Resource Manager: What They Do, Earn, and How to Become One

Written by Coursera Staff • Updated on

Find out if resource management is a good fit for you by learning what resource managers do, their benefits, and how it compares to similar careers.

[Featured image]. rRsource manager takes notes in front of a laptop computer

A resource manager is responsible for managing a company's resources, such as personnel, finances, and assets.

Careers in resource management are a popular choice with great benefits for those who are detail-oriented and have a knack for seeing the bigger picture. Resource managers are often able to use these skills to create safe, efficient, and happy work environments. 

In this article, you'll learn more about what resource management is, what sets it apart, and the steps you'll need to take to join the field. At the end, you'll explore cost-effective, flexible resources that can help you gain job-relevant skills today.

What is resource management?

Resource management involves managing a company's resources. This can include planning how and when a company uses its resources and overseeing the roll-out of resources used for a company's various project. Examples include:

  • Deciding how much money goes to each project

  • Determining how many staff members are necessary for specific tasks

  • Recruiting team members to fill skill gaps

  • Allocating the type of technology used in a project or program

The exact resources you manage will depend on the position, so it's important to look at the job description carefully to ensure it's the right fit for you.

What is a resource manager?  

Resource managers decide how to allocate an organization's resources to promote its short- and long-term success. This includes any resource needed to complete a task or project, including improving employee skill sets, funding, workplace tools, and more.

Resources managers are often involved in project coordination and development across multiple sectors, so building project management, communication, and organization skills can help you succeed in this position.

Duties and responsibilities

As a resource manager, your duties and responsibilities will vary greatly depending on where you work. While at a small company you'll likely manage resources across many different projects, at a large company you'll likely work in a specialized area.

Nonetheless, some typical responsibilities and duties for a resource manager may include:

  • Allocating employee time and company resources to projects

  • Ensuring the company has the resources needed for upcoming tasks

  • Managing employee workload and workflow

  • Ensuring adherence to company regulations

  • Overcoming resource shortages through creative planning 

  • Organizing current project resource flow and scheduling future resources

  • Collaborating with the human resources departments and project managers

  • Documenting resource use and planning

Resource manager salary and job outlook

Resource managers earn a higher than average salary and have a positive job outlook for the foreseeable future.

According to Glassdoor, resource managers earn an average annual base salary of $80,154 in the United States as of July 2023 [1]. This is much higher than the median average for all positions in the country, which the US Bureau of Labor Statistics pegged at $45,760 as of May 2021 [2].

The job outlook for resource managers is similarly positive. According to the US BLS, the number of job openings for human resources managers will grow by 7 percent between 2021 and 2031, resulting in approximately 16,300 new openings every year throughout the decade [2]. Grand View Research, meanwhile, expects the market size for for human resource management to grow at a compound annual rate of 12.7 percent between 2023 to 2030 [3].

These stats suggest that resource managers more generally should also see steady demand in the coming years.

Resource manager vs. human resources manager

A human resource manager is a type of resource manager with a specialization in people-oriented management. Human resources managers are in charge of tasks such as recruiting employees, determining salaries, training employees, and keeping track of employee performance. The main goal of a human resources manager is generally to keep the organization a safe, productive, and healthy place for the workers. 

On the other hand, a resource manager has a more general focus and typically looks at a range of resources across multiple projects. This may also involve human resources, such as employee time and skills, but resource managers will not specialize in this area. They’ll often collaborate with human resource managers when building a project team.

Read more: What Is a Human Resources Manager? | Your Guide


How to become a resource manager

Resource managers help organizations accomplish their goals by managing their resources. To become on yourself, consequently, you'll need to demonstrate that you have the training and experience required to work with budgets, manage teams, and communicate with diverse audiences on behalf of your employer. 

So, here's what you'll likely have to do to become a resource manager:

1. Get a bachelor’s degree.

Employers typically require at least a bachelor’s degree to become a resource manager. According to Zippia, 64.2 percent of resource managers have a bachelor’s degree, and just 15.7 percent have an associate degree [4]. A business management, project management, or economics degree can help demonstrate your relevant skills. Focusing on industry-specific skills like resource management and project planning can make you a competitive option during the hiring process. 

2. Gain work experience. 

There is a growing demand for resource managers. Getting entry-level experience in management can show that you’re passionate about the field and demonstrate your competitive skills. This can also help you find higher-earning positions that require more experience and demonstrated skills.

3. Build your skills.

As a resource manager, you need various technical and workplace skills to manage projects and teams efficiently.

Part of your job will likely involve anticipating obstacles and finding solutions, so it's essential to be able to communicate your thoughts and ideas clearly with other employees. In addition to this, being able to organize the details of each project and how they fit together can help you do your job well.

Here are some of the technical and workplace skills you should consider honing to become a resource manager:

  • Basic computer skills

  • Knowledge of project management and resource planning software

  • Basic math abilities

  • Effective communication

  • Decision making

  • Organized

  • Detail oriented

Resource management might be a great career fit if these skills sound like ones that come naturally to you. Companies of all sizes rely on resource managers to help them sustain and grow. 

Get started with Coursera

Resource managers use their unique skill set to ensure that an organization's resources are managed effectively, efficiently, and responsibly. If you're interested in pursuing a career in resource management, consider taking a flexible, cost-effective course through Coursera today.

In the University of Minnesota's Human Resource Management: HR for People Managers Specialization, you'll develop strategies and skills for hiring, managing performance, and rewarding employees.

In Google's Project Management Professional Certificate, meanwhile, you'll learn job-relevant skills like creating risk management plans, creating budgets, and using project management software.

Article sources


Glassdoor. "How much does a Resource Manager make?,16.htm?clickSource=careerNav." Accessed July 11, 2023.

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