Compensation Analyst: Job Description and Education Requirements

Learn about the education and preparation needed to become a compensation analyst. Get an overview of the requirements - including degree programs, job duties and certification options - to find out if this is the career for you.

Essential Information

Compensation analysts play an integral role as part of a corporation's human resources team. They ensure that employee salaries are both competitive and reasonable. Applicants usually need a bachelor's degree and previous compensation experience. This position requires applicants who are able to communicate effectively with people of all job levels and personalities.

Required Education Bachelor's degree
Certification Voluntary Certified Compensation Professional credential
Projected Job Growth (2012-2022)* 6%
Average Salary (2013)* $63,310

Source: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

Job Description

Compensation analysts conduct analysis on internal and external salary statistics. Based on the information collected, they recommend, develop and implement an appropriate employee compensation structure. This structuring involves configuring pay grades and evaluating new employee titles and ongoing reclassification.

Compensation analysts also might create and apply employee incentive plans to maintain and attract talent. They work in partnership with the rest of the human resources team to ensure that compensation and bonus programs can compete with other businesses.

This position requires applicants who are able to communicate effectively with people of all job levels and personalities. Compensation analysts must have good evaluation skills and the ability to convey information in legible reports to their human resources and executive groups. Since most compensation analysts assist in writing job descriptions, writing skills are also valuable.

Education Requirements

Compensation, benefits, and job analysis specialists need a bachelor's degree in a field such as human resources, business administration or finance. Common course topics in a human resources bachelor's degree program include compensation, benefits, management, ethics, communication and economics.

Most prospective employers also require applicants to possess relevant work experience. Aspiring compensation analysts can gain experience by working in entry-level human resources positions before applying for analyst positions. This training will ensure that the applicant has some experience working with employees in a human resources environment.

Certification is available for those who wish to demonstrate their knowledge and potentially advance their careers. World at Work offers the Certified Compensation Professional exam (www.worldatwork.org). The International Foundation of Employee Benefit Plans offers continuing education opportunities and designations in compensation management, group benefits, retirement plans and total compensation (www.ifebp.org).

Salary and Job Outlook

The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics projects slower-than-average employment growth of 6% for compensation, benefits and job analysis specialists from 2012-2022 (www.bls.gov). These professionals earned an average annual salary of $63,310 in 2013, while managers in the area of compensation and benefits made an average annual salary of $112,040 that same year.

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