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Become A Compensation/Benefits Specialist

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Working As A Compensation/Benefits 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

  • $58,000

    Average Salary

What Does A Compensation/Benefits 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 Compensation/Benefits 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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Compensation/Benefits Specialist Jobs

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Compensation/Benefits Specialist Career Paths

Compensation/Benefits Specialist
Human Resources Manager Director Of Human Resources
Human Resources Vice President
12 Yearsyrs
Human Resources Manager Senior Human Resources Manager Director Of Human Resources
Senior Director Human Resources
13 Yearsyrs
Human Resources Manager Regional Human Resources Manager
Senior Human Resources Manager
9 Yearsyrs
Benefit Specialist Human Resources Generalist
Senior Human Resources Generalist
8 Yearsyrs
Benefit Specialist Human Resources Generalist Office Manager
Office Manager Of Human Resources
6 Yearsyrs
Benefit Specialist Human Resources Generalist Senior Recruiter
Talent Acquisition Manager
9 Yearsyrs
Compensation And Benefits Manager Director Of Human Resources Senior Vice President
Human Resource Officer
6 Yearsyrs
Compensation And Benefits Manager Human Resources Business Partner
Regional Human Resources Manager
8 Yearsyrs
Compensation And Benefits Manager Human Resources Business Partner Senior Human Resources Manager
Director Of Human Resources Operations
10 Yearsyrs
Benefits Manager Human Resources Business Partner
Human Resources Lead
8 Yearsyrs
Benefits Manager Hris Manager Compensation Manager
Compensation Director
13 Yearsyrs
Benefits Manager Hris Manager
Compensation Manager
9 Yearsyrs
Compensation Analyst Human Resources Consultant
Senior Human Resources Consultant
9 Yearsyrs
Compensation Analyst Human Resources Consultant Senior Human Resources Generalist
Employee Relations Manager
7 Yearsyrs
Compensation Analyst Compensation Consultant Human Resources Consultant
Benefits Manager
8 Yearsyrs
Benefits Analyst Office Manager Administrative Manager
Human Resources Administration Manager
6 Yearsyrs
Benefits Analyst Human Resources Analyst Hris Analyst
Hris Manager
10 Yearsyrs
Benefits Analyst Human Resources Analyst Compensation Manager
Compensation And Benefits Manager
9 Yearsyrs
Compensation And Benefits Analyst Senior Compensation Analyst Senior Human Resources Generalist
Human Resources Contractor
9 Yearsyrs
Compensation And Benefits Analyst Senior Human Resources Generalist Payroll Manager
Benefit Director
11 Yearsyrs
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Help others decide if this is a good career for them

Average Length of Employment
Benefits Manager 3.9 years
Benefits Analyst 3.4 years
Benefits Clerk 3.2 years
Benefit Specialist 2.9 years
Benefits Assistant 2.7 years
Top Careers Before Compensation/Benefits Specialist
Internship 2.3%
Recruiter 2.0%
Consultant 2.0%
Top Careers After Compensation/Benefits Specialist
Recruiter 3.3%
Consultant 1.9%

Do you work as a Compensation/Benefits Specialist?

Compensation/Benefits Specialist Demographics

Gender

Female

67.4%

Male

19.9%

Unknown

12.6%
Ethnicity

White

61.5%

Hispanic or Latino

15.2%

Black or African American

11.2%

Asian

8.8%

Unknown

3.3%
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Foreign Languages Spoken

Spanish

53.3%

French

13.3%

Irish

6.7%

Hungarian

6.7%

Ukrainian

6.7%

Carrier

6.7%

Russian

6.7%
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Compensation/Benefits Specialist Education

Schools

University of Phoenix

18.8%

University of Pennsylvania

6.3%

Temple College

6.3%

Webster University

6.3%

University of Maryland - University College

4.7%

Bethany University

4.7%

Temple University

4.7%

Strayer University

4.7%

University of Houston

4.7%

Medaille College

4.7%

University of Mississippi

4.7%

Northern Illinois University

4.7%

University of Colorado at Colorado Springs

3.1%

Chapman University

3.1%

Virginia Commonwealth University

3.1%

Emmanuel College (Massachusetts)

3.1%

Duquesne University

3.1%

Medgar Evers College of the City University of New York

3.1%

Florida Atlantic University

3.1%

Liberty University

3.1%
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Majors

Business

37.0%

Human Resources Management

27.5%

Management

4.9%

Accounting

4.9%

Psychology

4.0%

Sociology

2.1%

Finance

2.1%

Communication

2.1%

Health Care Administration

1.8%

English

1.8%

Education

1.8%

Marketing

1.5%

Nursing

1.5%

Public Administration

1.2%

General Education, Specific Areas

0.9%

Social Sciences

0.9%

Philosophy

0.9%

Computer Science

0.9%

Public Relations

0.9%

Journalism

0.9%
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Degrees

Bachelors

44.9%

Masters

29.9%

Other

10.2%

Associate

6.6%

Certificate

6.3%

Diploma

1.0%

Doctorate

0.8%

License

0.3%
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Job type you want
Full Time
Part Time
Internship
Temporary
Average Yearly Salary
$58,000
View Detailed Salary Report
$39,000
Min 10%
$58,000
Median 50%
$58,000
Median 50%
$58,000
Median 50%
$58,000
Median 50%
$58,000
Median 50%
$58,000
Median 50%
$58,000
Median 50%
$86,000
Max 90%
Best Paying Company
Google
Highest Paying City
Edison, NJ
Highest Paying State
Alaska
Avg Experience Level
3.2 years
How much does a Compensation/Benefits Specialist make at top companies?
The national average salary for a Compensation/Benefits Specialist in the United States is $58,607 per year or $28 per hour. Those in the bottom 10 percent make under $39,000 a year, and the top 10 percent make over $86,000.

