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.

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.

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.

The median annual wage for compensation, benefits, and job analysis specialists was $63,000 in May 2018.

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 $39,270, and the highest 10 percent earned more than $102,400.

In May 2018, 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 $67,240
Local government, excluding education and hospitals 66,740
Management of companies and enterprises 66,290
Insurance carriers and related activities 61,990
Healthcare and social assistance 58,840

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

Compensation, Benefits, and Job Analysis Specialists

Median annual wages, May 2018

Business operations specialists

$67,120

Compensation, benefits, and job analysis specialists

$63,000

Total, all occupations

$38,640

 

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.

Employment projections data for compensation, benefits, and job analysis specialists, 2018-28
Occupational Title SOC Code Employment, 2018 Projected Employment, 2028 Change, 2018-28 Employment by Industry
Percent Numeric

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

Compensation, benefits, and job analysis specialists

13-1141 88,700 94,000 6 5,300 Get data

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 Median Annual Pay, May 2018

Purchasing Managers, Buyers, and Purchasing Agents

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

Bachelor’s degree $67,600

Compensation and Benefits Managers

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

Bachelor’s degree $121,010

Human Resources Managers

Human resources managers plan, direct, and coordinate the administrative functions of an organization.

Bachelor’s degree $113,300

Human Resources Specialists

Human resources specialists recruit, screen, interview, and place workers. They also handle employee relations, compensation and benefits, and training.

Bachelor’s degree $60,880

Insurance Sales Agents

Insurance sales agents contact potential customers and sell one or more types of insurance.

High school diploma or equivalent $50,600

Training and Development Managers

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

Bachelor’s degree $111,340

Training and Development Specialists

Training and development specialists plan and administer programs that improve the skills and knowledge of their employees.

Bachelor’s degree $60,870

Labor Relations Specialists

Labor relations specialists interpret and administer labor contracts.

Bachelor’s degree $67,790

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

O*NET

Compensation, Benefits, and Job Analysis Specialists


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 ).