How to become a Human Resources Officer

Human resources officers provide administration services for the recruitment and employment of staff. In small organisations, human resources officers are usually responsible for all staffing matters. In large organisations they may specialise in a particular area such as recruitment, wages and entitlements or staff training.

Personal requirements of a Human Resources Officer

  • Good planning, organisational, analytical and decision-making skills
  • Good oral and written communication skills
  • Tactful and discrete when dealing with people and confidential information

Education & Training for a Human Resources Officer

To become a human resources officer you usually have to complete a VET qualification. As subjects and prerequisites can vary between institutions, you should contact your chosen institution for further information. The Australian Human Resources Institute offers short courses and VET qualifications in human resources. The Recruitment and Consulting Services Association (RCSA) also offers related short courses and VET qualifications. Contact the institutions for further information. You can also become a human resources officer through a traineeship. Entry requirements may vary, but employers generally require Year 10. Alternatively, you can become a human resources officer by completing a degree in human resource management, or business or commerce with a major in human resource management. To get into these courses you usually need to gain your Senior Secondary Certificate of Education. Prerequisite subjects, or assumed knowledge, in one or more of English and mathematics are normally required. Universities have different prerequisites and some have flexible entry requirements or offer external study. Contact the institutions you are interested in for more information. A degree in a related area such as industrial relations, psychology, management or economics may also be useful in gaining employment.

Duties & Tasks of a Human Resources Officer

Human resources officers:

  • determine staffing numbers, skills and needs to meet the organisation's objectives
  • analyse the skills and qualities required for each particular job and develop job descriptions and duty statements
  • advertise staff vacancies, assess applications, interview applicants, administer selection tests, prepare reports and make recommendations to management about staff appointments
  • maintain the personal records of employees on matters such as wages, superannuation, leave and training, and prepare associated management reports
  • arrange and conduct staff training
  • use a number of management information systems to record, maintain, plan and manage the organisation's human resources
  • provide advice and information to management and employees on human resource policies and procedures, including equal opportunity, anti-discrimination and occupational health and safety programs
  • assist employees with work matters, career development, personal problems and industrial matters
  • organise employee welfare services such as health and wellbeing programs, first aid and fire warden training, superannuation and social activities
  • take part in enterprise bargaining talks where employees, management and unions discuss the development of specific work arrangements and conditions (pay and hours of work, for example)
  • help implement organisational changes (such as those following from industrial relations legislation, revised job classification structures or technological changes)
  • take part in strategic management.

Employment Opportunities for a Human Resources Officer

Human resources officers are employed by both small and large organisations in industries such as banks, insurance companies, hospitals, manufacturing firms, airline and shipping companies and large retail stores. They are also employed by federal and state or territory government departments. Some people establish their own businesses as human resources consultants or find employment with human resources firms that offer outsourced human resources functions to clients.

Avg. weekly wage:


Future growth:


Employment by state:

ACT 3.3%

NSW 33%

NT 1.2%

QLD 18.5%

TAS 1.6%

VIC 25.4%

WA 11%

SA 6%

Hours worked:



Average unemployment

Gender split:

Male 28%

Female 72%

Education level:

Not completed Year 12: 6.2%

Highest qualification is secondary school: 15.1%

Highest qualification is a Certificate 3 or 4: 12.3%

Highest qualification is a Diploma or Advanced Diploma: 16.1%

Highest qualification is a Bachelor degree: 35.9%

Highest qualification is a Postgraduate Diploma or Graduate Certificate: 14.3%

Age brackets:

15-19 - 0.1%

20-24 - 6.1%

25-34 - 26.8%

35-44 - 22.6%

45-54 - 19.5%

55-59 - 8.2%

60-64 - 7.1%

65 and Over - 9.5%

*The data above is sourced from the Department of Employment’s Job Outlook website.

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