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Labor Relations Specialist

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What Do Labor Relations Specialist Do?

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

Life As a Labor Relations Specialist

  • Investigate and evaluate union complaints or arguments to determine viability.
  • Review and approve employee disciplinary actions, such as written reprimands, suspensions, or terminations.
  • Provide expert testimony in legal proceedings related to labor relations or labor contracts.
  • Select mediators or arbitrators for labor disputes or contract negotiations.
  • Draft contract proposals or counter-proposals for collective bargaining or other labor negotiations.
  • Propose resolutions for collective bargaining or other labor or contract negotiations.

What Skills Do You Need to Work as a Labor Relations Specialist?

When polled, Labor Relations Specialists say the following skills are most frequently used in their jobs:

Active Listening: Giving full attention to what other people are saying, taking time to understand the points being made, asking questions as appropriate, and not interrupting at inappropriate times.

Speaking: Talking to others to convey information effectively.

Reading Comprehension: Understanding written sentences and paragraphs in work related documents.

Negotiation: Bringing others together and trying to reconcile differences.

Writing: Communicating effectively in writing as appropriate for the needs of the audience.

Persuasion: Persuading others to change their minds or behavior.

Other Labor Relations Specialist Job Titles

  • Labor Conciliator
  • Collective Bargaining Specialist
  • Labor Relations Supervisor
  • Industrial Relations Specialist
  • Employee Relations Assistant

Are There Job Opportunities for Labor Relations Specialists?

In 2016, there was an estimated number of 81,100 jobs in the United States for Labor Relations Specialist. There is little to no growth in job opportunities for Labor Relations Specialist. There will be an estimated 6,800 positions for Labor Relations Specialist per year.


The states with the most job growth for Labor Relations Specialist are Georgia, Maryland, and Louisiana. Watch out if you plan on working in Ohio, Vermont, or West Virginia. These states have the worst job growth for this type of profession.

Salary for a Labor Relations Specialist

Labor Relations Specialists make between $19,270 and $123,340 a year.


Labor Relations Specialists who work in New Jersey, North Dakota, or Maryland, make the highest salaries.

How much do Labor Relations Specialists make in each U.S. state?

State Annual Mean Salary
Alabama $42,590
Alaska $83,200
Arizona $71,400
Arkansas $49,660
California $80,270
Colorado $76,620
Connecticut $63,230
District of Columbia $89,420
Florida $62,580
Georgia $61,620
Hawaii $76,140
Idaho $54,040
Illinois $58,620
Indiana $66,520
Iowa $62,690
Kansas $55,300
Kentucky $57,460
Louisiana $49,920
Maine $79,850
Maryland $83,860
Massachusetts $72,500
Michigan $72,320
Minnesota $74,490
Mississippi $68,590
Missouri $55,240
Montana $52,570
Nebraska $51,040
Nevada $72,870
New Hampshire $63,830
New Jersey $117,470
New Mexico $64,350
New York $85,870
North Carolina $59,290
North Dakota $94,440
Ohio $47,600
Oklahoma $65,460
Oregon $85,820
Pennsylvania $78,320
Rhode Island $67,720
South Carolina $64,410
Tennessee $64,020
Texas $69,310
Utah $47,250
Vermont $70,250
Virginia $65,280
Washington $77,070
West Virginia $41,930
Wisconsin $42,650
Wyoming $61,600

Tools & Technologies Used by Labor Relations Specialists

Although they’re not necessarily needed for all jobs, the following technologies are used by many Labor Relations Specialists:

  • Microsoft Excel
  • Microsoft Word
  • Microsoft Office
  • Microsoft PowerPoint
  • Microsoft Outlook
  • Oracle PeopleSoft

How to Become a Labor Relations Specialist

What education is needed to be a Labor Relations Specialist?


How many years of work experience do I need?


Where do Labor Relations Specialists Work?


Below are examples of industries where Labor Relations Specialists work:



Image Credit: Arunkumar Umapathy via Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 4.0 International

More about our data sources and methodologies.

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