Labor Relations Specialists
Resolve disputes between workers and managers, negotiate collective bargaining agreements, or coordinate grievance procedures to handle employee complaints.
Sample of reported job titles: Business Agent, Business Representative, Field Operations Coordinator, Grievance Manager, Labor Relations Specialist
Tasks | Technology Skills | Tools Used | Knowledge | Skills | Abilities | Work Activities | Detailed Work Activities | Work Context | Job Zone | Education | Credentials | Interests | Work Styles | Work Values | Wages & Employment | Job Openings | Additional Information
- 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.
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- Cloud-based data access and sharing software — Microsoft SharePoint
- Data base user interface and query software — Microsoft Access
- Electronic mail software — Microsoft Outlook
- Enterprise resource planning ERP software — Oracle PeopleSoft
- Human resources software — Internet Grievance System IGS; LaborSoft LaborForce Arbitration/Appeals Manager module; LaborSoft LaborForce Reporting/Dashboard Manager module; Micropact entellitrak Labor Relations Edition (see all 9 examples)
- Office suite software — Microsoft Office
- Presentation software — Microsoft PowerPoint
- Spreadsheet software — Microsoft Excel
- Word processing software — Microsoft Word
Hot Technology — a technology requirement frequently included in employer job postings.
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- English Language — Knowledge of the structure and content of the English language including the meaning and spelling of words, rules of composition, and grammar.
- Personnel and Human Resources — Knowledge of principles and procedures for personnel recruitment, selection, training, compensation and benefits, labor relations and negotiation, and personnel information systems.
- Law and Government — Knowledge of laws, legal codes, court procedures, precedents, government regulations, executive orders, agency rules, and the democratic political process.
- Administration and Management — Knowledge of business and management principles involved in strategic planning, resource allocation, human resources modeling, leadership technique, production methods, and coordination of people and resources.
- Customer and Personal Service — Knowledge of principles and processes for providing customer and personal services. This includes customer needs assessment, meeting quality standards for services, and evaluation of customer satisfaction.
- Education and Training — Knowledge of principles and methods for curriculum and training design, teaching and instruction for individuals and groups, and the measurement of training effects.
- Communications and Media — Knowledge of media production, communication, and dissemination techniques and methods. This includes alternative ways to inform and entertain via written, oral, and visual media.
- Mathematics — Knowledge of arithmetic, algebra, geometry, calculus, statistics, and their applications.
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- 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.
- Negotiation — Bringing others together and trying to reconcile differences.
- Reading Comprehension — Understanding written sentences and paragraphs in work-related documents.
- Persuasion — Persuading others to change their minds or behavior.
- Writing — Communicating effectively in writing as appropriate for the needs of the audience.
- Critical Thinking — Using logic and reasoning to identify the strengths and weaknesses of alternative solutions, conclusions, or approaches to problems.
- Social Perceptiveness — Being aware of others’ reactions and understanding why they react as they do.
- Complex Problem Solving — Identifying complex problems and reviewing related information to develop and evaluate options and implement solutions.
- Judgment and Decision Making — Considering the relative costs and benefits of potential actions to choose the most appropriate one.
- Active Learning — Understanding the implications of new information for both current and future problem-solving and decision-making.
- Monitoring — Monitoring/Assessing performance of yourself, other individuals, or organizations to make improvements or take corrective action.
- Service Orientation — Actively looking for ways to help people.
- Time Management — Managing one’s own time and the time of others.
- Coordination — Adjusting actions in relation to others’ actions.
- Learning Strategies — Selecting and using training/instructional methods and procedures appropriate for the situation when learning or teaching new things.
- Systems Analysis — Determining how a system should work and how changes in conditions, operations, and the environment will affect outcomes.
- Systems Evaluation — Identifying measures or indicators of system performance and the actions needed to improve or correct performance, relative to the goals of the system.
- Instructing — Teaching others how to do something.
