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What is a Benefit Specialist

On top of being paid, full-time employees usually expect some benefits. That's where benefit specialists come into play. These specialists are in charge of reviewing, updating and knowing everything there is to know about the organization's benefit program.

Since benefits are offered in many industries, this job comes with a lot of opportunity. In fact, you shouldn't have too much trouble finding a job. The only requirement is to have earned a bachelor's degree and a bit of experience. That's not too much to ask for, especially when you have so many opportunities across nearly every industry.

What Does a Benefit Specialist Do

Compensation, benefits, and job analysis specialists conduct an organization’s compensation and benefits programs. They also evaluate position descriptions to determine details such as a person’s classification and salary.

Learn more about what a Benefit Specialist does

How To Become a Benefit Specialist

Compensation, benefits, and job analysis specialists typically need a bachelor’s degree, and some specialists need related work experience.

Education

Most employers require that compensation, benefits, and job analysis specialists have a bachelor’s degree. Many specialists have a degree in human resources, business administration, finance, communication, or a related field. Some employers may accept previous work experience in lieu of a formal degree.

Not all colleges and universities offer an undergraduate degree in human resources, but many offer courses in human resources management, compensation analysis, and benefits administration. Students with a background in other disciplines may benefit from taking courses in business, management, finance, and accounting.

Work Experience in a Related Occupation

For many jobs, compensation, benefits, and job analysis specialists must have previous work experience. Employers commonly require that the previous experience includes performing compensation analysis, benefits administration, or general human resources work. Experience in related fields such as finance, insurance, or business administration, also may be beneficial.

Jobseekers without a degree in human resources must have relevant work experience. Some workers may gain this experience through internships. However, most gain experience from working in human resources.

Licenses, Certifications, and Registrations

Although certification is not required, it can demonstrate professional expertise. Some employers prefer to hire certified candidates, but many employers will have their employees become certified after they are already working. Certification programs for management positions often require several years of related work experience in order to qualify for the credential.

Many associations for human resources workers offer classes to enhance the skills of their members. Some associations, including the International Foundation of Employee Benefit Plans and WorldatWork, offer certification programs that specialize in compensation and benefits. Others, including the HR Certification Institute and the Society for Human Resource Management, offer general human resources credentials.

Advancement

Compensation, benefits, and job analysis specialists may advance to a compensation and benefits manager or a human resources manager position. Specialists typically need several years of work experience to advance.

Important Qualities

Analytical skills. Many specialists perform data or cost analyses to form logical conclusions. For example, they may analyze the cost of choosing a particular salary scale for a class of workers.

Business acumen. Specialists must understand basic finance and accounting.

Communication skills. Specialists often work with employees throughout their organization to provide information on compensation and benefits. They may give presentations or advise managers or employees about compensation policies or benefit plans.

Critical-thinking skills. Specialists must think critically when evaluating job positions, salary scales, promotion practices, and other compensation and benefits policies.

Detail oriented. Specialists must pay attention to detail, especially when ensuring that the organization is compliant with federal and state laws.

What is the right job for my career path?

Tell us your goals and we'll match you with the right jobs to get there.

And if you’re looking for a job, here are the five top employers hiring now:

  1. Fidelity Investments Jobs (146)
  2. DXC Technology Jobs (73)
  3. MetLife Jobs (90)
  4. Benefitfocus Jobs (211)
  5. Unum Jobs (185)
Average Salary
$46,303
Average Salary
Job Growth Rate
6%
Job Growth Rate
Job Openings
34,707
Job Openings
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Benefit Specialist Career Paths

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Average Salary for a Benefit Specialist

Benefit Specialists in America make an average salary of $46,303 per year or $22 per hour. The top 10 percent makes over $68,000 per year, while the bottom 10 percent under $31,000 per year.
Average Salary
$46,303
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12 Benefit Specialist Resume Examples

Learn How To Write a Benefit Specialist Resume

At Zippia, we went through countless Benefit Specialist resumes and compiled some information about how to optimize them. Here are some suggestions based on what we found, divided by the individual sections of the resume itself.

View Benefit Specialist Resume Examples And Templates

And if you’re looking for a job, here are the five top employers hiring now:

  1. Fidelity Investments Jobs (146)
  2. DXC Technology Jobs (73)
  3. MetLife Jobs (90)
  4. Benefitfocus Jobs (211)
  5. Unum Jobs (185)

Choose From 10+ Customizable Benefit Specialist Resume templates

Zippia allows you to choose from different easy-to-use Benefit Specialist templates, and provides you with expert advice. Using the templates, you can rest assured that the structure and format of your Benefit Specialist resume is top notch. Choose a template with the colors, fonts & text sizes that are appropriate for your industry.

Benefit Specialist Resume
Benefit Specialist Resume
Benefit Specialist Resume
Benefit Specialist Resume
Benefit Specialist Resume
Benefit Specialist Resume
Benefit Specialist Resume
Benefit Specialist Resume
Benefit Specialist Resume
Benefit Specialist Resume
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Benefit Specialist Resume

Benefit Specialist Demographics

Benefit Specialist Gender Distribution

Male
Male
21%
Female
Female
79%

After extensive research and analysis, Zippia's data science team found that:

  • Among Benefit Specialists, 78.9% of them are women, while 21.1% are men.

