Compensation Certification Programs for HR Specialists

Apr 23, 2020

Essential Information

Aspiring human resources compensation and benefits managers can reach industry competence benchmarks by obtaining compensation certification from relevant professional associations. To begin a compensation certificate program, students must have either significant professional experience or a bachelor's degree in human resources or a related field. Programs feature fields of study in compensation strategy and design, benefits administration and health plan management. 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.

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 16,400 people in the United States employed as human resource compensation and benefits managers in 2018, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) ( There is predicted to be a 3% increase in jobs by 2028. Human resource compensation and benefits managers made a median annual salary of $122,270 in May 2019, 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.

Compensation certificate programs allow HR specialists to show competence in their industry and provide a path to even further education. Students explore a wide range of subjects related to employee compensation and benefits.

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