- Management of Personnel Resources — Motivating, developing, and directing people as they work, identifying the best people for the job.
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- Oral Expression — The ability to communicate information and ideas in speaking so others will understand.
- Oral Comprehension — The ability to listen to and understand information and ideas presented through spoken words and sentences.
- Written Comprehension — The ability to read and understand information and ideas presented in writing.
- Problem Sensitivity — The ability to tell when something is wrong or is likely to go wrong. It does not involve solving the problem, only recognizing that there is a problem.
- Deductive Reasoning — The ability to apply general rules to specific problems to produce answers that make sense.
- Written Expression — The ability to communicate information and ideas in writing so others will understand.
- Speech Clarity — The ability to speak clearly so others can understand you.
- Inductive Reasoning — The ability to combine pieces of information to form general rules or conclusions (includes finding a relationship among seemingly unrelated events).
- Originality — The ability to come up with unusual or clever ideas about a given topic or situation, or to develop creative ways to solve a problem.
- Speech Recognition — The ability to identify and understand the speech of another person.
- Fluency of Ideas — The ability to come up with a number of ideas about a topic (the number of ideas is important, not their quality, correctness, or creativity).
- Near Vision — The ability to see details at close range (within a few feet of the observer).
- Information Ordering — The ability to arrange things or actions in a certain order or pattern according to a specific rule or set of rules (e.g., patterns of numbers, letters, words, pictures, mathematical operations).
- Category Flexibility — The ability to generate or use different sets of rules for combining or grouping things in different ways.
- Selective Attention — The ability to concentrate on a task over a period of time without being distracted.
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- Resolving Conflicts and Negotiating with Others — Handling complaints, settling disputes, and resolving grievances and conflicts, or otherwise negotiating with others.
- Making Decisions and Solving Problems — Analyzing information and evaluating results to choose the best solution and solve problems.
- Establishing and Maintaining Interpersonal Relationships — Developing constructive and cooperative working relationships with others, and maintaining them over time.
- Getting Information — Observing, receiving, and otherwise obtaining information from all relevant sources.
- Communicating with Supervisors, Peers, or Subordinates — Providing information to supervisors, co-workers, and subordinates by telephone, in written form, e-mail, or in person.
- Organizing, Planning, and Prioritizing Work — Developing specific goals and plans to prioritize, organize, and accomplish your work.
- Evaluating Information to Determine Compliance with Standards — Using relevant information and individual judgment to determine whether events or processes comply with laws, regulations, or standards.
- Thinking Creatively — Developing, designing, or creating new applications, ideas, relationships, systems, or products, including artistic contributions.
- Interpreting the Meaning of Information for Others — Translating or explaining what information means and how it can be used.
- Identifying Objects, Actions, and Events — Identifying information by categorizing, estimating, recognizing differences or similarities, and detecting changes in circumstances or events.
- Processing Information — Compiling, coding, categorizing, calculating, tabulating, auditing, or verifying information or data.
- Analyzing Data or Information — Identifying the underlying principles, reasons, or facts of information by breaking down information or data into separate parts.
- Developing and Building Teams — Encouraging and building mutual trust, respect, and cooperation among team members.
- Developing Objectives and Strategies — Establishing long-range objectives and specifying the strategies and actions to achieve them.
- Updating and Using Relevant Knowledge — Keeping up-to-date technically and applying new knowledge to your job.
- Providing Consultation and Advice to Others — Providing guidance and expert advice to management or other groups on technical, systems-, or process-related topics.
- Working with Computers — Using computers and computer systems (including hardware and software) to program, write software, set up functions, enter data, or process information.
- Coaching and Developing Others — Identifying the developmental needs of others and coaching, mentoring, or otherwise helping others to improve their knowledge or skills.
- Judging the Qualities of Objects, Services, or People — Assessing the value, importance, or quality of things or people.
