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Become A Benefit Specialist

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Working As A Benefit Specialist

  • Getting Information
  • Analyzing Data or Information
  • Communicating with Supervisors, Peers, or Subordinates
  • Interacting With Computers
  • Evaluating Information to Determine Compliance with Standards
  • Mostly Sitting

  • $73,310

    Average Salary

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.

Duties

Compensation, benefits, and job analysis specialists typically do the following:

  • Research compensation and benefits policies and plans to ensure the organization’s offerings are current, cost effective, and competitive
  • Use data and cost analyses to compare compensation and benefits plans
  • Evaluate position descriptions to determine a person’s classification and salary
  • Ensure that the company complies with federal and state laws
  • Collaborate with outside partners, such as benefits vendors, insurance brokers, and investment managers 
  • Design and prepare reports summarizing research and analysis
  • Present recommendations to other human resources managers

Some specialists perform tasks within all areas of compensation, benefits, and job analysis. Others specialize in a specific area.

Compensation specialists assess the organization’s pay structure. They research compensation trends and review surveys to determine how their organization’s pay compares with that of other organizations in a particular industry and region. They often perform complex data or cost analyses to evaluate compensation policies. For example, they may research and analyze the cost of different pay-for-performance strategies, which offer rewards such as bonuses, paid leave, and other incentives.

Compensation specialists also must ensure that the organization’s pay practices comply with federal and state laws and regulations, such as workers’ compensation, minimum wage, overtime, and equal pay laws.

Benefits specialists administer the organization’s benefits programs, which include retirement plans, leave policies, wellness programs, and insurance policies, such as health, life, and disability insurance. They research and analyze benefits plans, policies, and programs, and make recommendations based on their analysis. They must frequently monitor government regulations, legislation, and benefits trends to ensure that their programs are current, legal, and competitive.

Benefits specialists also work closely with insurance brokers and benefits carriers and manage the enrollment, renewal, and delivery of benefits to the organization’s employees.

Job analysis specialists, also known as position classifiers, evaluate positions by writing or assigning job descriptions, determining position classifications, and preparing salary scales. When an organization introduces a new job or reviews existing jobs, specialists must research and make recommendations to managers on the status, description, classification, and salary of those jobs.

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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.

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Benefit Specialist jobs

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Benefit Specialist Career Paths

Benefit Specialist
Benefits Analyst Benefits Manager
Benefit Director
11 Yearsyrs
Payroll Specialist Payroll Administrator Human Resources Coordinator
Benefits Manager
8 Yearsyrs
Analyst Human Resources Coordinator Compensation Analyst
Compensation And Benefits Manager
8 Yearsyrs
Human Resources Analyst Compensation Analyst Compensation Manager
Compensation Director
13 Yearsyrs
Account Manager Recruiter Human Resources Manager
Corporate Human Resources Manager
8 Yearsyrs
Human Resources Generalist Human Resources Manager
Director Of Human Resources
10 Yearsyrs
Recruiter Human Resources Consultant Director Of Human Resources
Director Of Human Resources Operations
11 Yearsyrs
Employee Benefits Manager
7 Yearsyrs
Payroll Specialist Human Resource Specialist Human Resources Generalist
Employee Relations Manager
6 Yearsyrs
Specialist Project Coordinator Human Resources Coordinator
Human Resources Contractor
9 Yearsyrs
Specialist Account Manager Human Resources Coordinator
Human Resources Generalist/Manager
6 Yearsyrs
Account Manager Operations Manager Human Resources Coordinator
Human Resources Lead
8 Yearsyrs
Human Resources Generalist Senior Human Resources Generalist
Human Resources Manager
7 Yearsyrs
Billing Specialist Human Resources Coordinator Payroll Specialist
Payroll Manager
7 Yearsyrs
Human Resources Manager
Regional Human Resources Manager
8 Yearsyrs
Human Resources Manager Director Of Human Resources
Senior Director Human Resources
13 Yearsyrs
Recruiter Operations Manager Human Resources Coordinator
Senior Human Resources Administrator
6 Yearsyrs
Billing Specialist Office Administrator Human Resources Coordinator
Senior Human Resources Consultant
9 Yearsyrs
Human Resource Specialist Human Resources Generalist
Senior Human Resources Generalist
7 Yearsyrs
Human Resource Specialist Human Resources Manager
Senior Human Resources Manager
9 Yearsyrs
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Average Length of Employment
Benefit Director 4.4 years
Benefits Manager 3.8 years
Benefits Analyst 3.3 years
Benefit Specialist 3.0 years
Benefits Clerk 2.7 years
Benefits Assistant 2.5 years
Top Employers Before
Internship 2.8%
Cashier 2.8%
Top Employers After
Specialist 2.4%
Recruiter 2.2%
Manager 2.0%

