Certified Compensation Professional Education Requirements

Aug 21, 2019

Learn about certified compensation professionals (CCP) and how to get your CCP certification. 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.

What Is a Certified Compensation Professional?

Certified compensation professionals (CCP) work in human resources, helping companies determine compensation for their employees. They are responsible for overseeing the distribution of compensation information among an organization's employees, along with researching competitive industry rates and modifying compensation plans accordingly. 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 (2016-2026) 5%*
Median Annual Salary (May 2018) $121,010*

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).

What Is CCP Certification?

All certified compensation professionals require their CCP designation, administered by the WorldatWork Society of Certified Professionals - a professional organization for human resource employees. This demonstrates the individual's knowledge in how to design and implement effective compensation programs, adhering to legal and regulatory requirements, and communicating essential compensation information.

CCP Certificate Programs

Completing a CCP certificate program involves passing a series of exams, which touch upon topics such as total rewards management; job analysis, documentation, and evaluation; and accounting and finance. CCP certification costs can be determined by contacting WorldatWork for registration.

How To Get CCP Certification

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. To start their recertification, individuals must begin their Recertification Application form at the WorldatWork website, where all their credits will be recorded.

Maintaining your certification can help you stay on top of the latest trends and industry changes within your field. Such continued training can also help expand your professional network, gain further credibility, and help you advance in your overall career.

Career Information

According to the BLS, overall employment of compensation and benefits managers was projected to increase by 5% from 2016-2026, about as fast as the national average. Candidates with certification and a graduate degree, coupled with several years' experience, are forecast to have the best job opportunities.

As of May 2018, compensation and benefits managers had a median annual salary of $121,010 per the BLS.

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