Certified Compensation Professional: Career and Education Profile

Learn about certifications available for compensation professionals. Find out about education requirements to work in this field, as well as salary and job outlook information. Schools offering Human Resource Management degrees can also be found in these popular choices.

What You Need To Know

The primary job function of compensation professionals is to find fair and equitable pay rates for a company's employees. Compensation professionals have several certification options. Although no minimum education is typically required to sit for these certifications, the job itself requires a bachelor's or master's degree.

Degrees Bachelor's at minimum, master's for some positions
Career Outlook (2012-2022) +3% for all compensation and benefits managers, slower than average
Salary (2014 Median)$108,070 for all compensation and benefits managers

Source: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

What Do Compensation Professionals Do?

In addition to finding fair pay rates, compensation professionals also design equity strategies, sales incentive plans and global pay structures for employees at an organization. They often specialize in certain compensation areas, such as position classifications or pensions.

How Can I Get a Certified Compensation Professional Credential?

The Compensation Institute at the WorldatWork Society of Certified Professionals offers several certification options for compensation professionals. All certifications require passing certification exams. The first-level credential is the Certified Compensation Professional (CCP) or the Global Remuneration Professional (GRP). These certifications demonstrate that you have the essential skills for working in compensation and that you have the ability to design and administer basic compensation programs. These credentials require passing 10 essential skills exams.

The next level is the Advanced Certified Compensation Professional (ACCP). This credential demonstrates your ability to manage compensation programs and to use advanced analysis techniques. To earn this credential, you must have earned the CCP or GRP and pass the ACCP certification exam.

The Master Certified Compensation Professional (MCCP) is the highest level of certification offered. To earn an MCCP, you must have earned the ACCP and complete a set of essay questions, a case study and a presentation.

Other related certifications offered by the WorldatWork Society include the Certified Executive Compensation Professional and the Certified Sales Compensation Professional.

What Is the Employment Outlook?

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), compensation and benefits managers earned a median annual salary of $108,070 in 2014. The BLS projects jobs for these workers to increase at a slower-than-average rate of 3% from 2012 to 2022. Individuals who possess a master's degree or certification should have the most promising job prospects, according to the BLS.

What Are the Educational Requirements?

The WorldatWork Society does not state that there are educational requirements for taking certification exams, but they provide exam preparation courses. According to the BLS, compensation and benefits managers need at least a bachelor's degree, but some jobs require master's degrees. Relevant degree programs include those in human resources, business management or administration or finance.

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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