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What Compensation, Benefits, and Job Analysis Specialists Do About this section

compensation benefits and job analysis specialists image
Specialists research compensation and benefits policies and plans.

Compensation, benefits, and job analysis specialists oversee wage and nonwage programs that an organization provides to its employees in return for their work. 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 an organization 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 an organization’s pay structure for employees. 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 and 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 equal pay laws, minimum wage, overtime, and workers’ compensation.

Benefits specialists administer an organization’s compensation programs that are supplemental to wages, including retirement plans, leave policies, wellness programs, and insurance plans. They research, analyze, and then recommend benefits plans, policies, and programs. 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, delivery of benefits, and renewal to the organization’s employees.

Job analysis specialists, also known as position classifiers, evaluate an organization’s positions by writing or assigning job descriptions, determining position classifications, and preparing salary scales. When the organization introduces a new job or reviews existing jobs, specialists must conduct research and make recommendations to managers on the classification, description, status, and salary of those jobs.

Work Environment About this section

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Specialists typically work in offices, briefing workers about benefits and overseeing the enrollment process.

Compensation, benefits, and job analysis specialists held about 94,400 jobs in 2019. The largest employers of compensation, benefits, and job analysis specialists were as follows:

Professional, scientific, and technical services 17%
Insurance carriers and related activities 15
Management of companies and enterprises 12
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

Most compensation, benefits, and job analysis specialists work full time.

How to Become a Compensation, Benefits, and Job Analysis Specialist About this section

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Specialists typically need previous work experience in human resources occupations.

Compensation, benefits, and job analysis specialists typically need a bachelor’s degree and related work experience to enter the occupation.

Education

Employers typically require that compensation, benefits, and job analysis specialists have a bachelor’s degree. Common degree fields may include business, communications, and risk management. Some employers accept additional related work experience in lieu of a degree.

Regardless of major, students interested in this occupation may find it useful to take courses in subjects such as human resources management, finance, and accounting.

Work Experience in a Related Occupation

Employers typically require that compensation, benefits, and job analysis specialists have experience that includes compensation analysis, benefits administration, or general human resources work. Experience in related fields, such as finance, insurance, or business administration, also may be helpful. Some candidates gain this experience through internships. However, others gain experience from working in human resources occupations, such as human resources specialists.

Licenses, Certifications, and Registrations

Although professional certification is not required, it demonstrates expertise. Some employers prefer to hire candidates who have certification, but other employers allow their employees to earn certification after they have begun working. Certification programs often require applicants to have 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 become a compensation and benefits manager or a human resources manager. Specialists typically need several years of work experience to advance.

Important Qualities

Analytical skills. Compensation, benefits, and job analysis specialists perform data and cost analyses to evaluate their organization’s policies. They also must be able to interpret the details of contracts and laws.

Business skills. Specialists must understand basic finance and accounting. They help set the wages and benefits packages for new employees.

Communication skills. Specialists need to provide information about compensation and benefits in a way that is understandable to employees at all levels throughout their organization.

Critical-thinking skills. Specialists must be able to evaluate job positions, salary scales, promotion practices, and other compensation and benefits policies.

Pay About this section

Compensation, Benefits, and Job Analysis Specialists

Median annual wages, May 2019

Business operations specialists

$68,730

Compensation, benefits, and job analysis specialists

$64,560

Total, all occupations

$39,810

 

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

Most compensation, benefits, and job analysis specialists work full time.

Job Outlook About this section

Compensation, Benefits, and Job Analysis Specialists

Percent change in employment, projected 2019-29

Compensation, benefits, and job analysis specialists

8%

Business operations specialists

6%

Total, all occupations

4%

 

Employment of compensation, benefits, and job analysis specialists is projected to grow 8 percent from 2019 to 2029, much faster than 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, evaluate, and 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 use 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.

Job Prospects

About 9,000 openings for compensation, benefits, and job analysis specialists are projected each year, on average, over the decade.

Many of those openings are expected to result from the need to replace workers who transfer to different occupations or exit the labor force, such as to retire.

Job prospects should be best for candidates whose experience includes compensation analysis, benefits administration, or human resources work.

Employment projections data for compensation, benefits, and job analysis specialists, 2019-29
Occupational Title SOC Code Employment, 2019 Projected Employment, 2029 Change, 2019-29 Employment by Industry
Percent Numeric

SOURCE: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, Employment Projections program

Compensation, benefits, and job analysis specialists

13-1141 94,400 101,800 8 7,500 Get data

Contacts for More Information About this section

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

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Compensation, Benefits, and Job Analysis Specialists

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