Compensation, Benefits, and Job Analysis Specialists

Summary

compensation benefits and job analysis specialists image
Specialists may present their analysis and recommendations to management.
Quick Facts: Compensation, Benefits, and Job Analysis Specialists
2015 Median Pay $60,850 per year
$29.26 per hour
Typical Entry-Level Education Bachelor's degree
Work Experience in a Related Occupation Less than 5 years
On-the-job Training None
Number of Jobs, 2014 84,700
Job Outlook, 2014-24 4% (Slower than average)
Employment Change, 2014-24 3,400

What Compensation, Benefits, and Job Analysis Specialists 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.

Work Environment

Compensation, benefits, and job analysis specialists work in nearly every industry. They typically work in offices, and most work full time during regular business hours.

How to Become a Compensation, Benefits, and Job Analysis Specialist

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

Pay

The median annual wage for compensation, benefits, and job analysis specialists was $60,850 in May 2015.

Job Outlook

Employment of compensation, benefits, and job analysis specialists is projected to grow 4 percent from 2014 to 2024, slower than the average for all occupations. Outsourcing compensation and benefits plans to consulting firms will limit employment growth in most industries. Job prospects should be best for those with previous human resources work experience.

State & Area Data

Explore resources for employment and wages by state and area for compensation, benefits, and job analysis specialists.

Similar Occupations

Compare the job duties, education, job growth, and pay of compensation, benefits, and job analysis specialists with similar occupations.

More Information, Including Links to O*NET

Learn more about compensation, benefits, and job analysis specialists by visiting additional resources, including O*NET, a source on key characteristics of workers and occupations.

What Compensation, Benefits, and Job Analysis Specialists Do

compensation benefits and job analysis specialists image
Specialists must analyze compensation and benefits trends.

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.

Work Environment

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Specialists inform workers about benefits and oversee the enrollment process.

Compensation, benefits, and job analysis specialists held about 84,700 jobs in 2014 and worked in nearly every industry. Many specialists work for large firms, such as those found in the finance and insurance, and healthcare industries. Many also work for government or educational institutions.

Compensation, benefits, and job analysis specialists typically work in offices.

Work Schedules

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

How to Become a Compensation, Benefits, and Job Analysis Specialist

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Specialists typically need previous work experience in compensation analysis or benefits administration.

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.

Pay

Compensation, Benefits, and Job Analysis Specialists

Median annual wages, May 2015

Business operations specialists

$64,510

Compensation, benefits, and job analysis specialists

$60,850

Total, all occupations

$36,200

 

The median annual wage for compensation, benefits, and job analysis specialists was $60,850 in May 2015. 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 $38,370, and the highest 10 percent earned more than $98,860.

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

Job Outlook

Compensation, Benefits, and Job Analysis Specialists

Percent change in employment, projected 2014-24

Business operations specialists

7%

Total, all occupations

7%

Compensation, benefits, and job analysis specialists

4%

 

Employment of compensation, benefits, and job analysis specialists is projected to grow 4 percent from 2014 to 2024, slower than the average for all occupations. As compensation and benefits plans become increasingly complex and costly, many companies are outsourcing the administration of these 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 are able to administer compensation and benefits plans and operate call centers more efficiently, reducing the need for as many specialists.

Organizations will continue to hire benefits specialists to analyze, select, and update their benefits policies. Employee wellness programs are also becoming increasingly popular as a 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 limited 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.

Job Prospects

Job prospects should be best for those with previous work experience performing compensation analysis or benefits administration, and related human resources work.

Employment projections data for compensation, benefits, and job analysis specialists, 2014-24
Occupational Title SOC Code Employment, 2014 Projected Employment, 2024 Change, 2014-24 Employment by Industry
Percent Numeric

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

Compensation, benefits, and job analysis specialists

13-1141 84,700 88,100 4 3,400 [XLSX]

State & Area Data

Occupational Employment Statistics (OES)

The Occupational Employment Statistics (OES) program produces employment and wage estimates annually for over 800 occupations. These estimates are available for the nation as a whole, for individual states, and for metropolitan and nonmetropolitan areas. The link(s) below go to OES data maps for employment and wages by state and area.

Projections Central

Occupational employment projections are developed for all states by Labor Market Information (LMI) or individual state Employment Projections offices. All state projections data are available at www.projectionscentral.com. Information on this site allows projected employment growth for an occupation to be compared among states or to be compared within one state. In addition, states may produce projections for areas; there are links to each state’s websites where these data may be retrieved.

Career InfoNet

America’s Career InfoNet includes hundreds of occupational profiles with data available by state and metro area. There are links in the left-hand side menu to compare occupational employment by state and occupational wages by local area or metro area. There is also a salary info tool to search for wages by zip code.

Similar Occupations

This table shows a list of occupations with job duties that are similar to those of compensation, benefits, and job analysis specialists.

Occupation Job Duties ENTRY-LEVEL EDUCATION 2015 MEDIAN PAY
Purchasing managers, buyers, and purchasing agents

Buyers and Purchasing Agents

Buyers and purchasing agents buy products and services for organizations to use or resell. They evaluate suppliers, negotiate contracts, and review the quality of products.

Bachelor's degree $59,620
Compensation and benefits managers

Compensation and Benefits Managers

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.

Bachelor's degree $111,430
Human resources managers

Human Resources Managers

Human resources managers plan, direct, and coordinate the administrative functions of an organization. They oversee the recruiting, interviewing, and hiring of new staff; consult with top executives on strategic planning; and serve as a link between an organization’s management and its employees.

Bachelor's degree $104,440
Human resource specialists

Human Resources Specialists

Human resources specialists recruit, screen, interview, and place workers. They often handle other human resources work, such as those related to employee relations, compensation and benefits, and training.

Bachelor's degree $58,350
Insurance sales agents

Insurance Sales Agents

Insurance sales agents contact potential customers and sell one or more types of insurance. Insurance sales agents explain various insurance policies and help clients choose plans that suit them.

High school diploma or equivalent $48,200
Training and development managers

Training and Development Managers

Training and development managers plan, direct, and coordinate programs to enhance the knowledge and skills of an organization’s employees. They also oversee a staff of training and development specialists.

Bachelor's degree $102,640
training and development specialists image

Training and Development Specialists

Training and development specialists plan, conduct, and administer programs that train employees and improve their skills and knowledge.

Bachelor's degree $58,210
Suggested citation:

Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, Occupational Outlook Handbook, 2016-17 Edition, Compensation, Benefits, and Job Analysis Specialists,
on the Internet at http://www.bls.gov/ooh/business-and-financial/compensation-benefits-and-job-analysis-specialists.htm (visited May 04, 2016).

Publish Date: Thursday, December 17, 2015