- Communicating with People Outside the Organization — Communicating with people outside the organization, representing the organization to customers, the public, government, and other external sources. This information can be exchanged in person, in writing, or by telephone or e-mail.
- Documenting/Recording Information — Entering, transcribing, recording, storing, or maintaining information in written or electronic/magnetic form.
- Selling or Influencing Others — Convincing others to buy merchandise/goods or to otherwise change their minds or actions.
- Training and Teaching Others — Identifying the educational needs of others, developing formal educational or training programs or classes, and teaching or instructing others.
- Coordinating the Work and Activities of Others — Getting members of a group to work together to accomplish tasks.
- Guiding, Directing, and Motivating Subordinates — Providing guidance and direction to subordinates, including setting performance standards and monitoring performance.
- Scheduling Work and Activities — Scheduling events, programs, and activities, as well as the work of others.
- Monitoring Processes, Materials, or Surroundings — Monitoring and reviewing information from materials, events, or the environment, to detect or assess problems.
- Performing Administrative Activities — Performing day-to-day administrative tasks such as maintaining information files and processing paperwork.
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Detailed Work Activities
- Arrange collective bargaining agreements.
- Evaluate personnel practices to ensure adherence to regulations.
- Negotiate agreements to resolve disputes.
- Measure effectiveness of business strategies or practices.
- Collect evidence for legal proceedings.
- Advise others on human resources topics.
- Assess risks to business operations.
- Testify at legal or legislative proceedings.
- Train personnel on managerial topics.
- Establish business management methods.
- Update knowledge of legal or regulatory environments.
- Organize special events.
- Prepare regulatory or compliance documentation.
- Establish organizational guidelines or policies.
- Present business-related information to audiences.
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- Telephone — 95% responded “Every day.”
- Electronic Mail — 90% responded “Every day.”
- Contact With Others — 75% responded “Constant contact with others.”
- Face-to-Face Discussions — 68% responded “Every day.”
- Freedom to Make Decisions — 50% responded “A lot of freedom.”
- Structured versus Unstructured Work — 50% responded “Some freedom.”
- Spend Time Sitting — 50% responded “Continually or almost continually.”
- Indoors, Environmentally Controlled — 65% responded “Every day.”
- Letters and Memos — 60% responded “Once a week or more but not every day.”
- Work With Work Group or Team — 40% responded “Extremely important.”
- Frequency of Conflict Situations — 40% responded “Every day.”
- Frequency of Decision Making — 45% responded “Once a week or more but not every day.”
- Duration of Typical Work Week — 60% responded “More than 40 hours.”
- Time Pressure — 50% responded “Once a week or more but not every day.”
- Importance of Being Exact or Accurate — 40% responded “Very important.”
- Impact of Decisions on Co-workers or Company Results — 55% responded “Important results.”
- Coordinate or Lead Others — 45% responded “Very important.”
- Deal With Unpleasant or Angry People — 55% responded “Once a week or more but not every day.”
- Level of Competition — 55% responded “Moderately competitive.”
- Consequence of Error — 30% responded “Very serious.”
- Deal With External Customers — 25% responded “Important.”
- Public Speaking — 40% responded “Once a month or more but not every week.”
- Physical Proximity — 35% responded “I work with others but not closely (e.g., private office).”
- Responsibility for Outcomes and Results — 30% responded “Moderate responsibility.”
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|Title||Job Zone Four: Considerable Preparation Needed|
|Education||Most of these occupations require a four-year bachelor’s degree, but some do not.|
|Related Experience||A considerable amount of work-related skill, knowledge, or experience is needed for these occupations. For example, an accountant must complete four years of college and work for several years in accounting to be considered qualified.|
|Job Training||Employees in these occupations usually need several years of work-related experience, on-the-job training, and/or vocational training.|
|Job Zone Examples||Many of these occupations involve coordinating, supervising, managing, or training others. Examples include real estate brokers, sales managers, database administrators, graphic designers, chemists, art directors, and cost estimators.|
|SVP Range||(7.0 to < 8.0)|
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Percentage of Respondents
|Education Level Required|
|20||High school diploma or equivalent
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Interest code: ECS Want to discover your interests? Take the O*NET Interest Profiler at My Next Move.
