Applicants usually have a bachelor's degree in labor relations, human resources, industrial relations, business, or a related field. However, the level of education and experience required to become a labor relations specialist varies by position and employer.
Labor relations specialists usually have a bachelor's degree. Some schools offer a bachelor's degree in labor or employment relations. These programs focus on labor-specific topics such as employment law and contract negotiation.
Candidates also may qualify for labor relations specialist positions with a bachelor's degree in human resources, industrial relations, business, or a related field. Coursework typically includes business, professional writing, human resource management, and accounting.
Work Experience in a Related Occupation
Many positions require previous work experience. Candidates can gain experience as human resources specialists or generalists before specializing in labor relations.
Licenses, Certifications, and Registrations
Some colleges and universities offer labor relations certificates to specialists who prefer greater specialization in certain topics, such as mediation. These certificates give participants a better understanding of labor law, the collective bargaining process, and worker grievance procedures.
Decisionmaking skills. Labor relations specialists use decisionmaking skills to help management and labor agree on decisions when resolving grievances or other disputes.
Detail oriented. Specialists must be detail oriented when evaluating labor laws and maintaining records of an employee grievance.
Interpersonal skills. Interpersonal skills are essential for labor relations specialists. When mediating between labor and management, specialists must be able to converse and connect with people from different backgrounds.
Listening skills. Listening skills are essential for labor relations specialists. When evaluating grievances, for example, they must pay careful attention to workers' responses, understand the points they are making, and ask relevant followup questions.
Writing skills. All labor relations specialists need strong writing skills to be effective at their job. They often draft proposals and must be able to convey complex information to both workers and management.