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Career Definition of an Employee Benefits Consultant
Whether an employer offers a retirement savings plan or life insurance can be determined from the recommendations of an employee benefits consultant. These consultants are contracted by companies to advise them on their benefits packages. In order to do this they evaluate the needs of each company while taking into consideration factors such as company philosophies.
Employee benefits consultants typically work as part of a team and use researchers and other staff to acquire as much information as possible on all benefits options. They explore costs and benefits of different health plans and other types of insurance that may be needed by a company. They present information to the companies that hire them and provide recommendations about which options are most ideal. In some cases, employee benefits consultants may specialize as employee benefits financial consultants and provide recommendations about investment options for retirement funds. Employee benefits consultants may oversee benefits packages once they've been established and look after things like renewing insurance plans and reviewing claims.
|Educational Requirements||Bachelor's degree|
|Job Skills||Multitasking, communicating, presenting, organizing, decision-making, analyzing, computing, working as a team|
|Median Salary (2018)*||$79,000|
|Job Outlook (2016-2026)**||9% (compensation, benefits and job analysis specialists)|
Sources: *PayScale.com; **U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics
A bachelor's degree is required to become an employee benefits consultant. Studies in human resources, business or economics can benefit those planning to enter this field. Earning Certified Employee Benefit Specialist credentials can be an asset. Those planning a career in this industry may also take an exam to earn a life and health insurance license.
Employee benefits consultants need to have strong analytical skills because their work involves assessing both the needs of their clients and the options they have for employee benefits. Strong decision-making skills are important to reach conclusions about recommendations for their clients. They also must have excellent communication skills so that they can effectively present their assessments to their clients. Since they often work for more than one company and are handling different clients at the same time, they also should be able to multitask.
Career Outlook and Salary
PayScale.com provides 2018 income data for employee benefits consultants. They reported the median annual salary for these consultants as $79,000. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) does not report statistics for employee benefits consultants. However, from 2016 to 2026 the BLS expects compensation, benefits and job analysis specialists to see job growth of 9%.
Alternate careers that involve comparable skills or duties are discussed in the articles linked below. Those considering a career as an employee benefits consultant can explore the distinction between benefits consultants and compensation managers, human resource specialists and benefits managers.