Compensation and benefits managers often start out as compensation, benefits, and job analysis specialists.
Compensation and benefits managers typically need a combination of education and related work experience.
For most positions, compensation and benefits managers typically need a bachelor’s degree in business, human resources, or a related field.
Work Experience in a Related Occupation
Work experience is essential for compensation and benefits managers. Managers often specialize in either compensation or benefits, depending on the experience they gain in previous jobs. Managers often start out as compensation, benefits, and job analysis specialists. Work experience in other human resource fields, in finance, or in management is also helpful.
Licenses, Certifications, and Registrations
Although not required, certification gives compensation and benefits managers credibility because it shows that they have expertise. Employers may prefer to hire candidates with certification, and some positions require it.
Certification often requires several years of related work experience and passing an exam. Professional associations, including the Society for Human Resource Management, the International Foundation of Employee Benefit Plans and WorldatWork, offer certification programs that may be helpful for compensation and benefits managers.
Analytical skills. Compensation and benefits managers analyze data on wages and salaries and the cost of benefits, and they assess and devise programs that best fit an organization and its employees.
Business skills. These managers oversee a budget, build a case for their recommendations, and understand how compensation and benefits plans affect an organization’s finances.
Communication skills. Compensation and benefits managers direct staff, give presentations, and work with colleagues. With each of these groups, they must be able to clearly explain concepts and respond to concerns.
Decisionmaking skills. These managers weigh the strengths and weaknesses of different pay structures and benefits plans and choose the best options for an organization.
Leadership skills. Compensation and benefits managers coordinate the activities of their staff and administer compensation and benefits programs, ensuring that the work is completed accurately and on schedule.