Real Compensation/Benefits Specialist Salaries

Job Title Company Location Start Date Salary
Compensation, Benefits, and Job Analysis Specialists Pricewaterhousecoopers Boston, MA Sep 17, 2012 $175,000
Compensation, Benefits, and Job Analysis Specialists Citibank, N.A New York, NY Dec 04, 2013 $140,000
Compensation & Benefits Mgrs Integra Lifesciences Plainsboro, NJ Jun 09, 2010 $136,012
Compensation, Benefits, and Job Analysis Specialists Credit Suisse Securities (USA) LLC New York, NY Oct 14, 2011 $130,000
Compensation, Benefits, and Job Analysis Specialists Google Inc. Mountain View, CA May 22, 2012 $125,000
Compensation, Benefits, and Job Analysis Specialists EBAY Inc. San Jose, CA Sep 28, 2012 $125,000
Compensation & Benefits Specialist Microsoft Corporation Bradenton, FL Sep 17, 2016 $120,785
Compensation, Benefits, and Job Analysis Specialists Goldman Sachs & Co. Jersey City, NJ Jun 09, 2010 $116,800 -
$182,500
Compensation, Benefits, and Job Analysis Specialists Hewlett-Packard Company Palo Alto, CA Aug 22, 2014 $115,000 -
$140,980
Compensation, Benefits, and Job Analysis Specialists Pearl Meyer & Partners LLC Southborough, MA Sep 26, 2011 $110,000
Compensation, Benefits, and Job Analysis Specialists Dell USA LP Austin, TX Sep 18, 2009 $109,900
Compensation, Benefits, and Job Analysis Specialists Rambus, Inc. Sunnyvale, CA Oct 06, 2011 $106,080
Compensation, Benefits & Job Analysis Specialist Bank of America Boston, MA Dec 23, 2010 $105,000
Compensation, Benefits, and Job Analysis Specialists Facebook, Inc. Menlo Park, CA Sep 18, 2014 $105,000 -
$125,000
Compensation, Benefits, and Job Analysis Specialists Alphasoft Services Corporation Walnut Creek, CA Aug 08, 2011 $74,568
Compensation, Benefits, & Job Analysis Specialists Bloomberg L.P. New York, NY Nov 02, 2010 $73,000 -
$120,000
Compensation, Benefits, and Job Analysis Specialists Baidu USA LLC Cupertino, CA Aug 09, 2012 $72,600
Compensation, Benefits, and Job Analysis Specialist Wyatt Data Services, Inc. Rochelle Park, NJ Dec 03, 2009 $71,885
Compensation, Benefits, and Job Analysis Specialists RSM McGladrey Inc. Chicago, IL Nov 02, 2010 $71,344
Compensation, Benefits, and Job Analysis Specialists Mercer (Us) Inc. Boston, MA Mar 04, 2009 $70,616 -
$100,000
Compensation, Benefits, and Job Analysis Specialists Global Case Technologies, Inc. Minneapolis, MN Dec 14, 2010 $70,000
Compensation, Benefits, and Job Analysis Specialists Calsoft Systems Torrance, CA May 24, 2011 $69,493
Compensation, Benefits, and Job Analysis Specialists Wellex Corporation Fremont, CA Oct 12, 2010 $54,891
Compensation, Benefits, and Job Analysis Specialists Wellex Corporation Fremont, CA Aug 06, 2010 $54,891
Compensation, Benefits, and Job Analysis Specialists Univision Management Company Teaneck, NJ Apr 08, 2010 $54,500
Compensation, Benefits, and Job Analysis Specialists Pasona N A, Inc. New York, NY May 14, 2010 $54,262
Compensation, Benefits, and Job Analysis Specialists Pasona N A, Inc. Irvine, CA Aug 08, 2012 $54,038
Compensations, Benefits and Job Analysis Specialists Alliant International University San Francisco, CA May 26, 2009 $54,000
Compensation/Benefits Specialist Elephant Thai Restaurant Richmond, VA Oct 15, 2014 $53,789
Compensation, Benefits, and Job Analysis Specialists Pasona N A, Inc. Gardena, CA Aug 17, 2012 $53,373

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Top Skills for A Compensation/Benefits Specialist

  1. Benefits Administration
  2. Payroll
  3. Ensure Compliance
You can check out examples of real life uses of top skills on resumes here:
  • Subject Matter Expert in mandatory benefits administration and company initiated benefits.
  • Performed and administered all payroll related full cycle payroll processing for 450+ employees accurately and efficiently.
  • Analyzed and modified compensation and benefits policies to establish competitive programs and ensure compliance with legal requirements.
  • Generate and distribute FMLA approval/denial notification letters to the requesting associates via certified mail.
  • Processed several applications related to Workers Compensation claims a week.

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Top 10 Best States for Compensation/Benefits Specialists

  1. District of Columbia
  2. Alaska
  3. Rhode Island
  4. Minnesota
  5. New York
  6. Massachusetts
  7. Virginia
  8. Connecticut
  9. Pennsylvania
  10. Maryland
  • (154 jobs)
  • (29 jobs)
  • (52 jobs)
  • (379 jobs)
  • (660 jobs)
  • (490 jobs)
  • (630 jobs)
  • (151 jobs)
  • (547 jobs)
  • (294 jobs)

Top Compensation/Benefits Specialist Employers

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