How much does a recruiter make? It’s an intriguing question, especially when you consider their pivotal role in shaping our workforces. 

Recruiters—the unseen architects of countless careers—what are the financial rewards for their crucial work? 

Jump into this article to find out all about recruiter salaries, factors affecting them, average compensation across different levels, and more! Read on.

What are the factors that affect recruiters’ salaries?

how much does a recruiter make

1. The experience and expertise the individual possesses

It is no secret that recruiters’ salaries are significantly influenced by their experience and expertise in the field.

As with any profession, the more years a professional has under their belt, the higher their earning potential.

Seasoned recruiters bring a wealth of knowledge and a robust network of connections, making them highly valuable to organizations.

Hardworking independent recruiters who strive to advance their skills continuously and specialize in specific industries or recruiter job roles manage to earn higher salaries.

2. The geographic location of the recruiter and the company

The location where a recruiter operates can significantly impact their yearly compensation. Salaries vary across regions due to differences in the cost of living and market demand.

For example, agency recruiters working in bustling metropolitan areas may earn higher salaries to compensate for the elevated living costs.

On the other hand, agency recruiters in smaller towns or rural areas may have lower salary ranges.

Recruiters need to consider the regional variances and adjust their expectations accordingly.

Just to give you an idea, below are the estimated average annual salaries for recruiters in particular states across the U.S. – 

  • Minneapolis, Minnesota

Recruiters in Minneapolis can expect to earn an average annual salary in the range of $55,000 to $75,000.

Minneapolis’s cost of living and business operations is relatively moderate compared to larger metropolitan areas.

  • New York, New York

In New York, which is known for its high cost of living and vibrant job market, recruiters can expect to earn an average annual salary in the range of $70,000 to $95,000.

The upper range can be even higher for those recruiting for high-demand industries like finance or tech.

  • San Francisco, California

San Francisco, a hub for the tech industry and known for its high cost of living, offers recruiters an average annual salary in the range of $80,000 to $105,000.

Be they of any level specializing in tech industries, recruiters can often command higher salaries.

These figures should be understood as a general guide to your queries on ‘how much does a recruiter make?’ but they aren’t words carved onto stones.

Platforms like Payscale, Glassdoor, and the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics should be referred to for more precise and up-to-date information.

3. The size of the industry and the business of the company

The industry and company size also play a role in determining a full-time recruiter’s earning potential.

It is no riddle that larger companies typically have more resources and larger budgets allocated for every recruitment phase.

So, technical recruiters working in larger companies often receive higher compensation packages than their smaller organizations’ counterparts.

Different industries have varying levels of demand for talent, which can affect the salaries offered to recruiters within those sectors.

Recruiters specializing in new-age technology, AI, and the IT sector tend to earn higher salaries due to the high demand for tech-abled professionals.

What are the average salaries for recruiting professionals?

Average recruiter salary
Data source:,,,

1. Salaries of entry-level recruiters

Entry-level recruiters, just starting their careers in the field, typically earn a salary within a specific range.

The salary estimates for entry-level positions can vary based on the following factors; location, industry, and company size.

An average entry-level recruiter can expect a competitive starting salary based on successful placements.

As they gain experience and prove their value, their earning potential increases.

They may as well expect bonuses or commission structures on top of the base pay.

They can expect to earn between $40,000 and $60,000 annually, depending on the factors discussed earlier.

This range can be substantially higher or lower depending on the region and industry.

2. Salaries of mid-level recruiters

As recruiters progress in their careers and gain several years of experience, they enter the mid-level category.

Mid-level recruiters handle more complex hiring requirements and possess a deeper understanding of the recruitment process.

Their salaries reflect the increased responsibilities they shoulder.

Specialization, industry demand, and geographic location can further influence their compensation.

Mid-level recruiters earn salaries higher than the entry-level range, with additional perks and benefits.

The annual salary estimates are somewhere between $60,000 and $85,000 for these considerably experienced individuals.

3. Salaries of senior-level recruiters

Senior-level recruiters, sometimes known as talent acquisition managers or recruiting managers, earn the highest salaries in the field.

These seasoned professionals have extensive experience, expertise, and a proven track record of delivering exceptional talent to organizations in successive recruitment phases.

They are responsible for developing recruitment strategies, managing teams, and implementing best practices in the company’s interest.

In addition to a higher salary range, senior recruiters often receive significant additional benefits and bonuses, such as profit-sharing, equity options, or performance-based incentives.

