Human Resource (HR) Degree in Washington


Washington’s iconic corporations – Starbucks, Amazon, Microsoft, Costco, and Nintendo, among others – rely on the cooperation of thousands of employees, necessitating the expertise of skilled human resource managers to oversee some of the largest HR departments found anywhere in the nation.

Whether you are just starting out in the HR field or looking to advance your current career, earning the right degree is key to your success. 

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HR Degrees Available Through State Schools and Private Universities

Many HR professionals are able to find work with general business degrees, but a specialized degree in human resources will provide you with the most relevant skills applicable to strategic HR management. Human resource degrees available in Washington include:

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

  • Associate of Science in Human Resource Management
    • Online
    • 60 Credit Program
  • Associate of Science in Human Resource Management
    • Online
    • 96 Credit Program
  • Associate of Applied Science in Human Resources
    • 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, among others:

  • Bachelor of Business Administration with a concentration in Human Resources
    • Located in Spokane
    • 128 Credit Program
  • Bachelor of Science in Business with a concentration in Human Resource Management
    • Located in Tukwila, online option
    • 120 Credit Program
  • Bachelor of Business Administration with a concentration in Human Resource Management
    • Located in Tacoma
    • 180 Credit Program
  • Bachelor of Science in Business Administration with a focus in Human Resources
    • Online
    • 180 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 Education in Organizational Leadership with a specialization in Community and Human Resource Development
    • Located in Toppenish
    • 36 Credit Program
  • Master of Science in Management with a specialization in Human Resources
    • Online
    • 56 Credit Program
  • Master of Science in Human Resource Development
    • Online
    • 30 Credit Program
  • Master of Science in Human Resource Management with a specialization in Functional Human Resource Management
    • Online
    • 39 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 Management
    • Located in Seattle
    • 15 Credit Program
  • Graduate Certificate in Human Resource Management
    • Located in Puyallup
    • 56 Credit Program
  • Graduate Certificate in Human Resources
    • Located in Tacoma
    • 20 Credit Program
  • Graduate Certificate in Human Resource Management
    • Located in Fort Steilacoom
    • 30 Credit Program
  • Graduate Certificate in Human Resources
    • Online
    • 16 Credit Program

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

  • MBA with a concentration in Human Resource Management
    • Located in Tukwila, online option
    • 48 Credit Program
  • MBA with a concentration in Human Resources
    • Located in Cheney
    • 36 Credit Program
  • MBA with a specialization in Human Resources
    • Online
    • 76 Credit Program
  • MBA with a specialization in Human Resource Management
    • Online
    • 48 Credit Program

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

  • Doctor of Management in Organizational Leadership
    • Located in Tukwila, online option
    • 68 Credit Program
  • Doctor of Business Administration with a specialization in Human Resource Management
    • Online
    • 82 Credit Program
  • Doctor of Business Administration with a cognate in Human Resources
    • Online
    • 60 Credit Program

The Largest Corporate Employers of HR Professionals in Washington

The 2014 Fortune 500 list of the largest businesses in Washington identified the state’s top employers of HR professionals:

  • Costco (Retailing sector) headquartered in Issaquah – $2 billion in 2014 profits, 153,500 employees
  • Amazon (Internet services and retailing sector) headquartered in Seattle – 154,100 employees
  • Microsoft (Technology sector) headquartered in Redmond - $22 billion in 2014 profits, 128,000 employees
  • Paccar (Motor Vehicles & Parts sector) headquartered in Bellevue – $1.4 billion in 2014 profits, 23,300 employees
  • Starbucks (Hotels, Restaurants & Leisure sector) – headquartered in Seattle – $2.1 billion in 2014 profits, 191,000 employees

Salary Expectations for HR Professionals in Washington

The U.S. Department of Labor’s 2014 report shows that HR professionals in Washington earn salaries that are better than the national average for their occupational classifications. Salaries in this field often vary based upon the size of the company, location of the company, and the amount of education and experience an employee possesses.

The following range of salaries for Washington’s HR professionals shows the average salary for the bottom 10 percent, the overall average salary, and the average among the top 10 percent for each HR occupation:

  • Human Resource Managers – $65,660; $114,830; $171,450
  • Training and Development Managers –  $64,360; $106,630; $154,170
  • Human Resources Specialists – $39,300; $68,130; $108,570
  • Labor Relations Specialists –  $42,340; $72,670; $112,290
  • Compensation, Benefits and Job Analysis Specialists –  $44,360; $73,770; $119,080
  • Training and Development Specialists – $34,390; $67,090; $105,110
  • Payroll and Timekeeping Clerks – $29,910; $43,880; $60,200
  • Human Resources Assistants, Except Payroll and Timekeeping – $26,670; $39,960; $53,770

Job Growth Projections for HR Professionals in Washington

The Washington State Employment Security Department has estimated that jobs within the human resources field will experience significant, steady growth throughout the Department’s ten-year projection period between 2012 and 2022: 

  • Human Resource Managers – 600 positions added, 18 percent growth
  • Training and Development Managers – 120 positions added, 19 percent growth
  • Human Resources Specialists – 2,210 positions added, 19 percent growth
  • Labor Relations Specialists – 200 positions added, 10 percent growth
  • Compensation, Benefits, and Job Analysis Specialists – 130 positions added, 14 percent growth
  • Training and Development Specialists – 530 positions added, 14 percent growth
  • Payroll and Timekeeping Clerks – 810 positions added, 20 percent growth
  • Human Resources Assistants, Except Payroll and Timekeeping – 310 positions added, 10 percent growth

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