Benefits Administrator: Career and Salary Facts

Explore the career requirements for benefits administrators. Get the facts about educational requirements, job responsibilities, career outlook and salary to determine if this is the right career for you. Schools offering Human Resource Management degrees can also be found in these popular choices.

What is a Benefits Administrator?

Benefits administrators combine the complexity of employee benefits services with customer service tasks. Some of their duties and responsibilities may include setting company wage rates and pay structure, along with the benefit packages they offer. They often have to coordinate with benefit providers like insurance companies to make sure policies are clear and effective for the company employees. The table below contains important details about becoming a benefits administrator.

Degree Required Bachelor's degree
Education Field of Study Human resources management; psychology; business administration
Key Duties Create and manage benefit plans for employers
Certification Certification available, such as IFEBP
Job Growth (2014-2024) 6%*
Average Salary (2015) $121,630*

Source: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.

What Will I Do as a Benefits Administrator?

Employee retention requires a combination of factors, including an attractive employee benefits plan. Benefits administrators work on behalf of their companies to design, implement, monitor and manage benefits programs. In this position, you will ensure your company's benefits plan is up to date and in compliance with federal and state regulations.

You can expect to perform tasks related to handling employee complaints and acting as a mediator between employees and plan providers. You will also research methods to improve an employer's benefits package, such as locating and negotiating new programs. Benefits administrators also advise employees about plan features and their rights and responsibilities as related to selecting a plan. You should possess solid communication and customer service skills and knowledge of federal and state regulations.

What Education or Certification Should I Pursue?

Many employers prefer candidates who have a bachelor's degree in human resource management, psychology or business administration; however, degree requirements vary considerably. You should pursue courses in finance, business management and labor relations. You can also seek certification from a recognized organization, such as the International Foundation of Employee Benefit Plans (IFEBP). The IFEBP offers a certificate in Benefit Plan Administration, which focuses on working with vendors and efficiently communicating benefits to employees.

How Much Might I Earn?

The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) reports that compensation and benefits managers earned an average of $121,630 annually in 2015 (www.bls.gov). The majority of these employees worked directly for the companies whose benefits they managed.

The BLS predicted that job opportunities for compensation and benefits managers will increase by 6% between 2014 and 2024. This average growth is expected to be due to major changes in healthcare and rising healthcare costs, which may lead to companies limiting changes or increases in employee benefits. However, organizations are also becoming increasingly complex, meaning benefits managers are likely to be necessary team members.

What Are Some Related Alternative Careers?

If you are interested in employee benefits, you may also wish to consider other careers in the human resources field. For example, you could choose to become a human resources manager, which involves communicating with other company managers and acting as a liaison between them and employees. You could also become a compensation, benefits, and job analysis specialist, which involves looking at employees and their job positions to classify their wages and benefits level. These positions also require a bachelor's degree for entry-level positions.

To continue researching, browse degree options below for course curriculum, prerequisites and financial aid information. Or, learn more about the subject by reading the related articles below:

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