  • The most common race/ethnicity among Benefit Specialists is White, which makes up 64.4% of all Benefit Specialists.

  • The most common foreign language among Benefit Specialists is Spanish at 72.8%.

Job Openings

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Benefit Specialist Education

Benefit Specialist Majors

35.9 %

Benefit Specialist Degrees

Bachelors

59.2 %

Associate

18.5 %

High School Diploma

8.6 %

Top Colleges for Benefit Specialists

1. University of Pennsylvania

Philadelphia, PA • Private

In-State Tuition
$55,584
Enrollment
10,764

2. Boston University

Boston, MA • Private

In-State Tuition
$53,948
Enrollment
17,238

3. University of Minnesota - Twin Cities

Minneapolis, MN • Private

In-State Tuition
$14,760
Enrollment
31,451

4. Northwestern University

Evanston, IL • Private

In-State Tuition
$54,568
Enrollment
8,451

5. SUNY College at Oswego

Oswego, NY • Private

In-State Tuition
$8,440
Enrollment
7,039

6. University of Southern California

Los Angeles, CA • Private

In-State Tuition
$56,225
Enrollment
19,548

7. Baylor University

Waco, TX • Private

In-State Tuition
$45,542
Enrollment
14,159

8. Harvard University

Cambridge, MA • Private

In-State Tuition
$50,420
Enrollment
7,582

9. Villanova University

Villanova, PA • Private

In-State Tuition
$53,308
Enrollment
6,819

10. San Diego State University

San Diego, CA • Private

In-State Tuition
$7,488
Enrollment
30,018
Job Openings

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Top Skills For a Benefit Specialist

The skills section on your resume can be almost as important as the experience section, so you want it to be an accurate portrayal of what you can do. Luckily, we've found all of the skills you'll need so even if you don't have these skills yet, you know what you need to work on. Out of all the resumes we looked through, 11.8% of Benefit Specialists listed Customer Service on their resume, but soft skills such as Analytical skills and Business skills are important as well.

Best States For a Benefit Specialist

Some places are better than others when it comes to starting a career as a Benefit Specialist. The best states for people in this position are Connecticut, New York, New Jersey, and Maryland. Benefit Specialists make the most in Connecticut with an average salary of $61,228. Whereas in New York and New Jersey, they would average $57,835 and $57,649, respectively. While Benefit Specialists would only make an average of $55,979 in Maryland, you would still make more there than in the rest of the country. We determined these as the best states based on job availability and pay. By finding the median salary, cost of living, and using the Bureau of Labor Statistics' Location Quotient, we narrowed down our list of states to these four.

1. District of Columbia

Total Benefit Specialist Jobs:
179
Highest 10% Earn:
$103,000
Location Quotient:
1.67
Location Quotient is a measure used by the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) to determine how concentrated a certain industry is in a single state compared to the nation as a whole. You can read more about how BLS calculates location quotients here

2. New York

Total Benefit Specialist Jobs:
908
Highest 10% Earn:
$89,000
Location Quotient:
1.11
Location Quotient is a measure used by the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) to determine how concentrated a certain industry is in a single state compared to the nation as a whole. You can read more about how BLS calculates location quotients here

3. Vermont

Total Benefit Specialist Jobs:
58
Highest 10% Earn:
$74,000
Location Quotient:
1.18
Location Quotient is a measure used by the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) to determine how concentrated a certain industry is in a single state compared to the nation as a whole. You can read more about how BLS calculates location quotients here
Full List Of Best States For Benefit Specialists

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Top Benefit Specialist Employers

We've made finding a great employer to work for easy by doing the hard work for you. We looked into employers that employ Benefit Specialists and discovered their number of Benefit Specialist opportunities and average salary. Through our research, we concluded that Xerox was the best, especially with an average salary of $47,779. Express Scripts follows up with an average salary of $45,174, and then comes Aflac with an average of $45,976. In addition, we know most people would rather work from home. So instead of having to change careers, we identified the best employers for remote work as a Benefit Specialist. The employers include CUNA Mutual Group, Sysco, and Anthem

Most Common Employers For Benefit Specialist

RankCompanyZippia ScoreAverage Benefit Specialist SalaryAverage Salary
1$68,356
2$63,077
3$53,260
4$52,961
5$49,940
6$49,443

Benefit Specialist Videos

Becoming a Benefit Specialist FAQs

How long does it take to become a Benefit Specialist?

It takes 6 years of professional experience to become a benefit specialist. That is the time it takes to learn specific benefit specialist skills, but does not account for time spent in formal education. If you include the normal education requirements to complete a college degree, then it takes 9 to 11 years years to become a benefit specialist.

Is it hard to be a benefits specialist?

No, it is not hard to be a benefits specialist. While all jobs have challenges, working as a benefits specialist is fairly easy.

A benefits specialist handles employee compensation packages, including retirement and insurance benefits, as part of a company's human resources (HR) department. Duties include orienting new employees on their benefits packages and enrolling them in programs, and answering existing employees' questions regarding benefits.

What education is needed to become a benefits consultant?

The education needed to become a benefits consultant is typically a bachelor's degree. To become a qualified benefits consultant, a person needs to have a bachelor's degree in human resources, business, economics, or another related area of study.

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