What Degree Do Labor Relations Specialists Have?

A labor relations specialist, also known as a labor relations consultant, or labor and employee relations consultant, is the labor relations professional in a workplace. They are experts in labor law and are available to advise executives, human resources professionals, managers, and supervisors and be a liaison between management and employees. The labor relations degrees associated with this sort of position include a bachelor's degree in a related field, as well as experience in the realm of labor relations.

A labor relations degree is a great start, but it's not the only educational path you can take to become a labor relations specialist. Many labor relations specialists have degrees in areas like human resources, business administration, or even psychology. Labor relations is such an important and complex field, labor relations specialists must be able to understand and navigate the often delicate relationships between employees and employers.

Education and Experience

A job posting description from Mighty Recruiter lists the following as necessary requirements to be hired as a professional labor relations specialist:

  • Bachelor’s degree in labor relations or related field
  • Minimum 3-year experience in human resources or employee relations
  • Strong decision-making skills with ability to manage multiple projects at once
  • Exceptional verbal and written communications abilities with conflict resolution experience
  • Detail-oriented and dedicated to meeting deadlines

A labor relations degree, or a degree in a similar field is required to fulfill the position of a labor relations consultant, but it includes a fair amount of job experience and knowledge in areas such as human resources or employee relations. If you're wondering what a labor relations specialist does for an organization, or an in-depth explanation on how to hire a labor relations consultant, we've covered those at length in past blog posts.

labor relations degree

What Skills do Labor Relations Specialists Need to Have?

Labor relations specialists need to have strong communication skills, both written and verbal. They should also be able to think critically and solve problems quickly. Labor and employment relations specialists typically work in an office setting, but they may also travel to meet with clients or attend conferences. They need to have excellent negotiation skills, to be able to discuss contracts and negotiate for wages and benefits for employees.

Indeed.com explains some of the most important duties that labor and employment relations specialists are responsible for in the workplace:

  • Monitoring a company's practices to ensure adherence to labor agreements and regulations
  • Writing labor relations activity letters about disputes, clarification of contract terms and amending collective bargaining agreements
  • Writing counterproposals or contract proposals for labor negotiations or collective bargaining
  • Arranging and negotiating collective bargaining agreements
  • Collecting evidence and representing a company or employee at labor negotiations, arbitration or legal proceedings
  • Measuring the effectiveness of a company's practices and strategies

Becoming the Labor Relations Expert in Your Workplace

Not every workplace has a dedicated labor relations professional or consultant that they can reach out to. Human resources specialists have a plethora of skills that can prioritize employee engagement and improve relationships and communication amongst all levels of leadership, as well as team members. Additionally, your organization would greatly benefit by being proactive in their approach to labor relations. Start by training your managers and supervisors to recognize the signs that can lead to potential union organizing, as well as providing them with the skills they need to connect with their teams and address worker grievances before it turns into something bigger.

To help your company build an organizational culture that prioritizes positive employee relations, we have developed a UnionProof certification course to ensure organizations of all sizes have access to resources that cover every area of labor relations. This course can help your leaders to develop a culture where unions simply aren't necessary. Anyone can complete the certification, which means your organization can select any and all supervisors, executives, human resources specialists, etc. who can master the skills required to help build your positive employee relations strategy, where employees don't feel they need to turn to a union.

Completing UnionProof certification can also prepare your to leaders manage during a union environment if a labor union does end up in the workplace. Different companies will take different approaches when it comes to having a labor relations specialist in their workplace, but it's essential that you are proactive. You can help your leaders and employees develop the skills they need to prevent unionization and build a culture where labor unions aren't necessary. Click here to get started.

Print Friendly, PDF & Email

About the Author Jennifer Orechwa

With over 25 years in the industry, and now as IRI's Director of Business Development, Jennifer has gained a unique perspective on what it takes to build a culture of engagement. By blending a deep understanding of labor and employee relations with powerful digital marketing knowledge, Jennifer has helped thousands of companies achieve behavioral change at a cultural level.

follow me on: