State of Recruiter Salary Ranges in 2019

Derek Doeing
Derek Doeing  |  June 25, 2019

If you’re a recruiter, or interested in becoming one, it’s important you know exactly how much you can expect to make annually in your career.

Thanks to the internet, salary information has never been more transparent. Rather than just accepting the first offer that comes your way, use these data points to feel empowered when negotiating your salary with an employer.

Salary ranges for recruiters can vary greatly throughout the United States based on a number of factors such as industry, location, or company size.

While the average recruiter salary is $51k based on Glassdoor data, the median average salary according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics is $60,880k. This difference could be attributed to recruiters being classified as HR Specialists according to the Bureau. Let’s dive deeper into the data and see where the differences exist for these salary ranges.

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Recruiter salary levels

When compiling this data, two major data sources were considered: Glassdoor and the Bureau of Labor Statistics. The first is compiled of user-submitted salary data (roughly 20,000 submissions for this role) while the latter source contains data collected from the U.S. Department of Labor.

In addition to the differences in data collection, there are a number of other factors that can affect what you should expect in a salary as a recruiter.

TIP: If you're applying to be a recruiter, you'll want to read our guide answering the question what does a recruiter do?

Factors that affect salary

The major factors that can affect what salary you should expect as a recruiter are city, industry, and company size. These data points should help you benchmark what your own salary in this industry should be but are not absolutes.

By city

The data pulled on a per-city basis was determined through the top 15 metropolitan areas in the US via Glassdoor information. Generally, recruiters in larger cities are paid more than in smaller cities. The average salary for these top 15 cities is $52,798.

Recruiter Salaries by City

Out of these cities, the highest paying is San Francisco. This is likely due to the high cost of living and the number of large tech companies in the Bay Area. On the low end of the spectrum are Detroit, Phoenix, Houston, and Miami. These are cities that are growing quickly but have lower living costs than some other metropolitan areas around the country.

By industry

Recruiters are not a role unique to any specific industry. This helps explain why there can be a large amount of variance between industry for this role. The range between these 15 industries is roughly $45,000-$65,000.

Recruiter Salaries by Industry

The tech industry generally pays higher salaries to their employees, so it’s no surprise it is at the higher end of the salary range. Tech jobs are high in demand, so there is also a demand for recruiters who know how to source for these jobs.

According to data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, in addition to this information, the lowest 10 percent of recruiters earned less than $36,270, and the highest 10 percent earned more than $104,390.

By business size

The size of a company can have a lot to do with how much recruiters are paid as well. Recruiters at larger companies are responsible for sourcing more jobs and adjusting for higher turnover rate. Business size can affect salary not just for recruiters but lots of other roles as well.

Recruiter Salaries by Business Size

Not surprisingly, recruiters at larger companies can expect a slightly higher salary.

How to make more money as a recruiter

Whether you’re interviewing for a new job or coming up on a performance review, it’s good to arm yourself with information to help you increase your salary. Coming to the negotiating table with an advanced degree or HR certification can allow you to even further negotiate a higher salary for yourself.

It’s also important that you have a strong understanding of Applicant Tracking Systems (ATS) as you will likely be using these types of platforms in your day-to-day role. Being familiar with this type of software can make you more valuable in your role and increase your chances of earning a higher salary.

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Derek Doeing

Derek Doeing

Derek is with G2 specializing in HR and Recruitment trends and insights. He's a recent graduate of Iowa State University and a proud son of Chicago. Can usually be found discussing pop music, politics, and digital marketing on the internet.