Benefits Specialist Salary
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...
Much of the specialist’s job is ascertaining the best benefit plans for the company to offer. The specialist is expected to take into account not only the utility of health plans to employees, but the costs involved as well. The benefits specialist is expected to maintain ongoing research on available plans an ongoing fashion. If the specialist feels the company and employees may benefit from a plan switch, they must design and execute all aspects of moving the organization’s personnel to any new plans.
Another job of the benefits specialist is keeping employees on the best-performing and most stable 401(k)s and similar retirement plans. The specialist is expected to perform detailed analysis for the financial branch of the company showing the expected matching costs and affordability to the organization. The other side of this coin is presenting employees with a plan administrator that provides the organization’s personnel with choices, stability, and growth.
To work as a benefits specialist, a person must typically possess a bachelor’s degree in some sort of human resources-related discipline, and many organizations prefer postgraduate education in this field. A benefits specialist typically works in an office environment during regular business hours.
Benefits Specialist Tasks
- Maintain records and procedures for the administration process.
- Analyze employee benefits data to ensure accuracy, including service from third party vendors.
- 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.
Common Career Paths for Benefits Specialist
Benefits Specialists who go on to become Compensation & Benefits Managers may see their salaries climb quite a bit. Median pay for Compensation & Benefits Managers is $81K annually. Human Resources Generalists or Benefits Managers are common next-step roles for Benefits Specialists moving up in their careers; annual pay for Human Resources Generalists is $3K higher on average, and it's $24K higher for Benefits Managers.
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Popular Skills for Benefits Specialist
Survey results imply that Benefits Specialists deploy a substantial tool kit of skills at work. Most notably, skills in ADP Benefits System, Data Analysis, 401k Plan Administration, and Human Resources Information System are correlated to pay that is above average, with boosts between 8 percent and 13 percent. Skills that seem to negatively impact pay include Insurance, Human Resources, and Oral / Verbal Communication. Those educated in Benefits Administration tend to be well versed in Microsoft Office.
Pay by Experience Level for Benefits Specialist
Median of all compensation (including tips, bonus, and overtime) by years of experience.
Experience and pay tend to be weakly linked for Benefits Specialists — those with more experience do not necessarily bring in higher earnings. Relatively untried employees who have less than five years' experience make $41K, but folks with five to 10 years under their belts enjoy an appreciably larger median of $47K. People with 10 to 20 years of experience make an average of about $49K in this role. Veterans who have worked for more than two decades do tend to make the most in the end; the median pay for this group is $53K.
Pay Difference by Location
Home to some of the best pay for Benefits Specialists, Los Angeles offers exceptional salaries, 20 percent above the national average. Benefits Specialists will also find cushy salaries in Washington (+17 percent), Seattle (+15 percent), Nashville (+12 percent), and Dallas (+12 percent). Those in the field find the lowest salaries in Oklahoma City, 12 percent below the national average. Employers also pay below the national average in Baltimore (6 percent lower) and Portland (3 percent lower).