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Benefits Specialist Salary (United States)

Earnings for Benefits Specialists in the United States typically come in at around $46K annually. Including potential for bonuses and profit sharing — peaking near $5K and $7K, respectively — total cash payment to Benefits Specialists can bottom out near $31K or peak near $62K depending on individual performance. Residence is the biggest factor affecting pay for this group, followed by experience level. A strong majority enjoy medical while the greater part get dental coverage. Vision coverage is also available to a majority. The vast majority of Benefits Specialists (88 percent) are women. Job satisfaction for Benefits Specialists is high. This outline is based on answers to PayScale's salary survey.
Benefits Specialist Salary (?
XAll compensation data shown are gross, national 10th to 90th percentile ranges. Pay can vary greatly by location. To view local data, take the PayScale survey.
)
$34,369 - $62,586
(Median)
34K
46K
55K
63K
MEDIAN: $46,036
10%
50%
75%
90%
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Benefits Specialist Salary (?
XAll compensation data shown are gross, national 10th to 90th percentile ranges. Pay can vary greatly by location. To view local data, take the PayScale survey.
)
$13.28 - $24.50
(Median)
13
17
21
24
MEDIAN: $17.00
10%
50%
75%
90%
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National Salary Data

 (?
XAll compensation data shown are gross, national 10th to 90th percentile ranges. Pay can vary greatly by location. To view local data, take the PayScale survey.
)
$0$21K$42K$63K
Salary
$34,369 - $62,586  
   
Bonus
$0.00 - $4,972  
Profit Sharing
$294.79 - $7,000  
Total Pay (?
XTotal Pay combines base annual salary or hourly wage, bonuses, profit sharing, tips, commissions, overtime pay and other forms of cash earnings, as applicable for this job. It does not include equity (stock) compensation, cash value of retirement benefits, or the value of other non-cash benefits (e.g. healthcare).
)
$31,240 - $61,855  
Country: United States | Currency: USD | Updated: 3 Sep 2014 | Individuals Reporting: 881
National Hourly Rate Data (?
XAll compensation data shown are gross, national 10th to 90th percentile ranges. Pay can vary greatly by location. To view local data, take the PayScale survey.
)
$0$13$26$39
Hourly Rate
$13.28 - $24.50  
   
Overtime
$19.70 - $37.60  
National Annualized Data (?
XAll compensation data shown are gross, national 10th to 90th percentile ranges. Pay can vary greatly by location. To view local data, take the PayScale survey.
)
$0$26K$52K$78K
Bonus
$0.00 - $4,972  
   
Profit Sharing
$294.79 - $7,000  
Total Pay (?
XTotal Pay combines base annual salary or hourly wage, bonuses, profit sharing, tips, commissions, overtime pay and other forms of cash earnings, as applicable for this job. It does not include equity (stock) compensation, cash value of retirement benefits, or the value of other non-cash benefits (e.g. healthcare).
)
$31,240 - $61,855  
Country: United States | Currency: USD | Updated: 3 Sep 2014 | Individuals Reporting: 345
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Job Description for Benefits Specialist

A company with a large number of employees holding company-sponsored benefits may have a benefits specialist. Much of the specialist's work involves administration of the organization’s health plan and providing information to employees related to these benefits. The benefits specialist helps select administrators of the organization’s employee retirement plans as well.
Read More...
Benefits Specialist Tasks
  • Participate in preparation and communication to employees about benefit programs, procedures, claims and any other government mandated disclosures.
  • Administer and provide specialized support for employee benefits programs.
  • Maintain records and procedures for the administration process.
  • Analyze employee benefits data to ensure accuracy, including service from third party vendors.

Common Career Paths for Benefits Specialist

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Benefits Specialists may go on to top-notch roles like Human Resources Director, where median pay is $78K annually. Benefits Specialists moving up in their careers tend to step into positions as Human Resources Generalists or Benefits Managers. The median paychecks in those roles are $2K higher and $22K higher, respectively.

