Job description

Compensation and benefits managers plan, develop and administer programmes to pay and compensate employees. They set a company’s pay and benefits structure and ensure that it is current, competitive and in compliance with legal regulations.

Managers collaborate with benefits vendors, insurance brokers and investment managers to determine the best programmes. They also analyse and monitor data on wages and salaries to ensure their company offers competitive compensation plans to staff.


    • Plan, develop and administer pay and benefit programmes
    • Plan and oversee staff activities and performance
    • Improve existing compensation plans and develop competitive wage rates
    • Recommend new compensation and benefits policies
    • Distribute pay and benefits information to employees
    • Ensure programmes comply with federal and state regulations
    • Collaborate with benefits vendors, insurance brokers and investment managers
    • Liaise with senior staff, human resources managers and financial officers
    • Analyse and monitor data and trends on wages and salaries
    • Place and maintain programme budget
    • Create pay-for-performance plans
    • Determine retirement plans, leave policies, wellness programs and insurance policies

Skills and qualities

Customer service

Job outlook

Projected growth
The projected growth rate of employment in the US from 2016 to 2026, based on data collected through the BLS Employment Projections (EP) programme. The national average growth rate for all professions is 7%.


New jobs
The number of jobs projected to become available in the US between 2016 and 2026, based on data collected through the BLS Employment Projections (EP) programme.


Automation risk
The probability of computerisation, based on data published in ‘The Future of Employment’, a 2013 working paper by Carl Benedikt Frey and Michael Osborne.


Career progression

With enough experience and qualifications, this role offers you the chance to progress to compensation director, employee benefits director or higher paid positions such as financial manager. There is also the opportunity to move into human resources and become a HR manager.

Working conditions

Average hours

40h/ week

Typical schedule

Full Time

Standard business hours

Compensation and benefits managers are office-based and work for a variety of industries in small and large-scale companies.

Their job involves working via computer and communicating through email and telephone. You may face unhappy employees who have complaints about company structure and salaries, but you will also encounter happy employees who make you feel like you’re making a difference in the organisation.


Bottom 10%




Top 10%


Annual salary estimates are based on percentile wage data collected through the Occupational Employment Statistics (OES) survey of US workers.

Qualifications and training

Education level


Bachelor’s degree in HR or related field

Study time

4 years

Compensation and benefits managers require at least a bachelor’s degree in either human resources, business administration, business management, finance or a related field. Most hiring managers will look for individuals with previous work experience as compensation, benefits and job analysis specialists. It is also beneficial if you have had work experience in human resources, finance or management.

Certification is not a prerequisite when applying for a manager role, although being certified can demonstrate more expertise. Those with several years of work experience can qualify for a certifying exam. Associations such as the International Foundation of Employee Benefit Plans (IFEBP) and WorldatWork that offer certification programmes for aspiring compensation and benefits managers.

Last Updated: Wednesday, November 2, 2022

Perfect career wave

Search for jobs

Find compensation manager vacancies near you