Human Resource (HR) Degree in Virginia


The Virginia Employment Commission (VEC) expects a high level of job growth for a number of HR positions between 2012 and 2022.  For example, the VEC projects that the number of jobs for compensation, benefits and job analysis specialists in Virginia will grow at a rate twice as fast as what is expected for this occupational classification nationwide.  In addition, predictions indicate that the number of labor relations specialists will increase by 7% in Virginia, in contrast to the decline expected in much of the rest of the country.

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HR Degrees Available Through Private Universities and State Schools in Virginia

Business professionals who want to join the ranks of HR management professionals have a wide array of degree options in Virginia’s many state schools and private universities. Online schools provide additional options for degrees in HR management. 

Programs available in Virginia include:

Bachelor’s Degrees in Human Resources - Designed for those preparing to become HR recruiters and labor relations specialists, among others:

Bachelor of Science in Business with a concentration in HR Management—Virginia Beach (Online option)

  • 120 credit hour program

Bachelor of Science in Business with a concentration in HR Management—Richmond

  • 120 credit hour minimum
  • Students must apply for admission into the business program
  • At least 30 credit hours of the required business courses must be taken at this university

Bachelor of Science in Business Administration with a concentration in HR Management—Harrisonburg

  • Four courses in HR management
  • Internships available

Bachelor of Science in Professional Studies Major in HR Management—Richmond

  • 120 credit hour program
  • Students can transfer up to 60 credit hours

Graduate Certificates in Human Resources Designed for professionals new to HR or HR professionals seeking to expand their credentials:

Graduate Certificate in HR Management—Richmond

  • 18 credit hour program of graduate coursework
  • Credits can be transferred to a Master’s program

Graduate Certificate in Leadership in HR Management—Charlottesville (Online)

  • Designed for early to mid-level HR management professionals
  • 15 credit hour program of graduate coursework
  • Can be completed in 12 months

Master’s Degrees in Human Resources - Designed for those preparing to become HR managers or training and development managers, among others:

Master of Arts in HR Management—Arlington

  • Does not require an undergrad HR degree
  • 36 credit hour program

Master of HR Management—Richmond

  • Does not require an undergrad HR degree
  • 36 credit hour program
  • Does not require a thesis
  • Accepts up to 6 hours of transfer credit

MBAs with a Concentration in Human Resource Management – Designed for those preparing to become HR Directors or VPs:

MBA with a cognate in HR—Lynchburg (Online)

  • Does not require an undergrad HR degree
  • 45 credit hour program
  • Accepts up to 12 hours of transfer credit

MBA/Master of Arts in HR Management dual degree—Arlington

  • Does not require an undergrad HR degree
  • 57 credit hour program

Virginia’s Largest Employers of HR Professionals

Governor McAuliffe has been aggressively soliciting businesses to relocate in Virginia and had some major successes in 2015.  One was wooing Elephant Auto Insurance to implement a $2 million expansion project in Richmond.  Another was enticing Qore Systems, LLC to invest $12.8 million to establish its East Coast expansion in Highlands Business Park, which is jointly owned by Smyth and Washington Counties. All of the expansions come with increased hiring and a greater demand for HR professionals responsible for recruiting and training top talent.

The US Department of Labor provides the major employers of HR professionals in Virginia as of 2014 along with the total size of the workforce for each:

  • Sentara Healthcare (Richmond) - 25,000
  • Heart & Vascular Institute (Winchester) - 20,540
  • Huntington Ingalls Industries - Manufacturing (Newport News) - 20,000
  • University of Virginia (Charlottesville) - 20,000
  • Lab Corporation - R&D (Roanoke) - 17,000
  • Newport News Shipbuilding - Manufacturing (Newport News) - 16,335
  • Ernst & Young - Consulting (McLean) - 10,000
  • Re/Max-Walsh Team Realty - Regional Office (Springfield) - 10,000
  • Sodexo - Corporate HQ (Springfield) - 8,500
  • Naval Medical Center (Portsmouth) - 8,000

Salary Ranges for HR Professionals in Virginia

The US Bureau of Labor Statistics provides salaries for a number of HR positions in Virginia as of 2014.  The values shown range from the starting salaries (bottom 10% average) to salaries for experienced professionals (top 10% average):

  • Human Resource Managers: $70,270 - $185,080
  • Training and Development Managers: $68,670 - $179,440
  • Human Resources Specialists: $36,960 - $113,160
  • Labor Relations Specialists: $18,590 - $93,530
  • Compensation, Benefits and Job Analysis Specialists: $38,630 - $98,950
  • Training and Development Specialists: $38,890 - $107,250
  • Payroll and Timekeeping Clerks: $27,780 - $60,480
  • Human Resources Assistants, Except Payroll and Timekeeping: $25,930 - $53,520

Job Growth Projections for HR Professionals in Virginia

The Virginia Employment Commission predicted that jobs in business and financial operations would increase by 16.63% between 2012 and 2022. Growth in this sector equates to strong job growth expected for a number of HR occupations during this ten-year period:

  • Human Resource Managers: 15%
  • Training and Development Managers: 15%                       
  • Human Resources Specialists: 6%           
  • Labor Relations Specialists: 7%
  • Compensation, Benefits and Job Analysis Specialists: 12%           
  • Training and Development Specialists: 23%           
  • Payroll and Timekeeping Clerks: 12%           

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