- Enterprising — Enterprising occupations frequently involve starting up and carrying out projects. These occupations can involve leading people and making many decisions. Sometimes they require risk taking and often deal with business.
- Conventional — Conventional occupations frequently involve following set procedures and routines. These occupations can include working with data and details more than with ideas. Usually there is a clear line of authority to follow.
- Social — Social occupations frequently involve working with, communicating with, and teaching people. These occupations often involve helping or providing service to others.
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- Integrity — Job requires being honest and ethical.
- Dependability — Job requires being reliable, responsible, and dependable, and fulfilling obligations.
- Analytical Thinking — Job requires analyzing information and using logic to address work-related issues and problems.
- Attention to Detail — Job requires being careful about detail and thorough in completing work tasks.
- Initiative — Job requires a willingness to take on responsibilities and challenges.
- Self-Control — Job requires maintaining composure, keeping emotions in check, controlling anger, and avoiding aggressive behavior, even in very difficult situations.
- Stress Tolerance — Job requires accepting criticism and dealing calmly and effectively with high-stress situations.
- Persistence — Job requires persistence in the face of obstacles.
- Leadership — Job requires a willingness to lead, take charge, and offer opinions and direction.
- Cooperation — Job requires being pleasant with others on the job and displaying a good-natured, cooperative attitude.
- Achievement/Effort — Job requires establishing and maintaining personally challenging achievement goals and exerting effort toward mastering tasks.
- Adaptability/Flexibility — Job requires being open to change (positive or negative) and to considerable variety in the workplace.
- Concern for Others — Job requires being sensitive to others’ needs and feelings and being understanding and helpful on the job.
- Social Orientation — Job requires preferring to work with others rather than alone, and being personally connected with others on the job.
- Independence — Job requires developing one’s own ways of doing things, guiding oneself with little or no supervision, and depending on oneself to get things done.
- Innovation — Job requires creativity and alternative thinking to develop new ideas for and answers to work-related problems.
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- Achievement — Occupations that satisfy this work value are results oriented and allow employees to use their strongest abilities, giving them a feeling of accomplishment. Corresponding needs are Ability Utilization and Achievement.
- Relationships — Occupations that satisfy this work value allow employees to provide service to others and work with co-workers in a friendly non-competitive environment. Corresponding needs are Co-workers, Moral Values and Social Service.
- Support — Occupations that satisfy this work value offer supportive management that stands behind employees. Corresponding needs are Company Policies, Supervision: Human Relations and Supervision: Technical.
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Wages & Employment Trends
|Median wages (2020)||$35.21 hourly, $73,240 annual|
|Employment (2020)||73,500 employees|
|Projected growth (2020-2030)||Decline (-1% or lower)|
|Projected job openings (2020-2030)||6,400|
|Top industries (2020)||
Other Services (Except Public Administration)
Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics 2020 wage data and 2020-2030 employment projections . “Projected growth” represents the estimated change in total employment over the projections period (2020-2030). “Projected job openings” represent openings due to growth and replacement.
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Job Openings on the Web
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Sources of Additional Information
Disclaimer: Sources are listed to provide additional information on related jobs, specialties, and/or industries. Links to non-DOL Internet sites are provided for your convenience and do not constitute an endorsement.
- Academy of Management
- American Federation of Labor and Congress of Industrial Organizations
- American Federation of Musicians
- American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees, AFL-CIO
- Association of Labor Relations Agencies
- Labor and Employment Relations Association
- National Public Employer Labor Relations Association
- Occupational Outlook Handbook: Labor relations specialists
- Society for Human Resource Management
- United Association for Labor Education
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