Compensation, Benefits, and Job Analysis Specialists

Career, Salary and Education Information

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What Compensation, Benefits, and Job Analysis Specialists Do[About this section] [To Top]

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 of Compensation, Benefits, and Job Analysis Specialists

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 for Compensation, Benefits, and Job Analysis Specialists[About this section] [To Top]

Compensation, benefits, and job analysis specialists hold about 84,700 jobs and work 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.

Compensation, Benefits, and Job Analysis Specialist Work Schedules

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

How to Become a Compensation, Benefits, or Job Analysis Specialist[About this section] [To Top]

Get the education you need: Find schools for Compensation, Benefits, and Job Analysis Specialists near you!

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

Compensation, Benefits, and Job Analysis Specialist 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 for Compensation, Benefits, and Job Analysis Specialists

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 for Compensation, Benefits, and Job Analysis Specialists

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.

Compensation, Benefits, and Job Analysis Specialist Salaries[About this section] [More salary/earnings info] [To Top]

The median annual wage for compensation, benefits, and job analysis specialists is $60,600. 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 $38,540, and the highest 10 percent earned more than $96,360.

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

Job Outlook for Compensation, Benefits, and Job Analysis Specialists[About this section] [To Top]

Employment of compensation, benefits, and job analysis specialists is projected to grow 4 percent through 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.

Compensation, Benefits, and Job Analysis Specialists 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 Employment, 2014 Projected Employment, 2024 Change, 2014-24
Percent Numeric
Compensation, benefits, and job analysis specialists 84,700 88,100 4 3,400


*Some content used by permission of the Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor.

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