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What is the Job Market Outlook for Compensation Managers?

Job Market Outlook October 14, 2013

Compensation managers are in charge of analyzing benefits plans, which is an important part of retaining quality employees and helping a company to become more efficient.

Benefits managers work in retirement, health insurance, and all areas of business that have the most impact on the quality of life. Considering the importance of this job, which will involve working with pay structure and adjusting benefits offerings, employers scrutinize resumes closely.

More about the Job Outlook

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the career field is predicted to grow at a rate of three percent over the next ten years. This is limited growth, especially when compared to other clerical or accounting positions. Obviously, recession takes its toll, but the benefits manager continues to be an integral part of employer-employee negotiations.

This managerial role is pivotal to the success of a company and so companies do not let these workers go if at all possible, and do not create more jobs than are needed. The ones that do find work are the most educated, rising above entry-level positions and usually coming to apply with advanced degrees.

Furthermore, professional certification is becoming an industry standard, as this shows employers that you are equipped to handle whatever challenges might arise, you having honed your critical thinking and problem solving skills. Another advantage is gaining experience with high-profile and complex benefits plans, so that you can, one day, tell an employer that you are familiar with how the system works.

Even if you are just serving in an assistant’s role, this is valuable work experience and companies want to know that they do not have to spend an excessive amount of time teaching you industry-standard systems.

Expectations for This Profession

The salary for this career position is very good, and can range upwards of $160,000, though the average is closer to $92,000. Even the lowest earners in the industry averaged over $53,000 on average.

Of course, how much you actually make will depend on where you locate, how much education you can boast, and more importantly, what skill set you bring with you. You’re only as good as the value you present and that is subject to fluctuation with the local market.

A bachelor’s degree is the safest choice, as this is a managerial position and so textbook know-how is expected. Of course, a bachelor’s degree is minimal, and many of your peers will go onto earn their master’s degree just to accelerate their careers. A concentration in business administration would be an excellent study course, though the subjects of finance, management theory and accounting are also considered related to the profession.

Above all, practice on perfecting your skill set, demonstrating your analytical abilities, as well as your decision making abilities as a business leader. Your communication skills are definitely a factor.

Specializing in a job niche, such as military, navy, and so on, can also be a smart move. Last but not least, consider the importance of certification, including the titles of Certified Compensation Professional and Certified Benefits Professional.

If you have the willingness to work hard and learn as much as you can early on, you can look forward to a bright and long-term career as a compensation manager.

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