Redding
    • 36 Credit Program
  • Master of Science in Human Resources Management
    • Located in Los Angeles
    • 30 Credit Program

Graduate Certificates in Human Resources – Designed for professionals with a business background interested in specializing in HR management:

  • Graduate Certificate in Human Resource Development
    • Located in Santa Clarita
    • 15 Credit Program
  • Graduate Certificate in Human Resource Management
    • Located in Culver City
    • 15 Credit Program
  • Graduate Certificate in Human Resources Management
    • Located in Dominguez Hills
    • 12 Credit Program
  • Graduate Certificate in Human Resource Management
    • Located in La Jolla
    • 18 Credit Program

MBAs in Human Resources Management – Designed for those seeking high-level business leadership positions with a focus on human resource management:

  • MBA in Human Resource Management
    • Locations in San Diego, San Francisco, Irvine, Fresno, and an online option
    • 36 Credit Program
  • MBA in Human Resource Management
    • Located in San Diego, online option
    • 33 Credit Program
  • MBA in Human Resources and Organizational Development
    • Located in Azusa
    • 38 Credit Program
  • MBA in Human Resources
    • Locations in Antelope Valley, Culver City, Fairfield, Hanford, Irvine, Lacey, Modesto, Monterey, Ontario, Palm Desert, Riverside, Roseville, San Diego, Visalia, and Walnut Creek
    • 36-48 Credit Program
  • MBA in Human Resource Management
    • Online
    • 39 Credit Program

Doctorates in Human Resources – Designed for those who wish to become educators, consultants, and experts in the human resources field:

  • Doctor of Philosophy in Organizational Psychology, specializing in Strategic Human Resource Management
    • Locations in Los Angeles, San Diego, and San Francisco
    • 98 Credit Program
  • Doctor of Business Administration in Human Resource Management
    • Online
    • 88 Credit Program
  • Doctor of Philosophy in Business Management, Human Resources Management Specialization
    • Online
    • 120 Credit Program
  • Doctor of Psychology in Organizational Management and Consulting
    • Located in Los Angeles
    • 96 Credit Program

The Largest Corporate Employers of HR Professionals in California

Many of the country’s largest and most well known companies are headquartered in California. In fact, over one hundred of the Fortune 500 companies named in the 2014 list are based in California. These high profile California-based corporations rely on the coordinated efforts of thousands of employees, which necessitate large HR departments made up professionals in various specialized roles.

According to the 2014 Fortune 500 list of the largest businesses in California, the state’s top employers of HR professionals are as follows:

  • Chevron (energy sector) headquartered in San Ramon - $19.2 billion in 2014 profits, 64,700 employees
  • Apple (technology sector) headquartered in Cupertino - $39.5 billion in 2014 profits, 97,200 employees
  • McKesson (wholesalers sector) headquartered in San Francisco - $1.3 billion in 2014 profits, 42,800 employees
  • Hewlett Packard (technology sector) headquartered in Palo Alto - $5.7 billion in 2014 profits, 302,000 employees
  • Wells Fargo (financial sector) headquartered in San Francisco - $23.5 billion in 2014 profits, 264,500 employees

Salary Expectations for HR Professionals in California

The U.S. Department of Labor’s 2014 reports show that the salaries of HR professionals in California can be quite competitive. Salaries may vary based upon the size of the company, location of the company, and the amount of education and experience an employee possesses.

The following list shows the bottom 10 percent of salaries, the average salary, and the top 10 percent of salaries for each HR occupation:

  • Human Resource Managers – $64,230; $126,350; $187,199*
  • Training and Development Managers – $66,320; $129,710; $187,199*
  • Human Resources Specialists – $37,160; $71,260; $113,810
  • Labor Relations Specialists –  $36,660; $78,090; $119,670
  • Compensation, Benefits and Job Analysis Specialists –  $44,600; $70,500; $102,290
  • Training and Development Specialists – $35,900; $70,750; $102,290
  • Payroll and Timekeeping Clerks – $28,140; $44,920; $62,750
  • Human Resources Assistants, Except Payroll and Timekeeping – $26,750; $43,540; $60,300

*The annual salary is equal to or greater than $187,199. The US Bureau of Labor Statistics does not report salary data greater than this value.

Job Growth Projections for HR Professionals in California

The California Employment Development Department expects jobs within the human resources field to experience strong growth throughout the Department’s ten-year projection period between 2012 and 2022: 

  • Human Resource Managers – 2,800 positions added, 20 percent growth
  • Training and Development Managers – 500 positions added, 19 percent growth
  • Human Resources Specialists – 7,400 positions added, 15 percent growth
  • Compensation, Benefits, and Job Analysis Specialists – 900 jobs added, 7 percent growth
  • Training and Development Specialists – 5,000 positions added, 24 percent growth
  • Payroll and Timekeeping Clerks – 3,800 positions added, 17 percent growth
  • Human Resources Assistants, Except Payroll and Timekeeping – 300 positions added, 2 percent growth

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