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Become A Compensation Consultant

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Working As A Compensation Consultant

  • 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

  • $83,000

    Average Salary

What Does A Compensation Consultant 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.

Duties

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 Consultant

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

Education

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 Consultant Career Paths

Compensation Consultant
Compensation Manager Human Resources Manager
Regional Human Resources Manager
8 Yearsyrs
Compensation Manager Human Resources Manager Director Of Human Resources
Senior Director Human Resources
13 Yearsyrs
Compensation Manager Compensation Director Director Of Human Resources
Corporate Director, Human Resources
12 Yearsyrs
Senior Compensation Analyst Human Resources Manager Director Of Human Resources
Regional Director, Human Resources
10 Yearsyrs
Senior Compensation Analyst
Compensation Manager
9 Yearsyrs
Human Resources Consultant Human Resources Business Partner
Human Resources Lead
8 Yearsyrs
Human Resources Consultant Senior Human Resources Generalist
Senior Human Resources Consultant
9 Yearsyrs
Human Resources Consultant Benefits Manager
Compensation And Benefits Manager
9 Yearsyrs
Consultant Senior Manager Senior Human Resources Manager
Director Of Human Resources Operations
10 Yearsyrs
Senior Compensation Analyst Human Resources Business Partner
Head Of Human Resources
8 Yearsyrs
Consultant Account Manager Recruitment Manager
Program Manager And Recruiter
6 Yearsyrs
Compensation And Benefits Manager Human Resources Business Partner
Director Of Employee Development
9 Yearsyrs
Compensation And Benefits Manager
Compensation Director
13 Yearsyrs
Senior Manager Senior Human Resources Manager
Director, Human Resources And Administration
9 Yearsyrs
Hris Manager Payroll Manager Personnel Manager
Employee Relations Manager
7 Yearsyrs
Senior Human Resources Consultant Benefits Manager
Hris Manager
10 Yearsyrs
Senior Human Resources Specialist Senior Technical Recruiter
Senior Human Resources Generalist
8 Yearsyrs
Senior Human Resources Specialist Senior Human Resources Generalist
Human Resources Contractor
9 Yearsyrs
Senior Human Resources Specialist
Senior Human Resources Administrator
6 Yearsyrs
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Do you work as a Compensation Consultant?

Compensation Consultant Demographics

Gender

Female

58.1%

Male

33.9%

Unknown

7.9%
Ethnicity

White

62.6%

Hispanic or Latino

13.3%

Black or African American

11.6%

Asian

8.7%

Unknown

3.7%
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Foreign Languages Spoken

Spanish

40.9%

French

13.6%

Comanche

4.5%

Portuguese

4.5%

Chinese

4.5%

Vietnamese

4.5%

German

4.5%

Japanese

4.5%

Czech

4.5%

Mandarin

4.5%

Arabic

4.5%

Korean

4.5%
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Compensation Consultant Education

Schools

University of Phoenix

11.1%

Cornell University

7.4%

Villanova University

6.2%

DePaul University

6.2%

Northeastern University

6.2%

Webster University

5.6%

University of Minnesota - Twin Cities

5.6%

Georgia State University

5.6%

Loyola University of Chicago

4.9%

Michigan State University

4.3%

Fairleigh Dickinson University

4.3%

Temple University

4.3%

San Jose State University

4.3%

New York University

3.7%

Marquette University

3.7%

American University

3.7%

Strayer University

3.7%

San Francisco State University

3.1%

University of Alabama at Birmingham

3.1%

University of Connecticut

3.1%
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Majors

Business

33.5%

Human Resources Management

22.8%

Finance

6.1%

Management

5.2%

Accounting

4.4%

Psychology

4.2%

Counseling Psychology

3.5%

Economics

2.4%

Marketing

2.3%

Communication

2.1%

Law

2.1%

Political Science

1.8%

Education

1.7%

English

1.5%

Liberal Arts

1.3%

Sociology

1.1%

Public Administration

1.0%

Insurance

1.0%

General Education, Specific Areas

1.0%

International Relations

1.0%
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Degrees

Masters

45.2%

Bachelors

40.9%

Other

6.6%

Doctorate

2.6%

Certificate

2.4%

Associate

2.0%

Diploma

0.3%
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Job type you want
Full Time
Part Time
Internship
Temporary
Average Yearly Salary
$83,000
View Detailed Salary Report
$46,000
Min 10%
$83,000
Median 50%
$83,000
Median 50%
$83,000
Median 50%
$83,000
Median 50%
$83,000
Median 50%
$83,000
Median 50%
$83,000
Median 50%
$149,000
Max 90%
Best Paying Company
Lowe's
Highest Paying City
Minneapolis, MN
Highest Paying State
North Dakota
Avg Experience Level
3.2 years
How much does a Compensation Consultant make at top companies?
The national average salary for a Compensation Consultant in the United States is $83,100 per year or $40 per hour. Those in the bottom 10 percent make under $46,000 a year, and the top 10 percent make over $149,000.

