Careers in Labor

Career Options with a Bachelor of Labor and Employment Relations degree

A degree or minor in Labor and Employment Relations can be your springboard to a wide range of career paths and opportunities. Each degree or concentration provides students with a unique set of skills and perspectives that are sought after in a variety of fields. Your personal career goals can help you choose which path to take. 

A Labor and Employment Relations Bachelor’s degree or minor opens up a variety of career paths, enabling you to:

  • manage people well whether you work for a corporation, government, or a community organization;
  • apply knowledge of current issues like work-life balance or employee rights to your workplace;
  • specialize in diversity, dealing with unionized employees, or other parts of employment relations;
  • represent employees as a union leader or staff member;
  • pursue an MBA after graduation—or a law degree, or a professional master’s degree in human resources or labor relations.

Specific concentrations or minors each open up different career opportunities as well. The following  lists illustrate examples of positions that are associated with different concentrations or minors. The Labor and Employment Relations Concentrations/Minors page can give you more detailed information on career paths associated with individual concentrations or minors.

Careers Related to the Diversity in the Workplace Concentration/Minor

  • Union organizer or staff representative
  • Labor relations specialist
  • Researcher
  • Labor relations agency staff 

Careers Related to the Labor Unions and Social Movements Concentration/Minor

  • Diversity specialist
  • Public policy advocate
  • Public agency staff
  • Attorney

Careers Related to the Workplace Concentration/Minor

  • Attorney
  • Mediator or arbitrator
  • Professional staff representative in a union
  • Public policy advocate

Careers Related to the Work, Globalization, and Migration Concentration/Minor

  • Immigration attorney or advocate
  • Labor standards certification specialist
  • International labor organization, NGO, or government agency staff
  • Globally-placed manager in an international corporation

Careers Related to the Work Organization and Management Concentration/Minor

  • Manager
  • Human resource specialist
  • Consultant
  • Community, nonprofit, or union leader/manager

As part of your undergraduate career research, we also encourage you to take the Senior Seminar. It is great way to explore opportunities in the career or careers that you are considering—and the further education that might help you in your quest.

 

Career Options with a Master of Labor and Employment Relations Degree

The Master of Labor and Employment Relations (MLER) degree program prepares students for professional employment relations careers in a variety of settings, including unions, corporations, government, and community organizations. Required classes and electives provide a broad-based multidisciplinary education in labor relations, organizational/social change, employee diversity, workplace justice, human resource systems, and the impact of the globalization on employees.

Many students attend part time in the evening and combine their studies with work that also helps advance their careers. The goal of the program is to produce graduates who are thoughtful professionals, informed leaders, and/or researchers grounded in the contemporary reality of work and employment relations.

Graduates of the master's program in labor and employment relations follow a variety of career paths:

Salaries of MLER Students upon Graduation

 
POSITIONTYPE OF EMPLOYERSALARY
Financial Editor *Law Firm$100,000
Director of Research *Union$91,000
HR DirectorHospital$90,000
Assistant Director of Regional Programs *Union$85,000
Associate Director and  Acting Director *University$85,000
PresidentLocal Union$75,000
Assistant to the VP of HR and Labor RelationsUniversity$72,000
Director of University OutreachUniversity$69,000
Staff Political DepartmentUnion $68,000
Continuing Legal Education CoordinatorLaw Firm$68,000
OrganizerUnion$64,000
Program ManagerUniversity $60,000
Staff Agent, Unfair Practices and Representation *Government$60,000
Staff RepresentativeLocal Union$57,000
HR Talent Acquisition and Labor RelationsCorporation$55,000
Field ExaminerGovernment$52,000
HR Specialist, Employee Relations, Labor Hospital$50,280
Labor Relations AnalystGovernment$50,000
Jr. Policy AnalystGovernment $45,986
Analyst Labor Relations DepartmentEmployer Organization$45,516
Executive DirectorCommunity Organization$36,000
Labor Arbitrator–Court Order MediationSelf Employed Part-time$20,000

                 *These individuals also had significant experience before earning the MLER degree

Employers include:
RWDSU/UFCW; Sidoti & Co., LLC; North West Hospital; SEIU Local 1199; Rutgers Graduate Admissions; URA/AFT Local 1766; Fashion Institute of Technology; DEVRY University; Workers United International Union; Kasowitz, Benson, Torres & Freedman; NY & NJ Regional Joint Board; Cornell Industrial & Labor Relations Program; PERC; CWA Local 1037; Walgreens Corporation; National Labor Relations Board; Veterans Affairs Hospital; Ontario Government Ministry of Disability Support; NJ School Boards Association; New Labor; Self Employed.