Compensation, benefits, and job analysis specialists conduct an organization’s compensation and benefits programs. They also evaluate position descriptions to determine details such as classification and salary.

Duties

Compensation, benefits, and job analysis specialists typically do the following:

  • Research compensation and benefits policies and plans
  • Use data and cost analyses to compare compensation and benefits plans
  • Evaluate position descriptions to determine classification and salary
  • Ensure that the company complies with federal and state laws
  • 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. They also 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 frequently monitor government regulations, legislation, and benefits trends to ensure that their programs are current, legal, and competitive. They 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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Work Environment

Compensation, benefits, and job analysis specialists held about 88,700 jobs in 2018. The largest employers of compensation, benefits, and job analysis specialists were as follows:

Professional, scientific, and technical services 15%
Insurance carriers and related activities 13
Management of companies and enterprises 13
Local government, excluding education and hospitals                   8
Healthcare and social assistance 7

Compensation, benefits, and job analysis specialists work in nearly every industry.

They typically work in offices.

Work Schedules

Nearly all compensation, benefits, and job analysis specialists work full time during regular business hours.

Education and Training

Compensation, benefits, and job analysis specialists need a combination of a bachelor’s degree and related work experience.

Education

Employers typically 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 additional related work experience in lieu of a 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

Compensation, benefits, and job analysis specialists must have related work experience. Employers commonly require that the 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. Some workers may gain this experience through internships. However, most gain experience from working in human resources occupations, such as human resources specialists.

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 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.

Personality and Interests

Compensation, benefits, and job analysis specialists typically have an interest in the Persuading and Organizing interest areas, according to the Holland Code framework. The Persuading interest area indicates a focus on influencing, motivating, and selling to other people. The Organizing interest area indicates a focus on working with information and processes to keep things arranged in orderly systems.

If you are not sure whether you have a Persuading or Organizing interest which might fit with a career as a compensation, benefits, and job analysis specialist, you can take a career test to measure your interests.

Compensation, benefits, and job analysis specialists should also possess the following specific qualities:

Analytical skills. Many compensation, benefits, and job analysis 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. Compensation, benefits, and job analysis specialists must understand basic finance and accounting.

Communication skills. Compensation, benefits, and job analysis 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. Compensation, benefits, and job analysis specialists must think critically when evaluating job positions, salary scales, promotion practices, and other compensation and benefits policies.

Detail oriented. Compensation, benefits, and job analysis specialists must pay attention to detail, especially when ensuring that the organization is compliant with federal and state laws.

Pay

The median annual wage for compensation, benefits, and job analysis specialists was $64,560 in May 2019. The median wage is the wage at which half the workers in an occupation earned more than that amount and half earned less. The lowest 10 percent earned less than $40,140, and the highest 10 percent earned more than $105,600.

In May 2019, the median annual wages for compensation, benefits, and job analysis specialists in the top industries in which they worked were as follows:

Professional, scientific, and technical services $69,090
Local government, excluding education and hospitals                    68,550
Management of companies and enterprises 67,340
Insurance carriers and related activities 63,060
Healthcare and social assistance 59,020

Nearly all compensation, benefits, and job analysis specialists work full time during regular business hours.

Job Outlook

Employment of compensation, benefits, and job analysis specialists is projected to grow 6 percent from 2018 to 2028, about as fast as the average for all occupations.

Organizations will continue to hire benefits specialists to analyze, select, and update their benefits policies. Employee wellness programs are a popular way to reduce healthcare costs. Organizations will need benefits specialists to design, analyze, or administer these programs.

In addition, organizations must offer competitive compensation packages to attract and keep highly qualified workers. To allocate their compensation funds effectively, many organizations are using strategies such as pay-for-performance plans, which may include bonuses, paid leave, or other incentives as part of the compensation package. Organizations will need specialists to analyze these compensation policies and plans and to ensure that they are both competitive and cost effective.

Many companies are continuing to outsource some of the administration of compensation and benefits plans to external providers in order to reduce costs while also staying compliant in a highly regulated field. For example, to reduce administrative costs, organizations commonly use outside vendors for processing payroll and insurance claims. These outside vendors can administer compensation and benefits plans and operate call centers more efficiently, reducing the need for as many specialists.

Job Prospects

Job prospects should be best for candidates with a bachelor’s degree, work experience performing compensation analysis or benefits administration, and related human resources work.

For More Information

For more information about compensation, benefits, and job analysis specialists, including certification, visit

International Foundation of Employee Benefit Plans

WorldatWork

For information about human resources careers, visit

Society for Human Resource Management

For more information about human resources certifications, visit

HR Certification Institute

 

FAQ

Where does this information come from?

The career information above is taken from the Bureau of Labor Statistics Occupational Outlook Handbook. This excellent resource for occupational data is published by the U.S. Department of Labor every two years. Truity periodically updates our site with information from the BLS database.

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I think I have found an error or inaccurate information on this page. Who should I contact?

This information is taken directly from the Occupational Outlook Handbook published by the US Bureau of Labor Statistics. Truity does not editorialize the information, including changing information that our readers believe is inaccurate, because we consider the BLS to be the authority on occupational information. However, if you would like to correct a typo or other technical error, you can reach us at help@truity.com.

I am not sure if this career is right for me. How can I decide?

There are many excellent tools available that will allow you to measure your interests, profile your personality, and match these traits with appropriate careers. On this site, you can take the Career Personality Profiler assessment, the Holland Code assessment, or the Photo Career Quiz.

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