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Degrees and Schools
Some schools provide degrees in compensation and benefits. Bachelor's and master's degrees are available in the subjects of human resources, labor relations and business administration.
Certification is typically not required for the job, however certification is preferred by some employers and certification can enhance career opportunities. Compensation and benefits managers can acquire professional certifications from notable organizations including International Foundation of Employee Benefit Plans, the International Public Management Association for Human Resources and the Society for Human Resource Management.
Students typically study the following subjects:
- Human resources
- Personnel administration
- Public administration
- Instructional technology
- Organizational structure
- Training and development
Online Classes and Programs
An online bachelor's degree in compensation management is available. Online programs are also available in subjects such as human resources, business administration and labor relations.
It's important for students to take an online program which has been accredited by an agency approved by the United States Department of Education or the Council for Higher Education.
Most compensation and benefits managers have at least a bachelor's degree and many have a master's or a doctoral degree. They typically have a degree in human resources, business administration or labor relations. Being proficient with computers, especially database software, is also important.
Many companies, particularly median size and large companies, employ compensation and benefits managers. They also work for local, state and federal governments, colleges and school systems.
How to Evaluate Schools and Programs
The answers to the following questions can help students select the appropriate school:
- Training - Are students provided an externship in a human resources or a related department?
- School's Reputation - What kind of reputation does the school have with local employers?
- Job Placement - Are job placement services available? Does the school provide job fairs?
- Curriculum - Can students specialize in their subject of interest?
- Financial Aid - What types of financial aid are available? Has the school been approved to provide federal financial aid?
- Accreditation - Is the school accredited by an agency that has been approved by the Council for Higher Education or the United States Department of Education?
Compensation and Benefits Managers Job Description
Compensation and benefits managers create systems that determine competitive wages and benefit packages for an organization's employees. It's vital for a company to keep its quality employees, so providing competitive salaries and benefits is essential.
Their role is especially important in large companies and in the federal government since the salary structure and benefits plans they create need to be consistent throughout the entire organization. In most organizations, the compensation and benefits manager has staff members who specialize in a specific area such as salary structures, pay scales, employee benefits programs and performance evaluation systems.
Shown below are some of their responsibilities:
- Classify jobs based on their importance to the organization and their level of responsibility
- Determine the optimal pay structure and benefits packages
- Direct work activities of staff members
- Prepare job classifications and salary scales
- Research salaries and benefits provided by other employers in the same business sector
- Negotiate with union representatives regarding issues relating to pay and benefits
- Perform salary surveys
- Stay up-to-date with federal and state laws and regulations
- International Foundation of Employee Benefit Plans
- International Public Management Association for Human Resources
- Society for Human Resource Management
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