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Become A Payroll And Benefits Specialist

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Working As A Payroll And 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

  • $47,000

    Average Salary

What Does A Payroll And 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 Payroll And 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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Payroll And Benefits Specialist Career Paths

Payroll And Benefits Specialist
Payroll Specialist Office Manager Human Resources Manager
Senior Human Resources Manager
9 Yearsyrs
Payroll Specialist Payroll Administrator Office Manager
Office Manager Of Human Resources
6 Yearsyrs
Payroll Specialist Office Manager Director Of Human Resources
Senior Director Human Resources
13 Yearsyrs
Payroll Administrator Human Resources Manager
Regional Human Resources Manager
8 Yearsyrs
Payroll Administrator Human Resources Generalist
Senior Human Resources Generalist
8 Yearsyrs
Human Resources Manager Property Manager Administrative Manager
Human Resources Administration Manager
6 Yearsyrs
Human Resources Generalist Human Resources Consultant
Senior Human Resources Consultant
9 Yearsyrs
Human Resources Generalist Benefits Analyst
Benefits Manager
8 Yearsyrs
Benefit Specialist Human Resources Consultant
Employee Relations Manager
7 Yearsyrs
Benefit Specialist Benefits Manager
Benefit Director
11 Yearsyrs
Benefit Specialist Human Resources Analyst Compensation Analyst
Compensation Manager
9 Yearsyrs
Payroll Manager Senior Manager Senior Human Resources Manager
Director Of Human Resources Operations
10 Yearsyrs
Payroll Supervisor Benefits Manager Compensation And Benefits Manager
Compensation Director
13 Yearsyrs
Payroll Supervisor Benefits Manager
Compensation And Benefits Manager
9 Yearsyrs
Payroll Analyst Human Resources Analyst Hris Analyst
Hris Manager
10 Yearsyrs
Payroll Analyst Human Resources Analyst Human Resources Consultant
Human Resources Contractor
9 Yearsyrs
Payroll Analyst Senior Accountant Accountant And Office Manager
Account Human Resources Manager
6 Yearsyrs
Payroll Manager Human Resources Business Partner
Head Of Human Resources
8 Yearsyrs
Benefits Analyst Benefits Consultant
Employee Benefits Manager
7 Yearsyrs
Benefits Analyst Senior Human Resources Specialist
Senior Human Resources Administrator
6 Yearsyrs
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Average Length of Employment
Benefits Analyst 3.4 years
Benefits Clerk 3.2 years
Payroll Specialist 3.1 years
Benefit Specialist 2.9 years
Benefits Assistant 2.7 years
Top Careers Before Payroll And Benefits Specialist
Cashier 3.6%
Accountant 2.8%
Top Careers After Payroll And Benefits Specialist

Do you work as a Payroll And Benefits Specialist?

Payroll And Benefits Specialist Demographics

Gender

Female

76.1%

Male

14.0%

Unknown

9.9%
Ethnicity

White

63.7%

Hispanic or Latino

15.1%

Black or African American

10.4%

Asian

7.5%

Unknown

3.3%
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Foreign Languages Spoken

Spanish

78.6%

French

10.7%

Russian

3.6%

Italian

3.6%

Vietnamese

3.6%
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Payroll And Benefits Specialist Education

Schools

University of Phoenix

25.8%

Strayer University

6.6%

University of Maryland - University College

6.0%

Kaplan University

6.0%

Ashford University

5.3%

Southern New Hampshire University

5.3%

Arizona State University

4.0%

Madison Area Technical College

4.0%

Portland Community College

4.0%

Lakeland College

3.3%

Florida State University

3.3%

American InterContinental University

3.3%

Kennesaw State University

3.3%

University of Houston

3.3%

Bellevue University

3.3%

Community College of Philadelphia

2.6%

Montgomery College

2.6%

University of Connecticut

2.6%

University of Massachusetts - Boston

2.6%

Miami Dade College

2.6%
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Majors

Business

33.1%

Accounting

20.6%

Human Resources Management

13.5%

Management

4.8%

Psychology

4.2%

Liberal Arts

3.0%

Communication

2.6%

General Studies

2.5%

Finance

2.3%

Health Care Administration

1.9%

Sociology

1.7%

Elementary Education

1.4%

Criminal Justice

1.4%

Education

1.0%

Legal Support Services

1.0%

Computer Information Systems

1.0%

Marketing

1.0%

Law

1.0%

Nursing

0.9%

English

0.9%
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Degrees

Bachelors

42.5%

Other

21.7%

Associate

16.1%

Masters

11.7%

Certificate

6.4%

Diploma

1.2%

Doctorate

0.2%

License

0.1%
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Job type you want
Full Time
Part Time
Internship
Temporary
Average Yearly Salary
$47,000
View Detailed Salary Report
$33,000
Min 10%
$47,000
Median 50%
$47,000
Median 50%
$47,000
Median 50%
$47,000
Median 50%
$47,000
Median 50%
$47,000
Median 50%
$47,000
Median 50%
$65,000
Max 90%
Best Paying Company
AtWork Group
Highest Paying City
San Francisco, CA
Highest Paying State
Alaska
Avg Experience Level
3.5 years
How much does a Payroll And Benefits Specialist make at top companies?
The national average salary for a Payroll And Benefits Specialist in the United States is $47,101 per year or $23 per hour. Those in the bottom 10 percent make under $33,000 a year, and the top 10 percent make over $65,000.

How Would You Rate The Salary Of a Payroll And Benefits Specialist?

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Top Skills for A Payroll And Benefits Specialist

  1. Payroll
  2. ADP
  3. Benefits Administration
You can check out examples of real life uses of top skills on resumes here:
  • Manage payroll team, also co-manage/train HR assistants as related to ADP, HR and payroll entry.
  • Processed weekly payroll for 250 associates, 18 store locations using ADP software which included weekly time analysis and entry.
  • Facilitate relations between employees, benefits administration company, and insurance company.
  • Analyzed and modified compensation and benefits policies to establish competitive programs and ensure compliance with legal requirements.
  • Processed payroll, new hire/transfer/termination paperwork, and maintain personnel files as required.

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Top Payroll And Benefits Specialist Employers

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