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Hot MBA Jobs: Benefits and Compensation Manager

benefits and compensation manager

In order for a business to succeed, the hiring and retaining of a talented workforce is essential. Few positions are as integral to a company’s overall health as benefits and compensation manager. For those looking to enter the field, earning an advanced degree can provide a competitive edge and the must-have skills necessary for success.

Role of a Benefits and Compensation Manager?

The primary responsibilities of a benefits and compensation manager include designing, overseeing and implementing the compensation and benefits programs for a company, i.e., they direct and develop programs which decide how much and how an organization’s employees are paid.

Benefits managers may also plan and coordinate retirement plans, health insurance and any other benefits available to employees within the company. The benefits and compensation manager typically works closely with management and is responsible for the collection and maintenance of accurate employee records.

Additional duties may include:

  • Monitoring payroll interface to ensure compliance and data accuracy
  • Researching competitor compensation and benefits packages
  • Creating policies and procedures
  • Managing third party HR vendor resources, such as brokers and consultants

Job Outlook for Benefits and Compensation Managers

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), there is positive growth predicted over the next few years for those in the Benefits Manager field, with an expected 6% growth through 2024. In 2014, there were 16,900 jobs available in the field, and the 2015 median pay for a Benefits Manager was $111,430 per hour.

Compensation and Benefits Manager Education

How Can an MBA Help Me Become a Compensation and Benefits Manager?

Although an MBA or advanced degree is not a requirement for this position, the impact that a skilled Benefits Manager can have on an organization has led many companies to favor candidates with many years of experience or an advanced degree. Earning an MBA with a specialization in Benefits Management can help provide hands-on experience in the field, and therefore demonstrate to potential employers that you have experience performing complex financial analysis.

When considering a candidate with their MBA in HR Management, employers can be sure that that individual has demonstrated success in financial management and budgeting, structuring benefits packages and measuring their success, making informed decisions based on data, etc.

What About an MS in Benefits and Compensation Management?

Some individuals looking to earn an advanced degree may choose to earn a specialized master’s degree in human resources management. Though they seem similar, there are differences between a specialized master’s and an MBA with an HR concentration.

There are a number of factors to consider in choosing which degree is right for you, such as academic interest, salary and career goals. While a specialized master’s will provide direct training for the field, an MBA provides a wider base of business education with the chance to dive deeper into human resources. While an MBA program is typically more expensive than an MS HRM, it can open the door to higher level management roles and increased salaries.

Which Schools Have the Best Programs for an MBA in Benefits Management?

There are many business schools throughout the country that offer MBA programs with a concentration in HR Benefits Management. Some of the top programs available are:

  1. Stanford University – Graduate School of Business
  2. Northwestern University – Kellogg School of Management
  3. The University of Chicago – Booth School of Business
  4. UC Berkeley – Haas School of Business
  5. Vanderbilt – Owen Graduate School of Business
  6. USC – Marshall School of Business
  7. Purdue University- Krannert School of Management
  8. Michigan State University- Eli Broad College of Business
  9. University of Wisconsin- Wisconsin School of Business
  10. University of Michigan – Stephen M. Ross School of Business

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About the Author

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Alanna Shaffer

Staff Writer, covering MetroMBA's news beat for Atlanta, Houston, and Dallas.

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