These individuals can expect to earn, on average, between $85,000 and $130,000 annually, with those at the very top of the profession in high-demand industries potentially earning significantly more.

Specializations in recruitment & their impact on recruiter salaries

how much does a recruiter make

We’ve covered three of the most in-demand recruitment sectors here:

1. Recruiting for the IT sector

IT recruiters are crucial in sourcing candidates and securing top technical talent for some of the world’s biggest tech giants.

The demand for technical expertise and specialized skills in the IT industry constantly changes with each passing quarter. 

The scarcity of qualified candidates with in-demand technical skills creates a competitive market, driving up salaries in this specialization.

IT recruiters who can effectively navigate the evolving tech landscape and build strong networks can expect to earn salaries at the higher end of the spectrum.

2. Mastering the executive and leadership search

Executive recruiters are like experienced (talent) hunters who identify and attract top-level executives and organizational leaders.

Their position demands unique niche skills, extensive networks, and a deeper-than-regular understanding of the industry.

One needs to read and understand not only the potential candidates and job openings but also the role they will be playing and ensure they are the right fit for each other. 

The high stakes involved in executive placements and the critical impact these hires have on organizations often result in higher salaries for executive talent hunters.

3. Acquiring top talent for the healthcare and medical profession

The healthcare and medical sector is remarkably different from the other industries, and recruiters face particular challenges due to the unique nature of the staffing industry.

The demand for qualified healthcare professionals and the critical importance of hiring the right individuals often result in higher salaries for recruiters in this specialization.

Healthcare recruiters must navigate stringent regulations, a limited pool of specialized talent, and the need for exceptional communication and interpersonal skills.

Both the financial and intrinsic rewards are significant for those who excel in healthcare recruitment.

Must-have skills for recruiters + some available certifications

how much does a recruiter make

1. Software and tools for efficient recruiting

Recruiters today rely on various software and tools to enhance their efficiency and effectiveness in finding and attracting top talent.

Among many such modern tools, two prominent ones stand out: Applicant tracking systems and AI-powered recruitment platforms.

  • Applicant tracking systems (ATS)

An ATS streamlines hiring by automating tasks like resume screening, candidate tracking, and interview scheduling.

With the ability to handle large volumes of applications, recruiters can save valuable time and focus on building meaningful connections with candidates.

Think of it as your trustworthy assistant, taking care of the administrative aspects of hiring so you can channel your superpowers toward finding the perfect fit for your clients.

  • AI-powered recruitment platforms

These cutting-edge tools leverage artificial intelligence and machine learning to revolutionize the way recruiters source and assess job seekers.

With advanced algorithms, they can identify potential matches, analyze resumes for relevant skills, and even predict candidate suitability.

It’s like having a futuristic gadget at your disposal that helps you easily navigate all upcoming challenges and provide you with new solutions and newer resolutions.

Now, even some ATS’ are leveraging AI-powered technology to boost their system’s efficiency and offer you the best of both worlds. 

For example, Recruit CRM now has AI candidate matching and resume parsing features. If you want to check out their ATS + CRM, book a quick demo now!

2. Possessing networking skills and a knack for sourcing

Recruiters in today’s digital age must master sourcing and networking. Social media platforms like LinkedIn, Facebook, and Twitter have become key resources for this, providing a vast pool of professional talent for you to engage with. 

But it’s not just about connecting virtually, it’s about engaging meaningfully. Sharing job opportunities, discussing roles, and building lasting relationships with potential candidates can be challenging, but it’s crucial.

A personalized, well-crafted message can capture a job seeker’s attention. But, more important is ensuring a positive candidate experience throughout the recruitment process. 

Building strong candidate (and client) relationships paves the way for future employee referrals, setting exceptional recruiters apart. By understanding candidates’ needs and aspirations, recruiters can also successfully match the right talent with the right opportunity.

3. Earning professional certifications for career growth

Staying updated with the latest industry trends and best practices is crucial in the ever-evolving recruitment industry.

Certifications give recruiters a competitive edge and demonstrate their commitment to professional excellence.

Let’s look at two certifications that hold immense value in the recruitment industry:

  • SHRM-CP (Society for Human Resource Management – Certified Professional) 
  • SHRM-SCP (Society for Human Resource Management – Senior Certified Professional).

These certifications validate recruiters’ knowledge and expertise in human resources and showcase their dedication to continuous learning.

