Compensation, Benefits, and Job Analysis Specialists

Summary

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Specialists may present their analysis and recommendations to management.
Quick Facts: Compensation, Benefits, and Job Analysis Specialists
2016 Median Pay $62,080 per year
$29.85 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, 2016 84,200
Job Outlook, 2016-26 9% (As fast as average)
Employment Change, 2016-26 7,200

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 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 need a combination of a bachelor’s degree and related work experience.

Pay

The median annual wage for compensation, benefits, and job analysis specialists was $62,080 in May 2016.

Job Outlook

Employment of compensation, benefits, and job analysis specialists is projected to grow 9 percent from 2016 to 2026, about as fast as the average for all occupations. 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.

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 About this section

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Specialists research compensation and benefits policies and plans.

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.

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 84,200 jobs in 2016. The largest employers of compensation, benefits, and job analysis specialists were as follows:

Professional, scientific, and technical services 13%
Management of companies and enterprises 13
Insurance carriers and related activities 12
Local government, excluding education and hospitals 9
Healthcare and social assistance 8

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.

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 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.

Important Qualities

Analytical skills. Compensation, benefits, and job analysis specialists perform data or cost analyses to form logical conclusions related to wages and benefits. They also need to pay attention to the details of contracts and laws.

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

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 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 2016

Business operations specialists

$65,260

Compensation, benefits, and job analysis specialists

$62,080

Total, all occupations

$37,040

 

The median annual wage for compensation, benefits, and job analysis specialists was $62,080 in May 2016. 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 $39,090, and the highest 10 percent earned more than $101,020.

In May 2016, 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 $66,840
Management of companies and enterprises 65,910
Local government, excluding education and hospitals 63,670
Insurance carriers and related activities 61,220
Healthcare and social assistance 57,290

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

Job Outlook About this section

Compensation, Benefits, and Job Analysis Specialists

Percent change in employment, projected 2016-26

Business operations specialists

9%

Compensation, benefits, and job analysis specialists

9%

Total, all occupations

7%

 

Employment of compensation, benefits, and job analysis specialists is projected to grow 9 percent from 2016 to 2026, 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.

Employment projections data for compensation, benefits, and job analysis specialists, 2016-26
Occupational Title SOC Code Employment, 2016 Projected Employment, 2026 Change, 2016-26 Employment by Industry
Percent Numeric

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

Compensation, benefits, and job analysis specialists

13-1141 84,200 91,300 9 7,200 employment projections excel document xlsx

State & Area Data About this section

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.

CareerOneStop

CareerOneStop 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 About this section

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 Help 2016 MEDIAN PAY Help
Purchasing managers, buyers, and purchasing agents

Purchasing Managers, Buyers, and Purchasing Agents

Buyers and purchasing agents buy products and services for organizations to use or resell. Purchasing managers oversee the work of buyers and purchasing agents.

Bachelor's degree $64,850
Compensation and benefits managers

Compensation and Benefits Managers

Compensation and benefits managers plan, develop, and oversee programs to compensate employees.

Bachelor's degree $116,240
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 $106,910
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 $59,180
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 $49,990
Training and development managers

Training and Development Managers

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

Bachelor's degree $105,830
training and development specialists image

Training and Development Specialists

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

Bachelor's degree $59,020

Labor Relations Specialists

Labor relations specialists interpret and administer labor contracts regarding issues such as wages and salaries, healthcare, pensions, and union and management practices.

Bachelor's degree $62,310
Suggested citation:

Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, Occupational Outlook Handbook, Compensation, Benefits, and Job Analysis Specialists,
on the Internet at https://www.bls.gov/ooh/business-and-financial/compensation-benefits-and-job-analysis-specialists.htm (visited November 01, 2017).

Last Modified Date: Tuesday, October 24, 2017

What They Do

The What They Do tab describes the typical duties and responsibilities of workers in the occupation, including what tools and equipment they use and how closely they are supervised. This tab also covers different types of occupational specialties.

Work Environment

The Work Environment tab includes the number of jobs held in the occupation and describes the workplace, the level of physical activity expected, and typical hours worked. It may also discuss the major industries that employed the occupation. This tab may also describe opportunities for part-time work, the amount and type of travel required, any safety equipment that is used, and the risk of injury that workers may face.

How to Become One

The How to Become One tab describes how to prepare for a job in the occupation. This tab can include information on education, training, work experience, licensing and certification, and important qualities that are required or helpful for entering or working in the occupation.

Pay

The Pay tab describes typical earnings and how workers in the occupation are compensated—annual salaries, hourly wages, commissions, tips, or bonuses. Within every occupation, earnings vary by experience, responsibility, performance, tenure, and geographic area. For most profiles, this tab has a table with wages in the major industries employing the occupation. It does not include pay for self-employed workers, agriculture workers, or workers in private households because these data are not collected by the Occupational Employment Statistics (OES) survey, the source of BLS wage data in the OOH.

State & Area Data

The State and Area Data tab provides links to state and area occupational data from the Occupational Employment Statistics (OES) program, state projections data from Projections Central, and occupational information from the Department of Labor's CareerOneStop.

Job Outlook

The Job Outlook tab describes the factors that affect employment growth or decline in the occupation, and in some instances, describes the relationship between the number of job seekers and the number of job openings.

Similar Occupations

The Similar Occupations tab describes occupations that share similar duties, skills, interests, education, or training with the occupation covered in the profile.

Contacts for More Information

The More Information tab provides the Internet addresses of associations, government agencies, unions, and other organizations that can provide additional information on the occupation. This tab also includes links to relevant occupational information from the Occupational Information Network (O*NET).

2016 Median Pay

The wage at which half of the workers in the occupation earned more than that amount and half earned less. Median wage data are from the BLS Occupational Employment Statistics survey. In May 2016, the median annual wage for all workers was $37,040.

On-the-job Training

Additional training needed (postemployment) to attain competency in the skills needed in this occupation.

Entry-level Education

Typical level of education that most workers need to enter this occupation.

Work experience in a related occupation

Work experience that is commonly considered necessary by employers, or is a commonly accepted substitute for more formal types of training or education.

Number of Jobs, 2016

The employment, or size, of this occupation in 2016, which is the base year of the 2016-26 employment projections.

Job Outlook, 2016-26

The projected percent change in employment from 2016 to 2026. The average growth rate for all occupations is 7 percent.

Employment Change, 2016-26

The projected numeric change in employment from 2016 to 2026.

Entry-level Education

Typical level of education that most workers need to enter this occupation.

On-the-job Training

Additional training needed (postemployment) to attain competency in the skills needed in this occupation.

Employment Change, projected 2016-26

The projected numeric change in employment from 2016 to 2026.

Growth Rate (Projected)

The percent change of employment for each occupation from 2016 to 2026.

Projected Number of New Jobs

The projected numeric change in employment from 2016 to 2026.

Projected Growth Rate

The projected percent change in employment from 2016 to 2026.

2016 Median Pay

The wage at which half of the workers in the occupation earned more than that amount and half earned less. Median wage data are from the BLS Occupational Employment Statistics survey. In May 2016, the median annual wage for all workers was $37,040.