Become a Compensation and Benefits Manager

Compensation and benefits managers play an increasingly important role as costs become more complex for every organization. They plan and coordinate the compensation and benefits activity for employees of both the private sector and government agencies.

Managers establish and maintain an organization’s pay structure, including health insurance and retirement plans. Compensation and benefits managers often start out with entry-level positions in human resources and receive on-the-job training for future management positions.

Degrees for Compensation and Benefits Managers

A compensation and benefits manager should take a variety of courses in the human resources realm including business, psychology and human resources management either online or in a classroom setting.

Once the required degrees have been completed, compensation and benefits managers can become Certified Employee Benefits Specialists (CEBP), a Certified Compensation Professional or a Certified Benefits Professional through industry organizations.

Compensation and Benefits Manager Job Description

A compensation and benefits manager must keep up with changing government and state regulations. In addition to setting and maintaining the pay and benefits package for every employee, they must oversee 401k and pension plans, profit sharing and stock options, health and dental insurance, life insurance and flexible benefits plans.

The daily job duties of compensation and benefits managers may also include the following:

  • Resolve labor disputes and grievances
  • Represent the organization at personnel-related investigations
  • Prepare departmental budgets
  • Conduct exit interviews and participate in employee terminations

They must be well-versed in the legal aspects of compensation and terminations to protect the company from lawsuits and government penalties. Most compensation and benefits managers work in comfortable offices, often in urban environments.

Compensation and Benefits Manager Salary

Like most other human resource professionals, compensation and benefits managers’ salaries vary depending on the size of the company and the industry in which they work. Managers in larger corporations, particularly those in science and technology, earn considerably more than managers working in the government sector. Compensation and benefits managers earn an average median salary of $74,750 with the highest 10% earning over $132,820, according to a survey by the U.S. Department of Labor and Statistics in May of 2006.

Regardless of the industry, compensation and benefits manager jobs are expected to grow faster than average — 17% through 2016. With the increasing complexity of benefits and compensation packages, these managers will remain in demand.

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