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Career Profile: Labor Relations Specialists

Resolve disputes between workers and managers, negotiate collective bargaining agreements, or coordinate grievance procedures to handle employee complaints.

Salary and Outlook

According to the US Department of Labor, there are 73,500 people employed as labor relations specialists in the United States. The median annual salary is $73,200. Entry level employees earn approximately $19,520 per year and senior employees earn approximately $128,600 per year.

Estimates do not include other potential benefits such as health insurance, overtime pay, or retirement benefits that may be offered by employers.

Job Duties

  • Negotiate collective bargaining agreements.
  • Monitor company or workforce adherence to labor agreements.
  • Present the position of the company or of labor during arbitration or other labor negotiations.
  • Write letters related to labor relations activities, such as letters to amend collective bargaining agreements, letters of dispute or conciliation, or letters to seek clarification of contract terms.
  • Draft contract proposals or counter-proposals for collective bargaining or other labor negotiations.
  • Call or meet with union, company, government, or other interested parties to discuss labor relations matters, such as contract negotiations or grievances.
  • Interpret contractual agreements for employers and employees engaged in collective bargaining or other labor relations processes.
  • Assess the impact of union proposals on company or government operations.
  • Investigate and evaluate union complaints or arguments to determine viability.
  • Recommend collective bargaining strategies, goals, or objectives.
  • Prepare evidence for disciplinary hearings, including preparing witnesses to testify.
  • Propose resolutions for collective bargaining or other labor or contract negotiations.
  • Mediate discussions between employer and employee representatives in attempt to reconcile differences.
  • Review and approve employee disciplinary actions, such as written reprimands, suspensions, or terminations.
  • Assess risk levels associated with collective bargaining strategies.
  • Advise management on matters related to the administration of contracts or employee discipline or grievance procedures.
  • Select mediators or arbitrators for labor disputes or contract negotiations.
  • Review employer practices or employee data to ensure compliance with contracts on matters such as wages, hours, or conditions of employment.
  • Draft rules or regulations to govern collective bargaining activities in collaboration with company, government, or employee representatives.
  • Train managers or supervisors on topics related to labor relations, such as working conditions, safety, or equal opportunity practices.
  • Provide expert testimony in legal proceedings related to labor relations or labor contracts.
  • Identify alternatives to proposals of unions, employees, companies, or government agencies.
  • Develop methods to monitor employee satisfaction with policies or working conditions, including grievance or complaint procedures.
  • Research case law or outcomes of previous case hearings.
  • Schedule or coordinate the details of grievance hearings or other meetings.
  • Prepare and submit required governmental reports or forms related to labor relations matters, such as equal employment opportunity (EEO) forms, new hire forms, or minority compensation reports.
  • Prepare reports or presentations to communicate employee satisfaction or related data to management.
  • Develop employee health and safety policies.

Career List

Job Outlook


Total Current Jobs:
73,500
Annual Openings:
6,400
Increase in Openings by 2030:
-4%
Annual Salary Range:
$19,520 - $128,600
Education Requirements:
Bachelor's degree