what is an HR administrator?

As an HR Administrator, your work combines administrative and human resources responsibilities. Technically, the role of an HR Administrator has less to do with employee services and more to do with administering company policies, data management and evaluating employee relations.

what does an HR administrator do?

Many people confuse an HR Administrator with an HR Generalist, but they are separate roles. For instance, a generalist manages all employee-related issues while an administrator assists the HR manager with daily tasks like processing new hires, HR data systems and documenting policies. In large organisations, the HR administrator role is broken down into different areas of specialisation like payroll administration or data entry. However, in smaller companies, your role as an HR Administrator covers all Human Resources functions, including recruiting, training and employee relations. That is why HR Administrators in small organisations get more exposure and broader experience.

As an HR Administrator, it is vital to understand the intricacies of data management. Since you play a crucial role in managing the information flow between employees and managers, it is important to have strong communication and people skills.

HR administrator jobs

average HR administrator salary

An HR Administrator earns an average salary of $60,000 per year. Entry-level positions for HR Administrators attract a salary of $54,000 annually due to the minimal experience. When you have many years of experience, your annual salary is around $71,000 . Some employers include allowances and non-monetary benefits as part of the remuneration package.

how to increase your salary as an HR administrator

As an HR Administrator, your salary depends on your experience and academic qualifications. Your experience determines the complexity of your responsibilities and the transferable skills you possess. Most employers are willing to pay more for HR Administrators with additional years of experience. Your qualifications also affect your remuneration package. For instance, hr administrators with bachelor's degrees are likely to earn more compared to hr administrators with only VET qualifications.

The company size also influences the remuneration package. In a small company, an HR Administrator completes all the human resources tasks, but the earnings could be less due to the limited resources in the company. Large organisations generally have greater resources and can afford to pay higher remuneration to HR Administrators. Some business sectors also have higher salaries due to the complexity of the role. For instance, working as an HR Administrator in financial services attracts a different salary structure compared with construction or mining companies.

employees working together
employees working together

types of HR administrators

As an HR Administrator, you work on administrative duties like ensuring compliance with company employment policies and processing payroll. Some of the specialisms to consider in the role include:

  • employee relations officer: as an HR Administrator, you can assist with employee relations tasks. For instance, you ensure the company has a harmonious work environment for staff. That includes solving conflicts, addressing behaviours in the workplace and updating employees' files.
  • payroll administrator: as an HR Administrator, you assist with the administrative functions in payroll. For instance, you update employees' records and ensure the details are correct for payroll. You also help the payroll team with processing salaries for employees.

working as an HR administrator

Working as an HR Administrator requires organisational skills and knowledge of human resource processes and policies. The role requires multitasking and time management skills to help you juggle your  tasks.


education and skills

Some of the qualifications of an HR Administrator include:

  • qualifications: to become an HR Administrator, you require tertiary-level qualifications. Most HR Administrators have relevant VET qualifications like Certificate IV in human resource management or a diploma in human resources. To further broaden your career opportunities, consider getting a bachelor's degree in business or human resource management. 
  • work experience: most employers require HR Administrators to have some industry experience before commencing work. Gain work experience through internships while studying or find entry-level positions in human resources to improve your skills. When you are ready to join top-level positions, consider upskilling with a postgraduate study programme like a master's in human resource management.

skills and competencies

As an HR Administrator, you need a firm set of skills to succeed, including:

  • computer skills: as an HR Administrator, basic computing skills are useful for data management and other hr functions like compiling data in the human resource management software. Knowledge of MS Office applications like Excel, PowerPoint and Word makes your job simpler since it improves your data entry process.
  • organisational skills: your role involves juggling numerous tasks, and some will fall behind schedule without sound organisational skills. Administrative skills help you prioritise tasks and improve efficiency throughout the human resource processes.
  • detail-oriented skills: as an HR Administrator, you juggle multiple tasks with minimal room for error. Hence, attention to details helps you maintain accurate records and avoid costly mistakes.
  • communication skills: as an HR Administrator, good communication skills assist you in employee relations and responding to queries and requests from various stakeholders. Some of your duties involve communicating with job applicants, where communications skills are invaluable.
  • integrity and approachability: it is important to be approachable and trustworthy to make employees feel safe and able to discuss sensitive issues with you. Make sure you also give workers good advice in response to their queries.

FAQs about working as an HR administrator

Here are the most asked questions about working as an HR Administrator:

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