Career Detail

Employee Benefits Specialists
“It's All About the Benefits”
Manage a company's employee benefits programs, such as the health insurance and retirement savings plans for its workers.
The Job
Expertise in designing and administering benefits programs continues to take on an important role in business and organizational strategy. Pension benefits might include a 401K or thrift savings, profit-sharing, and stock ownership plans; health benefits might include long-term catastrophic illness insurance and dental insurance. Familiarity with health benefits is a top priority for employee benefits managers and specialists, as more firms struggle to cope with the rising cost of health care for employees and retirees. In addition to health insurance and pension coverage, some firms offer employees life and accidental death and dismemberment insurance, disability insurance, and relatively new benefits designed to meet the needs of a changing workforce, such as parental leave, child and elder care, long-term nursing home care insurance, employee assistance and wellness programs, and flexible benefits plans. Benefits managers must keep abreast of changing Federal and State regulations and legislation that may affect employee benefits.
Work Environment
Human resources work usually takes place in clean, pleasant, and comfortable office settings.
College Majors
human resources, human resources administration,industrial and labor relations
Minimum Qualifications
In filling entry-level jobs, many employers seek college graduates who have majored in human resources, human resources administration, or industrial and labor relations. Other employers look for college graduates with a technical or business background or a well-rounded liberal arts education.
Personality traits helpful for this career
work with or supervise people with various cultural backgrounds, levels of education, and experience
Quick Facts
  • Benefits managers must keep abreast of changing Federal and State regulations and legislation that may affect employee benefits.
  • More Info: International Foundation of Employee Benefit Plans, 18700 W. Bluemound Rd., P.O. Box 69, Brookfield, WI 53008-0069. Internet:
Compensation and Outlook
Median annual wages of compensation and benefits managers were $86,500 in May 2008. The middle 50 percent earned between $64,930 and $113,480. The lowest 10 percent earned less than $49,350, and the highest 10 percent earned more than $147,050.
Comments and Updates
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