Benefits Administrator Job Listings

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Popular Skills for Benefits Specialist

Survey results suggest that Benefits Specialists put a wide range of professional skills to use. Most notably, skills in ADP Benefits System, Leave of Absence Administration, Benefits Administration, and Benefits & Compensation are correlated to pay that is above average, with boosts of 18 percent, 5 percent, 4 percent, and 4 percent, respectively. Skills that pay less than market rate include Customer Service, Microsoft Word, and Microsoft Office. For most people, competency in Microsoft Excel indicates knowledge of Benefits Administration.

Pay by Experience Level for Benefits Specialist

Median of all compensation (including tips, bonus, and overtime) by years of experience.
Experience does not seem to be a strong driver of pay increase in this role. Salaries for the relatively untried average out to around $41K, but survey participants with five to 10 years of experience earn a significantly higher median of $46K. The average pay reported by folks with 10 to 20 years of experience is around $49K. Benefits Specialists with more than 20 years of experience report incomes that are only modestly higher; the median for these old hands hovers around $50K. In this field, workers tend to have anywhere from one to nine years of experience — of those surveyed, more than half land within this range. Experienced employees who have 10-20 years of experience make up close to a fourth of the workforce; inexperienced individuals who have been working for less than one year comprise less than five percent, and senior people with more than 20 years under their belt fill out the remaining fewer than one in ten.

Pay Difference By Location

Seattle
up arrow 25%
Minneapolis
up arrow 23%
Washington
up arrow 17%
Houston
up arrow 15%
Los Angeles
up arrow 14%
Austin
up arrow 12%
Portland
up arrow 8%
Dallas
up arrow 6%
up arrow 4%
up arrow 3%
National Average
$44,000
Phoenix
up arrow 5%
St. Louis
up arrow 8%
San Antonio
up arrow 9%
Pittsburgh
up arrow 20%
Larger circles over a city indicate a job is popular in that location.
For Benefits Specialists, working in the bustling city of Seattle has its advantages, including an above-average pay rate. Other big spenders include Minneapolis, Washington, Houston, and Los Angeles, top-paying cities where Benefits Specialists see paychecks higher than average (+23 percent, +17 percent, +15 percent, and +14 percent). The lowest-paying market is Pittsburgh, which sits 20 percent below the national average, proving that location is a significant contributor to overall pay. A couple other locations with smaller-than-average paychecks include San Antonio (9 percent lower) and St. Louis (8 percent lower).

Benefits Specialist Reviews

What is it like working as a Benefits Specialist?
Benefits Specialist in St. Paul:
"Challenging."
Pros: I like that every day is different. Every situation is different. Based on needs assessment, I help folks navigate through health care, work, and benefit options for their life. I also help folks access community resources. There's always something new to learn and it's often rewarding. Plus, my colleagues are great and they're open to respecting my trans* identity. (Hint: Payscale, you should have more than two options for gender.)
Cons: It can be challenging in not-so-good ways. This includes abusive callers who basically just called to yell at us, because clearly we're less than human since we're answering a phone line and don't deserve respect and decency. We also don't get communication about changes to health plans and benefits until our callers do or after they do. Additionally, there's a million little things we have to do that make the job nearly impossible. One of those is sending out surveys. There's only one day a week that is designated "Survey Day", and we have to send out 10 surveys a week. Because of how calls go and what callers are willing to do, the most I've ever sent out in a week is 7.

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Experience Affects Benefits Specialist Salaries

National Average
$44,000

Skills That Affect Benefits Specialist Salaries

ADP Benefits System
up arrow 18%
Benefits Administration
up arrow 4%
Benefits & Compensation
up arrow 2%
National Average
$44,000
Microsoft Excel
up arrow 2%
Microsoft Office
up arrow 3%
Customer Service
up arrow 8%

Job Satisfaction

Highly satisfied Image
Highly satisfied
Rated 4 out of 5 based on 268 votes.

Gender

Female
88%
female alumni
 
Male
12%
male alumni

Years of Experience

Less than 1 year
3%
1-4 years
34%
5-9 years
32%
10-19 years
24%
20 years or more
7%

Common Health Benefits

medical benefits Medical: 87% dental benefits Dental: 80%
vision benefits Vision: 67% employee benefits None: 11%