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 degrees in human resources, finance, business management, business administration; master's degrees may be required for some positions
Career Outlook (2016-2026) 9% (compensation, benefits, and job analysis specialists)
Salary (2017 median)$62,680 (compensation, benefits, and job analysis specialists)

Source: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

What Do Compensation Professionals Do?

Compensation professionals work in nearly every industry to administer, update and choose benefit policies for their organizations. In addition to finding fair pay rates, compensation professionals also design equity strategies, sales incentive plans and global pay structures for employees. They often specialize in certain compensation areas, such as position classifications or pensions. Competition for positions as compensation professionals is expected to be high, and candidates with advanced degrees and certification can expect to have the best opportunities.

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, benefits and job analysis specialists need at least a bachelor's degree, but some jobs require master's degrees.

What Kind of Degree Do I Need?

As a compensation professional, you would need to have a bachelor's degree in a related field, which may include one of the following:

  • Human resources
  • Business management
  • Finance
  • Business administration

Because job competition is high, earning a certification may increase the likelihood of obtaining a job and give you the best options for employment.

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.

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.

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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