Real Compensation Consultant Salaries

Job Title Company Location Start Date Salary
Executive Compensation Consultant Towers Watson Pennsylvania Inc. New York, NY Jun 17, 2015 $150,000
Compensation Consultant-HR Center of Excellence or Other Microsoft Corporation Redmond, WA Oct 30, 2014 $139,000 -
$159,000
Executive Compensation Consultant Towers Watson Delaware Inc. Philadelphia, PA Oct 03, 2016 $135,750
Compensation Consultant AON Consulting, Inc. San Francisco, CA Nov 07, 2016 $125,000
Executive Compensation Consultant Towers Watson Pennsylvania Inc. New York, NY Oct 01, 2010 $119,600
Bi-Lingual Compensation Consultant Avnet, Inc. Doral, FL Sep 13, 2016 $118,500
Executive Compensation Consultant Frederic W. Cook & Co., Inc. New York, NY Apr 13, 2015 $115,000 -
$130,000
Bilingual Compensation Consultant Avnet, Inc. Doral, FL Sep 12, 2013 $107,000
Incentive Compensation Configuration Consultant Accenture LLP Overland Park, KS Jun 09, 2016 $92,643
Employment Compensation Consultant Mercer (Us) Inc. San Francisco, CA Aug 25, 2014 $92,600 -
$116,000
Compensation Consultant Microsoft Corporation Redmond, WA Oct 12, 2009 $91,000
Compensation Consultant Callidus Software Inc. Dublin, CA May 25, 2015 $90,418 -
$105,000
VP, Compensation Consultant II, Executive Compensation Bank of America N.A. New York, NY Mar 10, 2016 $90,000 -
$110,000
Executive Compensation Consultant Towers Watson Delaware Inc. Detroit, MI Sep 03, 2015 $89,000
Incentive Compensation Configuration Consultant Accenture LLP Atlanta, GA Aug 27, 2015 $88,941
Executive Compensation Consultant Towers Watson Delaware Inc. San Francisco, CA Oct 01, 2015 $88,010
Executive Compensation Consultant Mercer (Us) Inc. Philadelphia, PA Jan 02, 2011 $87,900 -
$105,000
Executive Compensation Consultant Towers Watson Pennsylvania, Inc. Arlington, VA Sep 14, 2014 $84,000
Employee Compensation Consultant Mercer (Us) Inc. New York, NY Sep 18, 2013 $82,300 -
$98,100
Employee Compensation Consultant Mercer (Us) Inc. New York, NY Sep 04, 2013 $82,300 -
$95,100
Employee Compensation Consultant Mercer (Us) Inc. Los Angeles, CA Oct 01, 2013 $81,900 -
$100,000
Executive Compensation Consultant Frederic W. Cook & Co., Inc. New York, NY Jun 08, 2015 $81,432 -
$115,000
Employee Compensation Consultant Mercer (Us) Inc. San Francisco, CA Dec 29, 2014 $81,000 -
$86,000
Compensation Consultant Buck Consultants, LLC Boston, MA Apr 18, 2011 $80,000
Compensation Consultant Xactly Corporation Kansas City, MO Nov 05, 2010 $78,000 -
$88,000
Compensation Consultant Xactly Corporation CA Sep 22, 2012 $76,482 -
$90,000

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Top Skills for A Compensation Consultant

  1. Job Evaluation
  2. Workers Compensation
  3. Job Descriptions
You can check out examples of real life uses of top skills on resumes here:
  • Assist with reorganizations by analyzing and classifying new and existing positions using factor-based job evaluation methodologies and conducting job audits.
  • Created standard operating procedures for workers compensation procedures, OSHA and Safety.
  • Reviewed proposals/job descriptions for new or revised classifications to determine appropriate level assignments.
  • Oversee the implementation of union-represented and unrepresented salary structure wage changes through applicable systems and communicate necessary information to appropriate stakeholders.
  • Ensured firm-wide compliance with FLSA regulations by evaluating 1K+ jobs and developed unified relationships with in-house Legal Management.

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Top 10 Best States for Compensation Consultants

  1. District of Columbia
  2. New Jersey
  3. Rhode Island
  4. Massachusetts
  5. New York
  6. Connecticut
  7. Minnesota
  8. Washington
  9. Colorado
  10. Pennsylvania
  • (66 jobs)
  • (201 jobs)
  • (37 jobs)
  • (241 jobs)
  • (340 jobs)
  • (77 jobs)
  • (166 jobs)
  • (173 jobs)
  • (159 jobs)
  • (233 jobs)

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