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Become An Employee Benefits Manager

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Working As An Employee 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

  • $111,009

    Average Salary

What Does An Employee 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.

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 An Employee Benefits Manager

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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Employee Benefits Manager Demographics

Gender

Female

68.1%

Male

29.6%

Unknown

2.3%
Ethnicity

White

63.7%

Hispanic or Latino

14.4%

Black or African American

10.7%

Asian

7.6%

Unknown

3.6%
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Languages Spoken

Spanish

60.0%

Portuguese

8.0%

German

8.0%

Carrier

8.0%

French

4.0%

Gujarati

4.0%

Dakota

4.0%

Arapaho

4.0%
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Employee Benefits Manager Education

Schools

University of Phoenix

19.6%

Michigan State University

6.5%

University of Iowa

6.5%

Georgia State University

5.4%

Cornell University

5.4%

Villanova University

4.3%

Sullivan University

4.3%

Georgetown University

4.3%

Pennsylvania State University

4.3%

Florida State University

4.3%

New York Law School

4.3%

Oakland University

4.3%

University of San Francisco

3.3%

Ohio University -

3.3%

University of Cincinnati

3.3%

University of California - Irvine

3.3%

Northwestern University

3.3%

Temple University

3.3%

University of Alabama at Birmingham

3.3%

West Virginia University

3.3%
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Majors

Business

31.6%

Accounting

9.9%

Human Resources Management

9.7%

Law

6.4%

Finance

5.2%

Management

4.0%

Psychology

3.8%

Insurance

3.4%

Education

3.0%

Health Care Administration

2.8%

Economics

2.6%

Political Science

2.4%

Communication

2.2%

Marketing

2.2%

Computer Science

2.0%

English

2.0%

Sociology

1.8%

General Education, Specific Areas

1.8%

Taxation

1.8%

Legal Support Services

1.6%
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Degrees

Bachelors

42.3%

Other

20.9%

Masters

19.6%

Associate

6.0%

Doctorate

4.8%

Certificate

4.5%

License

1.3%

Diploma

0.6%
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Top Skills for An Employee Benefits Manager

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  1. Compliance
  2. Insurance Companies
  3. Long-Term Disability
You can check out examples of real life uses of top skills on resumes here:
  • Ensured plant compliance with union benefit guidelines by carefully reviewing all collective bargaining agreements.
  • Worked with group administrators and insurance companies servicing policies.
  • Processed life insurance, short-term and long-term disability claims for employees.
  • General ledger/Journal entries/Financial audits/Account reconciliations/Payroll administration/Claims processing/ Enrollments and Terminations/Vendor and Actuary relations/Data management and reporting.
  • Assigned to conduct open-seasonal employee benefits enrollments interfacing with HR Directors and Managers.

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Top Employee Benefits Manager Employers

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Jobs From Top Employee Benefits Manager Employers

Employee Benefits Manager Videos

Managing Employee Compensation and Benefits

Human Resources Managers CareerSearch.com

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