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Become A Compensation Specialist

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Working As A Compensation 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 Compensation 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 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 Specialist jobs

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Compensation Specialist Career Paths

Compensation Specialist
Compensation Consultant Compensation Manager
Compensation Director
13 Yearsyrs
Compensation Analyst Senior Compensation Analyst
Compensation Manager
9 Yearsyrs
Human Resource Specialist Human Resources Generalist Human Resources Manager
Corporate Human Resources Manager
8 Yearsyrs
Compensation Analyst Human Resources Manager
Director Of Human Resources
10 Yearsyrs
Compensation Consultant Compensation Director Director Of Human Resources
Director Of Human Resources Operations
11 Yearsyrs
Billing Specialist Human Resources Assistant Human Resources Generalist
Employee Relations Manager
6 Yearsyrs
Compensation Adjuster Claim Processor Human Resources Coordinator
Head Of Human Resources
9 Yearsyrs
Senior Compensation Analyst Human Resources Coordinator
Human Resource Officer
7 Yearsyrs
Human Resources Generalist Human Resources Consultant
Human Resources Business Partner
10 Yearsyrs
Compensation Adjuster Claim Specialist Human Resources Coordinator
Human Resources Contractor
9 Yearsyrs
Director Of Human Resources Chief Executive Officer Human Resources Generalist
Human Resources Generalist/Manager
6 Yearsyrs
Billing Specialist Office Administrator Human Resources Coordinator
Human Resources Lead
8 Yearsyrs
Compensation Manager Human Resources Coordinator
Human Resources Manager
7 Yearsyrs
Human Resources Generalist Senior Human Resources Generalist Human Resources Manager
Regional Human Resources Manager
8 Yearsyrs
Human Resources Manager Director Of Human Resources
Senior Director Human Resources
13 Yearsyrs
Director Of Human Resources Assistant Vice President Human Resources Coordinator
Senior Human Resources Administrator
6 Yearsyrs
Human Resource Specialist Human Resources Consultant
Senior Human Resources Consultant
9 Yearsyrs
Senior Compensation Analyst Compensation Manager Human Resources Coordinator
Senior Human Resources Generalist
7 Yearsyrs
Compensation Manager Human Resources Manager
Senior Human Resources Manager
9 Yearsyrs
Human Resources Manager Senior Recruiter
Talent Acquisition Manager
9 Yearsyrs
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Average Length of Employment
Benefit Specialist 2.9 years
Specialist 2.5 years
Top Employers Before
Recruiter 3.9%
Manager 2.8%
Top Employers After
Manager 2.6%
Consultant 2.5%

Compensation Specialist Demographics

Gender

Female

73.3%

Male

25.1%

Unknown

1.5%
Ethnicity

White

78.0%

Hispanic or Latino

13.3%

Asian

7.0%

Unknown

1.3%

Black or African American

0.4%
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Languages Spoken

Spanish

57.5%

Portuguese

10.0%

French

7.5%

Arabic

7.5%

German

5.0%

Carrier

5.0%

Hindi

2.5%

Russian

2.5%

Polish

2.5%
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Compensation Specialist Education

Schools

University of Phoenix

26.9%

Southern New Hampshire University

5.9%

Villanova University

4.2%

Middle Tennessee State University

4.2%

Georgia State University

4.2%

University of North Carolina at Charlotte

4.2%

Purdue University

4.2%

Strayer University

4.2%

Kaplan University

4.2%

University of Pittsburgh -

4.2%

University of Tennessee - Knoxville

3.4%

Mercy College - Dobbs Ferry

3.4%

Michigan State University

3.4%

Pace University - New York

3.4%

University of Maryland - University College

3.4%

Chapman University

3.4%

University of Massachusetts Amherst

3.4%

Northeastern University

3.4%

Hofstra University

3.4%

Indiana Wesleyan University

3.4%
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Majors

Business

34.7%

Human Resources Management

17.8%

Psychology

5.6%

Accounting

4.8%

Finance

4.3%

Management

4.0%

Criminal Justice

3.4%

Health Care Administration

3.4%

Counseling Psychology

3.4%

Law

3.2%

Insurance

2.1%

Legal Support Services

1.9%

Nursing

1.8%

Liberal Arts

1.8%

English

1.6%

Education

1.4%

Marketing

1.4%

Public Administration

1.3%

Political Science

1.1%

Communication

1.0%
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Degrees

Bachelors

37.8%

Masters

24.6%

Other

17.9%

Associate

10.2%

Certificate

5.4%

Doctorate

2.8%

Diploma

0.9%

License

0.4%
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Job type you want
Full Time
Part Time
Internship
Temporary

Real Compensation Specialist Salaries

Job Title Company Location Start Date Salary
Senior Global Compensation Specialist Bechtel Corporation San Francisco, CA Feb 02, 2015 $142,193
Compensation Specialist Google Inc. Sunnyvale, CA Jan 02, 2016 $120,000
Compensation Specialist Google Inc. Mountain View, CA Sep 13, 2013 $111,000
Compensation Specialist Genscript USA Inc. Piscataway, NJ Apr 26, 2016 $107,266
IFS Compensation Specialist Pricewaterhousecoopers New York, NY Nov 16, 2016 $106,000 -
$137,400
Compensation Specialist Microsoft Corporation Redmond, WA Aug 07, 2016 $94,400 -
$114,400
Compensation, Bene., and Job Analy. Specialists Affiliated Computer Services, Inc. Secaucus, NJ Jun 27, 2012 $77,624
Compensation & Job Analysis Specialist Bank of America Boston, MA Jul 07, 2010 $71,400
Hris and Compensation Specialist Yukon-Kuskokwim Health Corporation Bethel, AK Nov 01, 2014 $70,000 -
$80,000
Incentive Compensation Specialist Smart Tech, Inc. Simi Valley, CA Jan 09, 2016 $65,000
Compensation Specialist, Client Relations Ambrose Employer Group, LLC New York, NY Oct 01, 2012 $65,000 -
$75,000
Compensation Specialist AON Consulting, Inc. San Jose, CA Mar 11, 2010 $65,000 -
$85,000
Compensation, Benef. & Job Analysis Specialist ADC Telecommunications Eden Prairie, MN Jan 06, 2011 $61,755
Recruiting and Compensation Specialist M2P2, LLC Ames, IA Dec 10, 2011 $60,106
Compensation Specialist The Johns Hopkins Health System Corporation Baltimore, MD Jun 16, 2014 $59,000
Compensation Specialist The Johns Hopkins Hospital Baltimore, MD Jun 16, 2014 $59,000

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Top Skills for A Compensation Specialist

HRWorkersCompensationClaimsPayrollCompensationProgramsJobDescriptionsGuidelinesHrisSalarySurveysCustomerServiceSafetyJobEvaluationDataEntryInjuryFinancialInsuranceCompaniesDisabilityAuditResourceOshaCompensationPolicies

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Top Compensation Specialist Skills

  1. HR
  2. Workers Compensation Claims
  3. Payroll
You can check out examples of real life uses of top skills on resumes here:
  • Provided compensation consulting to organizational managers and HR/recruiting staff.
  • Administer workers compensation claims and provide guidance and support to supervisors and managers on lost work time and light duty work.
  • Worked with HRIS data team to ensure compensation changes were added into the payroll system.
  • Assisted in the design, implementation and administration of compensation programs for Abbott Diagnostic and Corporate Engineering Division.
  • Developed and maintained job descriptions.

Top Compensation Specialist Employers

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