Certified Compensation Professional Education Requirements

Learn about the education and preparation needed to become a Certified Compensation Professional. Get a quick view of the requirements as well as details about degree programs, job duties and licensure to find out if this is the career for you.

Certified Compensation Professionals (CCP) work in human resources, helping companies determine compensation for their employees. There are no formal education requirements, but most CCPs have at least a bachelor's degree, with many holding graduate degrees.

Essential Information

A Certified Compensation Professional is an individual with training and knowledge in matters relating to employee compensation and associated human resource issues. The CCP designation is administered by the WorldatWork Society of Certified Professionals, a professional organization for human resource employees. Compensation and benefits managers need at least a bachelor's degree, and many employers prefer that job candidates have a master's degree.

Required Education A bachelor's degree in human resources, business administration or a related field
Certification Voluntary CCP designation
Projected Job Growth (2014-2024) 6%*
Median Annual Salary (May 2015) $111,430*

Source: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

Education Requirements

Aspiring compensation and benefits managers should complete an undergraduate degree program in human resources, business administration or a related field to qualify for positions in the field. However, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) notes that many employers in this field prefer to hire people who have a Master of Business Administration (MBA), a master's degree in human resources management or a related graduate degree (www.bls.gov).

There are no formal education requirements to pursue CCP certification; however, knowledge of compensation, performance-based pay, market pricing, variable pay and employee analysis, among other topics, is needed to pass the nine exams required to earn certification. These exams also cover total rewards management, accounting and compensation program regulations. Candidates have eight years to pass all of the exams and obtain certification.


To maintain their credentials, CCPs must earn 12 credits of continuing education every 36 months. They can earn these credits by attending conferences, completing educational courses and teaching classes.

Career Information

According to the BLS, overall employment of compensation and benefits managers was projected to increase by 6% from 2014-2024, which was significantly below average. Candidates with certification and a graduate degree, coupled with several years' experience, are forecast to have the best job opportunities.

As of May 2015, compensation and benefits managers had a median annual salary of $111,430 per the BLS.

Certified Compensation Professionals are usually required to hold a bachelor's degree in a related field, but some employers may also prefer a master's degree. Designation as a Certified Compensation Professional requires specialized knowledge of the field and passing several competency exams; re-certification calls for continuing education courses.

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