Benefit Specialist Demographics

Gender

Female

77.9%

Male

20.3%

Unknown

1.8%
Ethnicity

White

80.6%

Hispanic or Latino

10.6%

Asian

6.8%

Unknown

1.4%

Black or African American

0.6%
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Languages Spoken

Spanish

68.4%

French

6.3%

Carrier

3.7%

Portuguese

3.2%

Italian

3.0%

German

2.7%

Russian

1.4%

Vietnamese

1.3%

Hindi

1.3%

Korean

1.3%

Chinese

1.3%

Mandarin

1.0%

Japanese

1.0%

Arabic

1.0%

Urdu

0.6%

Polish

0.6%

Swedish

0.5%

Cantonese

0.5%

Greek

0.5%

Tagalog

0.5%
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Benefit Specialist Education

Schools

University of Phoenix

29.9%

Strayer University

9.1%

Southern New Hampshire University

6.1%

Ashford University

4.4%

Webster University

4.0%

Capella University

3.9%

Liberty University

3.9%

Kaplan University

3.7%

Villanova University

3.6%

Michigan State University

3.5%

Temple University

3.2%

University of North Carolina at Greensboro

3.1%

Florida State University

2.9%

Towson University

2.8%

Grand Canyon University

2.8%

American InterContinental University

2.8%

University of Maryland - University College

2.7%

University of Houston

2.6%

Indiana Wesleyan University

2.6%

University of Central Florida

2.4%
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Majors

Business

34.8%

Human Resources Management

15.4%

Accounting

6.5%

Psychology

5.6%

Health Care Administration

4.9%

Management

4.7%

Communication

3.7%

Criminal Justice

2.9%

Liberal Arts

2.2%

Marketing

2.2%

Finance

2.1%

Nursing

2.0%

Education

2.0%

Sociology

1.9%

General Studies

1.8%

Medical Assisting Services

1.6%

English

1.6%

Political Science

1.5%

Human Services

1.4%

Legal Support Services

1.4%
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Degrees

Bachelors

41.7%

Other

22.5%

Masters

17.1%

Associate

10.6%

Certificate

5.8%

Diploma

1.0%

Doctorate

0.7%

License

0.6%
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Job type you want
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Part Time
Internship
Temporary

