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Become A Compensation And Benefits Manager

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Working As A Compensation And Benefits Manager

  • Communicating with Supervisors, Peers, or Subordinates
  • Getting Information
  • Analyzing Data or Information
  • Making Decisions and Solving Problems
  • Establishing and Maintaining Interpersonal Relationships
  • Mostly Sitting

  • Make Decisions

  • $127,510

    Average Salary

What Does A Compensation And Benefits Manager Do

Compensation managers plan, develop, and oversee programs to determine how much an organization pays its employees and how employees are paid. Benefits managers plan, direct, and coordinate retirement plans, health insurance, and other benefits that an organization offers its employees.


Compensation and benefits managers typically do the following:

  • Set the organization’s pay structure and benefits offerings
  • Determine competitive wage rates and develop or modify compensation plans
  • Evaluate employee benefits policies to assess whether they are current, competitive, and legal
  • Choose and manage outside partners, such as benefits vendors, insurance brokers, and investment managers 
  • Coordinate and supervise the work activities of specialists and support staff
  • Oversee the distribution of pay and benefits information to the organization’s employees
  • Ensure that pay and benefits plans comply with federal and state regulations
  • Prepare a program budget and keep operations within budget

Although some managers administer both the compensation and benefits programs in an organization, other managers—particularly at large organizations—often specialize and oversee one or the other. All managers, however, routinely meet with senior staff, managers of other human resources departments, and the financial officers of their organization. They provide expertise and make recommendations on compensation and benefits policies, programs, and plans.

In addition to their administrative responsibilities, compensation and benefits managers also have technical and analytical duties. For example, they may perform complex data analysis to determine the best pay and benefits plans for an organization. They may also monitor trends affecting pay and benefits and assess how their organization can improve its practices or policies. Using a variety of analytical, database, and presentation software, managers draw conclusions, present their findings, and make recommendations to other managers in the organization.

Compensation managers are responsible for managing an organization’s pay structure. They monitor market conditions and government regulations to ensure their pay rates are current and competitive. They analyze data on wages and salaries, and they evaluate how their organization’s pay structure compares with that of other companies. Compensation managers use this information to maintain or develop pay scales for an organization.

Some also design pay-for-performance plans, which include guidelines for bonuses and incentive pay. They also may help determine commission rates and other incentives for sales staff.

Benefits managers administer a company’s employee benefits program, which includes retirement plans, leave policies, wellness programs, and insurance policies such as health, life, and disability. They select benefits vendors and manage enrollment, renewal, and delivery of benefits to the organization’s employees. They must frequently monitor government regulations and market trends to ensure that their programs are current, competitive, and legal.

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How To Become A Compensation And Benefits Manager

Candidates need a combination of education and related work experience to become a compensation and benefits manager.


Compensation and benefits managers need at least a bachelor’s degree for most positions, and some jobs require a master’s degree. Because not all undergraduate programs offer a degree in human resources, managers often have a bachelor’s degree in business administration, business management, finance, or a related field.

Some employers prefer to hire managers who have a master’s degree, particularly one with a concentration in human resources management, finance, or business administration (MBA).

Work Experience in a Related Occupation

Related work experience is essential for compensation and benefits managers. Managers often specialize in either compensation or benefits, depending on the type of experience they gain in previous jobs. For example, compensation and benefits managers often start out as compensation, benefits, and job analysis specialists. Work experience in other human resource fields, finance, or management is also helpful for getting a job as a compensation and benefits manager.

Licenses, Certifications, and Registrations

Although compensation and benefits managers are not legally required to be certified, certification can show expertise and credibility. Many employers prefer to hire certified candidates, and some positions may require certification.

Certification programs for management positions often require several years of related work experience to qualify for the certifying exam. Many professional associations for human resources workers offer certifications. 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, offer general human resources credentials.  

Important Qualities

Analytical skills. Compensation and benefits managers must analyze data on salaries and the cost of benefits, and assess and devise programs that best fit an organization and its employees.

Business acumen. Compensation and benefits managers must manage a budget, build a case for their recommendations, and understand how compensation and benefits plans affect the company’s finances.

Communication skills. Compensation and benefits managers must direct staff, give presentations, and work with colleagues. For example, they may present the advantages of a certain pay scale to management and address any concerns.

Decisionmaking skills. Compensation and benefits managers must weigh the strengths and weaknesses of different pay structures and benefits plans and choose the best options for an organization. 

Leadership skills. Compensation and benefits managers must coordinate the work activities of their staff and properly administer compensation and benefits programs, ensuring work is completed accurately and on schedule.

Writing skills. Compensation and benefits managers must prepare clearly written informational materials on compensation and benefits plans for an organization’s employees. They must also clearly convey recommendations in written reports.

