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Human Resources Assistants

At a Glance

  • Document and file employee information
  • Perform general clerical duties
  • Usually work regular business hours
  • Have basic computer and office skills
  • Have an associate degree

Career summary

Human resources assistants organize and file companies' information about their employees.

Human resources assistants may also be called personnel assistants, personnel clerks, or human resources clerks.

Human resources assistants document and file employee information. They maintain the files and keep them current. Assistants may send employee files to the reviewers when employees are up for promotion or review. They often write reports about various personnel activities.

Human resources assistants perform the clerical duties involved in hiring employees. They post job descriptions and collect applications for the job. They may organize and review applications. Human resources assistants call applicants to verify their references and contact information. They develop a pool of the best applicants and pass the applications on to those in charge of hiring. In many companies, assistants may also perform interviews and inform applicants if they have been hired or not.

Human resources assistants provide employees with information about their job benefits, such as vacation time and health plans. They may explain how employee assistance plans and worker compensation programs work and help employees use the programs. They often set up training programs for new employees and current employees who want to update their skills.

In some work settings, assistants have specific responsibilities. For example, identification (ID) assistants take care of ID issues in high-security work places. This involves recording employee information and providing ID badges. Assignment assistants keep track of job openings within a company. They use personnel records to identify qualified employees within the company. They inform these employees of job openings.

Human resources assistants also perform general clerical duties, such as:

Related careers

This career is part of the Business Management and Administration cluster of careers.

Related careers include:

Military careers

Job duties

Task list

The following list of tasks is specific to human resources assistants.

Common work activities

Human resources assistants perform the following tasks. These tasks are common to many careers.

Work requirements

Working conditions

In a typical work setting, human resources assistants:

Interpersonal relationships

Physical work conditions

Work performance


Physical demands

Human resources assistants frequently:

It is important for human resources assistants to be able to:

It is not as important, but still necessary, for human resources assistants to be able to:

Skills and abilities

Human resources assistants need to:


Reason and problem solve

Manage oneself, people, time, and things

Work with people

Education and training

Educational programs

The programs of study listed below will help you prepare for the occupation or career cluster you are exploring.

Programs of study directly related to this occupation

Other programs of study to consider


To work as a human resources assistant, you typically need to:

Education after high school

Most human resources assistants have an associate degree. Professional-technical schools and two-year colleges offer business education programs. In these programs you study word processing, business communications, records management, and office procedures. Courses in social sciences, as well as word processing and spreadsheet applications, are particularly helpful.

On-the-job training

Once on the job, human resources assistants learn about office practices and the use of computer applications. Training usually lasts a few weeks. 

Military training

Some branches of the military train people to be personnel specialists. Training lasts for seven to nine weeks, depending on your specialty. Additional training occurs on the job.

Helpful high school courses

You should take a general high school curriculum that meets the state's graduation requirements. You will be required to take both math and science classes to graduate.

Helpful electives to take in high school that prepare you for this career include:

The courses listed above are meant to help you create your high school plan. If you have not already done so, talk to a school counselor or parent about the courses you are considering taking.

You should also check with a teacher or counselor to see if work-based learning opportunities are available in your school and community. These might include field trips, job shadowing, internships, and actual work experience. The goal of these activities is to help you connect your school experiences with real-life work.

Join some groups, try some hobbies, or volunteer with an organization that interests you. By participating in activities you can have fun, make new friends, and learn about yourself. Maybe one of them will help direct you to a future career. Here are examples of activities and groups that may be available in your high school or community.

Things to know

Employers prefer human resources assistants who have at least a high school diploma or equivalent. They also look for applicants who will be able to learn the company's unique human resources policies quickly. Employers also look for strong clerical and communication skills. Finally, employers look for human resources assistants who are trustworthy and discreet. This is because assistants work with employees' personal information.

Costs to workers

Workers may join a professional organization and pay a membership fee and annual dues.

Job listings

Listed below are links to job categories from the National Labor Exchange that relate to this career. Once you get a list of jobs, you can view information about individual jobs and find out how to apply. If your job search finds too many openings, or if you wish to search for jobs outside of Washington, you will need to refine your search.

To get a listing of current jobs from the WorkSource system, go to the WorkSource website (external link).


Human resources assistants, except payroll and timekeeping (SOC 43-4161)