Real Benefit Specialist Salaries

Job Title Company Location Start Date Salary
Benefits Specialist Pricewaterhousecoopers New York, NY Nov 30, 2016 $172,037
Compens., Benefits & Job Analysis Specialists Microsoft Corporation Fort Lauderdale, FL Jul 22, 2011 $108,000
Health & Benefits Specialist-Actuarial Hewitt Associates LLC Newport Beach, CA Apr 01, 2015 $97,775
Health and Wellness Benefits Specialist United Technologies Corp Farmington, CT Jul 15, 2016 $91,416 -
$113,500
Health and Welfare Benefits Specialist United Technologies Corporation Farmington, CT Aug 27, 2015 $91,416 -
$113,500
Health and Welfare Benefits Specialist United Technologies Corporation Farmington, CT Sep 09, 2016 $91,416 -
$117,500
Global Retirement Benefits Specialist Cummins Inc. Nashville, TN Sep 01, 2015 $80,766 -
$84,700
Specialist-Benefits Verizon Corporate Resources Group LLC Ridgefield, NJ Sep 15, 2010 $79,254
Health & Welfare Benefits Specialist United Technologies Corporation Hartford, CT Jan 07, 2013 $79,102 -
$105,000
Peoplesoft Benefits Admin Erp Analysts, Inc. San Leandro, CA Sep 23, 2016 $73,445
Corporate Benefits Specialist Mitek USA, Inc. Chesterfield, MO Aug 17, 2015 $70,000
Corporate Benefits Administrator Swissport USA, Inc. Dulles Town Center, VA Sep 26, 2014 $70,000
Benefits Specialist Wyoming Medical Center Casper, WY Oct 01, 2011 $65,991
Benefits Administrator Sagatianz Inc. Dallas, TX Sep 16, 2016 $65,000
Health and Benefits Actuarial Specialist AON Risk Services, Inc. of Maryland Baltimore, MD Aug 31, 2016 $64,710
Health & Benefits Specialist-Actuarial Hewitt Associates LLC Somerset, NJ Sep 18, 2013 $64,000 -
$84,000
Global Retirement Benefits Specialist Cummins Inc. Nashville, TN Sep 12, 2012 $63,128 -
$77,300
Comp., Benefits, & Job Analysis Specialists Johnson Controls, Inc. Milwaukee, WI Mar 16, 2012 $61,360 -
$85,690
Health and Benefits Actuarial Specialist AON Risk Services, Inc. of Maryland Baltimore, MD Sep 15, 2015 $60,500
Benefit Specialist Automatic Data Processing, Inc. Eagan, MN Sep 28, 2014 $58,728
Global Retirement Benefits Specialist Cummins Inc. Nashville, TN Jul 01, 2015 $58,220 -
$81,500
Actuarial Benefits Specialist II (Retirement BEN. Hewitt Associates LLC The Woodlands, TX Apr 07, 2011 $57,512 -
$72,000
Corporate Benefits Administrator Swissport USA, Inc. Dulles Town Center, VA Sep 23, 2012 $53,000
SR. Benefits Administrator Pacific Coast Companies, Inc. Rancho Cordova, CA Oct 15, 2012 $52,499 -
$58,499
Benefits Specialists Sumitomo Life Insurance Agency America, Inc. Torrance, CA Feb 20, 2008 $50,443
Health & Benefits Specialist-Actuarial Hewitt Associates LLC Atlanta, GA Sep 14, 2013 $50,000 -
$84,000
Benefits Specialist The Peninsula Chicago, LLC Chicago, IL Sep 14, 2016 $50,000

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Top Skills for A Benefit Specialist

PayrollSystemCobraLong-TermDisabilityCustomerServiceFmlaHRBenefitPlansLifeInsuranceBenefitProgramsKHrisBenefitsAdministrationAuditMedicalClaimsAbsenceResourceADPDataEntryHealthInsuranceFSA

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Top Benefit Specialist Skills

  1. Payroll System
  2. Cobra
  3. Long-Term Disability
You can check out examples of real life uses of top skills on resumes here:
  • Maintained personnel files, the payroll system and pulled reports using ADP/PC Payroll, Report Smith and Etime systems.
  • Conducted exit interviews, prepared COBRA and benefits termination notices for exiting employees.
  • Processed Family Medical Leave and Short/Long-Term Disability.
  • Developed long term relationships with Corporate Decision makers through strategy sessions and customer service of their employee benefit plans and renewals
  • Processed Life Insurance Claims, LTD, FMLA and COBRA Administration, Workers Compensation and Retiree billing.

Top Benefit Specialist Employers

Benefit Specialist Videos

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