What Do Labor Relations Specialists Do?
A labor relations specialist has to develop labor policies, manage any grievances, advise the human resource staff, maintain records and otherwise negotiate agreements. To put it simply, a labor relations specialist acts a liaison between management and employees in order to resolve any issues without litigation or strikes.This type of positions is actually expected to decrease by about 1% across the United States. That will likely mean there will be fewer job openings.
Labor Relations Specialists Skills and Abilities
Being a successful labor relations specialist requires a certain skillset. You have to be extremely knowledgeable about management policies, human resource procedures, legal codes and the contracts of employees. You have to be able to mediate negotiations, which requires a high level of communication, persuasion and problem sensitivity. You have to have an eye for details and keep informative records. To be successful, you have to be able to stay objective and truly mediate.
Labor Relations Specialists Duties
Your duties as a labor relations specialist will vary depending on the industry and the company that you work for. Generally speaking you will be expected to monitor the company and employees in order to ensure that both sides stick to any labor agreements. You will have to advise management on employee contracts, discipline and managing complaints. You may have to give your expert testimony if certain issues cannot be resolved outside of the courtroom. Most labor relations specialists have duties related to the training of managers and supervisors. Their training should inform them about proper working conditions, safety and equal opportunity employment practices. You will also have to investigate claims in order to find out if there is any truth to the complaints and grievances. Your job is to ensure that both the management and the employees follow contracts and stay content.
Labor Relations Specialists Tools and Technology
In many cases your skills alone will not be enough to perform the required duties. You will also have to use tools and technology in order to be successful. You may have to use computers, copiers, scanners and printers to get teaching materials, keep records and train employees. You will also have to be familiar with human resource software and spreadsheet software to make digital record keeping a breeze.
Education and Training for Labor Relations Specialists
Before you can become a labor relations specialist, you have to have a Bachelor’s degree. Some companies may even prefer that you have a Master’s. Experience in human resources is useful for obtaining a position in this field, but not all companies require previous experience. If you want to become a labor relations specialist, you should take courses like:
- Dispute Resolution
- Business Administration
- Labor Law
- Labor Studies
- Negotiation Strategies
- Labor and Industrial Relations
- Human Resources Management
Labor Relations Specialists Salary
Your salary will depend on what company you work for, the industry they are in, your level of education, how much experience you have and even where you live. Because most of these positions require such a specific skillset, you can expect to make a pretty good income. On average, a labor relations specialist in the United States makes about $57,000. Typically the salary ranges from $17,900 to $107,800.
Labor Relations Specialists Jobs by Geography
Geography affects not only your salary, but also the overall job availability. For example, Alaska, Massachusetts and Maryland are expected to see the most growth in the occupation. That likely means there will be more available jobs in these states. Alaska also happens to have one of the highest average wages coming in at $89,200. Massachusetts also has an average salary above the national average coming in at $68,100, but Maryland comes in below the national average at $47,300. As you start on a career path, it is important for you to realize just how much geography and your education can affect your success.