Pay Period
Washington Hourly $15.95 $18.55 $21.57 $24.28 $28.42
Monthly $2,764 $3,215 $3,738 $4,208 $4,925
Yearly $33,170 $38,590 $44,860 $50,510 $59,120
    Bellingham Hourly $16.61 $18.21 $20.89 $23.91 $27.23
Monthly $2,879 $3,156 $3,620 $4,144 $4,719
Yearly $34,556 $37,877 $43,432 $49,724 $56,638
    Bremerton-Silverdale Hourly $17.83 $18.43 $22.09 $25.04 $28.72
Monthly $3,090 $3,194 $3,828 $4,339 $4,977
Yearly $37,096 $38,335 $45,946 $52,090 $59,734
    Clarkston-Lewiston Hourly $13.27 $15.60 $20.09 $23.69 $27.78
Monthly $2,300 $2,703 $3,482 $4,105 $4,814
Yearly $27,621 $32,439 $41,780 $49,273 $57,772
    Kennewick-Richland Hourly $16.47 $19.99 $22.48 $25.02 $29.54
Monthly $2,854 $3,464 $3,896 $4,336 $5,119
Yearly $34,254 $41,597 $46,754 $52,043 $61,449
    Longview Hourly $15.46 $18.31 $21.83 $24.46 $29.34
Monthly $2,679 $3,173 $3,783 $4,239 $5,085
Yearly $32,158 $38,096 $45,405 $50,875 $61,009
    Mount Vernon-Anacortes Hourly $17.47 $22.63 $25.61 $32.56 $38.11
Monthly $3,028 $3,922 $4,438 $5,643 $6,604
Yearly $36,344 $47,072 $53,256 $67,738 $79,269
    Olympia-Tumwater Hourly $16.14 $18.43 $20.40 $22.93 $25.11
Monthly $2,797 $3,194 $3,535 $3,974 $4,352
Yearly $33,578 $38,331 $42,440 $47,699 $52,216
    Seattle-Tacoma-Bellevue Hourly $16.60 $19.62 $22.43 $25.06 $29.20
Monthly $2,877 $3,400 $3,887 $4,343 $5,060
Yearly $34,542 $40,794 $46,656 $52,131 $60,749
    Spokane-Spokane Valley Hourly $12.36 $16.23 $18.54 $21.73 $24.42
Monthly $2,142 $2,813 $3,213 $3,766 $4,232
Yearly $25,711 $33,770 $38,555 $45,192 $50,793
    Vancouver Hourly $16.15 $18.45 $21.75 $25.05 $29.55
Monthly $2,799 $3,197 $3,769 $4,341 $5,121
Yearly $33,603 $38,370 $45,233 $52,106 $61,473
    Walla Walla Hourly $16.00 $17.03 $19.80 $23.47 $23.48
Monthly $2,773 $2,951 $3,431 $4,067 $4,069
Yearly $33,283 $35,426 $41,187 $48,811 $48,831
    Wenatchee Hourly $16.19 $17.92 $20.76 $23.97 $31.21
Monthly $2,806 $3,106 $3,598 $4,154 $5,409
Yearly $33,685 $37,293 $43,191 $49,846 $64,917
    Yakima Hourly $15.71 $17.90 $21.45 $24.99 $29.88
Monthly $2,723 $3,102 $3,717 $4,331 $5,178
Yearly $32,685 $37,252 $44,619 $51,975 $62,149
United States Hourly $13.27 $16.13 $19.42 $23.40 $27.98
Monthly $2,300 $2,795 $3,365 $4,055 $4,849
Yearly $27,610 $33,550 $40,390 $48,680 $58,200

Wages vary by employer and the assistant's duties.

Human resources assistants who work full time usually receive benefits. Common benefits include paid vacation and holidays, health insurance, and a retirement plan.

Employment and outlook

Washington outlook


The table below provides information about the number of workers in this career in various regions. It also provides information about the expected growth rate and future job openings.

Human Resources Assistants, Except Payroll and Timekeeping (SOC 43-4161)

Location Current employment Growth over 10 years Annual openings
Washington 2,538 10.2% 16.1% 344
    Adams, Chelan, Douglas, Grant, and Okanogan Counties 38 5.3% 13.4% 4
    Asotin, Columbia, Ferry, Garfield, Lincoln, Pend Oreille, Stevens, Walla Walla, and Whitman Counties 66 0.0% 8.6% 7
    Benton and Franklin Counties 110 16.4% 15.0% 17
    Clallam, Jefferson, and Kitsap Counties 181 -2.2% 11.9% 19
    Clark, Cowlitz, and Wahkiakum Counties 133 7.5% 15.2% 17
    Grays Harbor, Lewis, Mason, Pacific, and Thurston Counties 117 2.6% 14.1% 13
    Island, San Juan, Skagit, and Whatcom Counties 112 3.6% 14.6% 13
    King County 995 19.8% 19.6% 159
    Kittitas, Klickitat, Skamania, and Yakima Counties 79 3.8% 13.8% 9
    Pierce County 335 3.3% 15.2% 40
    Snohomish County 152 10.5% 12.4% 21
    Spokane County 190 4.7% 13.9% 23
United States 129,300 -4.2% 5.2% 13,800

National employment

Human resources assistants are employed in nearly every industry.

Major employers:

National outlook

Demand for this occupation is decreasing. More human resources assisting work is automated. Jobs will open up as current human resources assistants move up within the company or change to other occupations. Opportunities are best for those with good communication and computer skills.

Other resources

Society for Human Resource Management (external link)
Washington Business Week (external link)
PO Box 1170
Renton, WA 98057


Career cluster

Career path

O*Net (external link) occupation

O*Net job zone (external link)

DOT occupations

Holland occupational cluster