Compensation Certification Programs for HR Specialists

Human resources (HR) specialists can further their education by completing a compensation certificate program. These programs are available on campus and online through numerous colleges and universities.

Essential Information

Aspiring human resources compensation and benefits managers can reach industry competence benchmarks by obtaining compensation certification from relevant professional associations. Compensation certificate programs may consist of about six courses. These courses are designed to teach HR specialists to set and administer competitive and equitable employee compensation packages. This includes determining salaries, health insurance, raises, bonuses, retirement and other benefits.

  • Compensation Certification Fields of Study: Compensation strategy and design, benefits administration and health plan management
  • Prerequisites: Significant experience or a bachelor's degree in human resources or a related area is often required for admission
  • Other Requirements: Some institutions may admit students without undergraduate degrees if they have a strong background in the field

Certification in Compensation Programs for HR Specialists

Most certificate programs require completion of at least six courses related to employee compensation and benefits. Typical courses might include the following:

  • Compensation strategy and design
  • Welfare benefits administration
  • Retirement and health plan management
  • Compensation law and ethics
  • Employee bonuses and incentives
  • Equal opportunity employment

Employment Outlook and Salary Information

There were approximately 16,900 people in the United States employed as human resource compensation and benefits managers in 2014, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) ( There is predicted to be a 6% increase in jobs by 2022. Human resource compensation and benefits managers made a median annual salary of $108,070 in May 2014, reported the BLS.

Continuing Education

After earning a certificate in compensation and benefits, human resources professionals can pursue a graduate degree in human resources. Continuing education opportunities also are available through professional groups, such as the International Foundation of Education, Benefits and Compensation ( or the WorldAtWork Society of Certified Professionals ( Additionally, these organizations offer compensation certification, which typically requires passage of exams and proof of professional work experience.

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