They serve as badges of honor, representing your commitment to staying at the forefront of the industry.

We also have the LinkedIn Recruiter Certification.

In a world driven by professional networking, this certification showcases your proficiency in leveraging LinkedIn’s vast resources for talent acquisition.

It demonstrates your ability to navigate the platform’s features, identify potential candidates, and engage with them effectively.

Consider it your golden ticket to unlocking the full potential of LinkedIn.

Salary negotiations for recruiters

how much does a recruiter make - negotiations

Ah, the art of salary negotiation! As a recruiter, you’re no stranger to this dance. A few strategies can help you maximize your earning potential when negotiating your salary.

1. Research

First and foremost, thorough research is your secret weapon. Understand the average salaries in your industry, location, and experience level.

This knowledge empowers you to set realistic expectations and confidently present your case.

2. Emphasize your value proposition

Secondly, highlight the value you bring to the table.

Showcase your track record of successful placements, ability to identify top talent, and impact on organizational growth.

By emphasizing your contributions, you strengthen your position during negotiations.

3. Do not overlook perks 

Now, let’s not forget about benefits and perks. It’s sometimes about more than just the number on the paycheck.

Consider the overall compensation package, including health benefits, retirement plans, flexible work arrangements, professional development opportunities, and even quirky office perks.

Sometimes, a little extra vacation time or a ping pong table can go a long way in sweetening the deal.

Remember, negotiation is a delicate balance. Be confident yet flexible. Aim high, but be willing to compromise.

With the right strategies and a touch of finesse, you can secure an annual salary that reflects your worth and leaves you feeling like a true recruitment hero!

The future of recruitment, recruiters, and their salaries

how much does a recruiter make

As with any industry, recruitment is not immune to the winds of change.

Let’s take a glimpse into the crystal ball and explore the future trends that may impact how much a recruiter makes in the 21st century.

1. Rise of automation

The rise of technology is undoubtedly a game-changer.

Automation, AI, and data analytics are transforming the recruitment landscape, streamlining processes, and enhancing efficiency.

As recruiters embrace these technological advancements, their roles may evolve, and their skill sets may need to adapt.

From a distance, it might seem that their efforts are now irrelevant.

Yet, a deeper reading brings to light that instead of rendering recruiters obsolete, technology actually has the potential to elevate their capabilities, upskill their abilities and create new opportunities.

So, embrace the digital age!

2. Remote work

Another significant trend shaping the future of recruitment is remote work.

The pandemic accelerated the adoption of remote work arrangements, and its influence is likely to persist.

As geographical boundaries blur, recruiters may tap into talent pools worldwide.

This shift can impact compensation, as companies may adjust salaries based on living costs in different regions.

So, as you traverse the remote recruitment landscape, be prepared for both challenges and opportunities in the realm of compensation.

Remember, recruitment is a dynamic field, and it is not just about the numbers; it’s about connecting the right talent with the right opportunity.

So, don your cape, embrace your skills, and unlock the full potential of a rewarding recruitment career!

Frequently asked questions

1. Why do recruiters ask for salary expectations?

Recruiters ask for salary expectations to ensure that your anticipated compensation aligns with the budget of the position they’re hiring for.

This question also helps them understand your value perception and whether it aligns with the market rates for the position.

2. What type of recruiter makes the most money?

Typically, executive recruiters who fill senior-level and C-suite positions tend to make the most money, as their fees are a percentage of these positions’ high salaries.

Specialist recruiters in high-demand or high-paying industries can also earn a significant income.

3. What is the best salary for recruiters?

The best salary for recruiters can vary widely depending on factors such as location, industry, level of experience, and the types of roles they fill.

A typical salary range for recruiters in the US was between $45,000 and $90,000 annually, with those specializing in executive or technical recruitment potentially earning more.

4. Can recruiters make 200k a year?

While it’s not common, it’s indeed possible for recruiters, especially those in executive search or high-demand industries, to earn $200k or more annually.

This generally involves a combination of a solid base salary and substantial commissions. Recruiters who set up their own agencies can potentially earn this much or a lot more.

5. Can you make good money as a recruiter?

Yes, you can make good money as a recruiter.

Your earning potential often depends on factors like your level of experience, specialization, the industry you recruit for, and your negotiation skills.

It’s also important to remember that many recruiters earn a base salary plus commission, so successful placements directly increase earning potential.