What Is a Certified Employee Benefits Specialist?

A certified employee benefit specialist ensures that employee benefit programs are running smoothly and answers employee questions about benefits. In this career, you may earn certification to become a certified employee benefits specialist or a certified benefits specialist. Read on to learn more about the job requirements and education to work in this field. Schools offering Human Resource Management degrees can also be found in these popular choices.

Career Overview

The concept of employee benefits can be quite confusing and complex. As a benefits specialist, it's your job to make sure your company's benefits programs are running smoothly and that employees understand their benefits. You may help explain programs, answer questions about coverage, or help employees enroll in benefits programs. You may manage health insurance, life insurance, and retirement plan programs.

To effectively do your job, you need to fully understand the types of benefits offered and how each program works. You may negotiate new programs or coverage plans. It may also be your job to ensure benefit programs are cost-effective for your employer and affordable for employees. Additionally, you make sure that programs are a good value and helpful to employees.

Important Facts About This Occupation

Salary (2014) $60,600 ('compensation, benefits, and job analysis specialists')
Job Outlook (2014-2024) 4% ('compensation, benefits, and job analysis specialists')
On-the-Job Training Employers may require up to five years work experience in a related field
Professional Certifications Group Benefits Associate, Retirement Plans Associate, Compensation Management Specialist

Source: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

Education

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS, www.bls.gov), you likely need to have at least a bachelor's degree in human resources, labor relations, or other management field to become an employee benefits specialist. Individuals with experience in addition to a formal education may be given employment preference in a competitive field.

Certification

To prove your skills, knowledge, and abilities in the field of employee benefit management, you can earn a professional certification. Two options for certification are the Certified Employee Benefits Specialist (CEBS) and the Certified Benefits Professional (CBP) designations.

CEBS Designation

The Certified Employee Benefits Specialist (CEBS) designation is a professional certification offered by the International Foundation of Employee Benefit Plans in conjunction with the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania (www.ifebp.org). To earn the designation, you must complete the CEBS program, which includes eight courses that cover employee compensation and benefits topics.

CBP Designation

The Certified Benefits Professional (CBP) designation is offered by the WorldatWork Society of Certified Professionals (www.worldatworksociety.org). Earning the CBP requires completion of seven examinations. Exams are multiple-choice and cover benefit management, planning, and principles.

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