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Compensation And Benefits Manager jobs

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Compensation And Benefits Manager Career Paths

Compensation And Benefits Manager Demographics


  • Female

  • Male

  • Unknown



  • White

  • Hispanic or Latino

  • Asian

  • Unknown

  • Black or African American

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Languages Spoken

  • Spanish

  • Portuguese

  • French

  • Russian

  • Filipino

  • Ukrainian

  • Serbian

  • Maltese

  • Carrier

  • Arabic

  • Italian

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Compensation And Benefits Manager

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Compensation And Benefits Manager Education

Compensation And Benefits Manager

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Real Compensation And Benefits Manager Salaries

Job Title Company Location Start Date Salary
Employee Benefits & Executive Compensation Associa Alston & Bird LLP Washington, DC Jan 30, 2012 $160,000
Compensation and Benefits Managers Microsoft Corporation Redmond, WA Jun 11, 2012 $150,000 -
Compensation and Benefits Managers D. E. Shaw Staff, LLC New York, NY Mar 04, 2014 $150,000
Compensation and Benefits Managers Goldman Sachs New Jersey LLC Jersey City, NJ Sep 13, 2011 $150,000 -
Compensation and Benefits Managers Cadbury Adams USA, LLC Parsippany-Troy Hills, NJ May 21, 2010 $143,895 -
Manager, Compensation and Benefits Hewlett-Packard Company San Diego, CA Jun 17, 2015 $143,707 -
Compensation and Benefits Manager JP Morgan Chase & Co New York, NY Aug 27, 2010 $140,000
Compensation and Benefits Managers Dover Corporation Downers Grove, IL Apr 22, 2014 $140,000
Compensation and Benefits Managers Robin Hood Foundation New York, NY Jul 12, 2011 $138,000 -
Compensation and Benefit Managers Geodis Wilson USA, Inc. Iselin, NJ May 24, 2011 $137,592
Manager, Merger and ACQ. Compensations and Benefit EBAY Inc. San Jose, CA Oct 01, 2012 $135,000
Associate Compensation and Benefits Manager Google Inc. Mountain View, CA Aug 18, 2015 $135,000
Compensation and Benefits Managers Arthur J. Gallagher & Co. D/B/A Gallagher Benefit Services, Inc. FL May 16, 2013 $131,726
Compensation and Benefits Managers Allianz Asset Management of America LP Newport Beach, CA Mar 28, 2014 $131,331
Compensation & Benefits Manager Caterpillar Inc. Miami, FL Aug 23, 2012 $114,084
Compensation and Benefits Managers Attic Technologies Inc. Middlesex, NJ Jan 21, 2009 $111,216
Compensation and Benefits Manager Diverse Lynx, LLC Metuchen, NJ Feb 03, 2010 $110,843
Compensation and Benefits Managers Xerox Business Services, LLC Chicago, IL Jul 19, 2012 $110,000 -
Compensation and Benefits Managers Deloitte Consulting LLP Chicago, IL Mar 19, 2014 $110,000 -
Compensation and Benefits Managers Monsanto Company Saint Louis, MO Jan 07, 2010 $107,994
Compensation and Benefits Managers Barasch & Mc Garry Salzman & Pension New York, NY Feb 05, 2014 $106,496
Compensation & Benefits Manager Avaya Inc. Santa Clara, CA Apr 15, 2016 $105,000
Compensation and Benefits Manager Banco ITAÚ Europa International Miami, FL Jun 28, 2011 $93,710
Compensation and Benefits Managers Oliver Wyman, Inc. New York, NY Apr 09, 2010 $93,288 -
Compensation and Benefits Managers Asap America LLC The Villages, FL Jan 20, 2011 $92,019
Compensation and Benefits Managers Comprehensive Health Management Inc. Tampa, FL Mar 08, 2013 $91,021
Latin America Compensation & Benefits Senior Consu Owens Corning Toledo, OH Aug 12, 2013 $90,000
Compensation and Benefits Manager Softnice Inc. Allentown, PA Jan 31, 2012 $88,100 -
Compensation and Benefits Managers Aegis Communications Group, Inc. Irving, TX Aug 15, 2013 $87,194
Compensation and Benefits Managers Terex Corporation Westport, CT Aug 22, 2012 $86,700 -

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Top Skills for A Compensation And Benefits Manager


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Top Compensation And Benefits Manager Skills

  1. Benefit Programs
  2. Payroll System
  3. Hris
You can check out examples of real life uses of top skills on resumes here:
  • Optimized financial performance of existing benefit programs and transitioned the existing operation to the new management team.
  • Implemented new HRIS, Benefits, Time and Attendance and Payroll Systems to support the health care system mergers.
  • Manage HRIS, HR reporting and other systems to provide effective management reporting.
  • Designed, planned, implemented, and communicated corporate compensation programs, policies, and procedures.
  • Oversee and audit to ensure compliance of County pension, defined contribution and benefit plans.

Top Compensation And Benefits Manager Employers