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What is a HR manager? 

A human resources (HR) manager oversees a business’s HR department and coordinates its administrative functions. They typically act as a liaison between management and employees, taking care of recruiting, interviewing, and training staff, as well as organising company culture to meet the needs of employees and comply with industrial relations laws. HR managers can also be involved in employee engagement and wellbeing efforts, including retention strategies, performance management, and team building exercises. 

People in human resource management can work in a broad range of industries, as nearly every company will have a human resources department. To become a HR manager in Australia, you require a qualification such as a Diploma of Human Resources Management or an Advanced Diploma of Management (Human Resources). You can also start your career as a HR assistant after completing a Certificate IV in Human Resources and work your way up to management. 

What does a HR manager do? 

The duties of a HR manager will largely depend on the size of the company they work for. When working for smaller businesses, HR managers may undertake various roles and duties while larger companies may have HR managers overseeing different aspects of human resources. 

Generally, human resource managers are involved in the following daily duties and tasks:

  • Managing and supervising staff in the human resources department
  • Meeting with other department heads to organise recruitment or staff training
  • Address workplace complaints and engage in conflict resolution
  • Workforce planning
  • Organise learning & professional development opportunities for employees
  • Supervise recruitment, interviewing, hiring, and induction processes
  • Review staff remuneration 
  • Plan and conduct staff performance reviews
  • Develop WHS programs and ensure compliance with health & safety and labour laws
  • Oversee employment benefit & compensation programs
  • Manage succession planning processes. 

What is the best human resources course? 

This depends on what kind of career you’d like to pursue in human resources. The three best human resources courses in Australia are the Certificate IV in Human Resources, Diploma of Human Resource Management, and Advanced Diploma of Management (Human Resources). 

  • Certificate IV in Human Resources: This course is ideal for those who are just starting their career in HR. You will learn everything you need to know to become a HR Coordinator or HR Assistant, including basic human resource functions, performance management, recruitment, selection, and induction of staff, WHS policies and procedures, and an elective of your choice. 
  • Diploma of Human Resources Management: This nationally recognised qualification is ideal for those who want to progress their career in human resource management. You will learn how to manage human resources, employee relations, and a more advanced understanding of WHS procedures and recruitment. Upon completion of this course, you can seek employment as a HR Advisor or HR Manager.
  • Advanced Diploma of Management (Human Resources): This is the most advanced human resource management course in Australia, ideal for those who are already working in HR and want to take the next step towards a leadership role. In this course you will learn how to develop diversity policies, lead and manage organisational change, provide leadership, plan HR strategy, and contribute to organisational development. Upon completion, you can pursue more senior HR roles such as Head of People and Culture or HR Director.

How much can you earn after human resources courses?

This depends on the HR course you have taken and the roles you wish to pursue. According to current records at the time of writing, an entry-level role in human resources, such as HR Assistant, has an average salary of $60,000-$70,000. The average salary for a HR Manager in Australia is $129,500 per year, while a HR Director or Head of People and Culture can earn between $120,000-$140,000 per year. 

How to become a HR manager

This is a general career pathway to becoming a human resources manager in Australia: 

  • Start with a Certificate IV in Human Resources to begin your career in HR. This course will teach you all the practical skills you need to begin working within a human resources department. 
  • After gaining a few years of industry experience, you can choose to advance to human resource management with a Diploma of Human Resources Management. 
  • If you’d like to continue progressing your career, consider an Advanced Diploma of Management (Human Resources) to start seeking out more senior roles such as HR Director or Head of People and Culture.

What are the skills you need to become a HR manager? 

Communication skills

HR managers are involved in various communications, from interviews, recruitment, and training to creating policy handbooks and workplace manuals. You will not only be communicating with employees and job candidates, but also key stakeholders and other managers in the business. Communication skills are important to ensure you can express things clearly to people across all levels of the organisation. 


HR managers often juggle many different tasks, from recruitment to WHS procedures and workplace disputes. Organisational skills are important as they allow you to properly manage your time and stay on top of your workload. As HR managers are also often involved in administrative functions, such as filing paperwork and legal documents, organisation is essential to remaining compliant and maintaining efficiency at work. 

Interpersonal skills

Relationship building is an important part of human resources and a good HR manager is able to make employees feel comfortable and safe in the workplace. Interpersonal skills help HR managers manage conflicts with empathy, negotiate with staff & management on compensation, and enhance trust and confidence in the workplace. 

Is it hard to work in human resources?

Like any job, HR has its own unique set of challenges. These include:

  • Making difficult decisions: HR managers are often tasked with implementing strategic businesses such as restructuring an organisation. This might mean letting people go or demoting certain people. HR managers may also have to transfer people in roles they don’t like. 
  • Awkward conversations: People in human resources often have to have awkward conversations, such as telling people that they didn’t get a job they wanted or that they can’t receive the salary they’re asking for. People also come to HR with workplace issues, complaints, and disputes, and you may have to have uncomfortable conversations.  

What are the benefits of human resources courses?

Studying a HR course equips you with all the essential skills and knowledge you need to forge a fruitful career in human resources. You will learn how to manage teams, oversee recruitment and training, and organise workplace health and safety procedures amongst other essential HR skills. Upon completion, you can enter the workforce with confidence.

Should you study a human resources course online?

Yes! Online study of human resources courses is ideal for many reasons:

  • Start when you want: You can enrol in an online HR course as soon as tomorrow and start studying immediately. There’s no need to wait for semester dates to begin and you can start working towards your new HR career whenever you’re ready. 
  • Study from anywhere: When you study HR online, you don’t have to worry about living near an educational institution. Study from your home, the library, or a cafe – the choice is yours. 
  • Flexible course delivery: With no assignment deadlines or strict timetable, you can study at your own pace and in your own time. This means you can complete your HR studies around your current lifestyle and work commitments. 

Is human resources a good career? 

Human resources is an excellent career choice for anyone who loves to work with people and thrives in a workplace environment. You will be helping to shape an organisation’s culture, pivot to different industries, enhance employee wellbeing, and help organisations succeed in their strategic goals. No two days are the same when you work in HR, which makes the job exciting.

Human resources courses online 

Ready to start your career in human resources? Browse our online HR courses and you can start studying as soon as tomorrow! 


  1. How do I become a HR manager in Australia?
    To gain an entry-level role in HR, you can complete a Certificate IV in Human Resources. If you’re more interested in HR management, consider a Diploma of Human Resources Management.

  2. How long is a human resources course?
    This depends on the course you enrol in. A Certificate IV in Human Resources and a Diploma of Human Resources Management usually take around 12 months to complete. An Advanced Diploma of Management (Human Resources) may be completed in around 18 months.

  3. How much is a human resources course?
    The cost of a HR course will depend on the certificate you enrol in, the institution, and the payment method you use. Many institutions offer payment plans and may even offer a discount for some students. Browse our courses and ask for a free class pack to learn more about pricing.

  4. Is being a HR manager a hard job?
    Human resources management can sometimes be stressful and you may have to make difficult decisions and have uncomfortable conversations. But the benefits of working alongside people every day can far outweigh the challenges.

  5. What is the next level after being a HR assistant?
    The next level after a HR assistant is to become a HR manager or HR director.

  6. What’s the difference between a HR assistant and a HR manager?
    A HR assistant is an entry-level role that is supportive to the HR manager. For example, a HR assistant may be in charge of scheduling interviews, maintaining records, and arranging training while a HR manager is involved in conducting the interviews, managing policies, and creating employee handbooks.