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How Can You Benefit as a Benefits Manager?

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In this article, you'll discover what certifications are needed to become a benefits manager, what a benefits manager's responsibilities are, and what the current job market looks like.

I remember a time when my parents paid for my health insurance. Life was easier back then. Less worries, less responsibilities, less money leaving the bank. However, when the time finally did come for me to start paying on my own, I began to appreciate my company’s benefits manager a lot more. While he didn’t pay for my benefits (wouldn’t that be nice?), he provided and coordinated the benefits package in a way that was easy to understand. Had he not been a part of the company or diligent in his work, I would have had to spend time researching complex packages on my own, which, no doubt, would have left me frustrated and confused.

Thank goodness for the benefits manager.

But what kinds of qualifications are needed for this important HR job? What are the responsibilities? And what does the current job market in HR look like? Let’s dive in and explore these issues.

What Are the Qualifications and Certifications of a Benefits Manager? Invest in Becoming a Certified Employee Benefits Specialist

Gilda Chan, a benefits manager for Jenny Craig, graduated with a degree in business administration and a concentration in human resources. However, this is only one of many combinations you can choose from to become a benefits manager.

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, some universities and colleges provide majors that emphasize personnel, human resources, or labor relations. Schools may even have degrees in human resources administration, human resources management, or compensation and benefits. If a college doesn’t offer that type of degree, consider majoring in education, business administration, organizational development, communications, or public administration.

Taking classes in social sciences, business, and behavioral sciences is also helpful, as a job in human resources requires an interdisciplinary background.

Those interested in advancing their careers as benefits managers should also consider investing in becoming a Certified Employee Benefits Specialist (CEBP), a qualification which is touted as a “standard of excellence” in the industry.

“I would encourage anyone that is interested in human resources to pursue continuous education in the area of human resources,” says Chan. “I think basic keys to success in human resources [are] to understand the business, understand your employees, know the employment laws, and be comfortable with the gray areas of human resources.”

Responsibilities of a Benefits Manager Include Planning, Organizing, and Controlling Benefit Services for Employees

Typically, a benefits manager has a myriad of responsibilities. From planning, organizing, and controlling benefit services for employees to developing departmental budgets and coordinating operational activities with other companies, a benefits manager must not only be able to work well with others, but create and execute ideas that will benefit the company.

As Chan says of her job, “I am constantly seeking ways to improve processes and find more options to provide information to our employees.”

Some of Chan’s other responsibilities include coordinating health and welfare benefit plans, leaves of absences, and recruiting for Jenny Craig’s home office. But her hard work pays off.

“One of the unique characteristics about our human resources department…[is] the many employees that have joined the Jenny Craig team because they want to help others and make a difference. It is a feeling that [exists] throughout the Company. It is wonderful to work for a company where so many employees enjoy what they do and find rewards that are priceless.”

The Current Job Market for Benefits Managers

According to, the average amount a U.S. benefits manager makes in a year is $85,161, but salaries can range anywhere between $71,532 and $100,646.

The Bureau of Labor Statistics also notes that college graduates who have earned their certifications will have a strong chance of finding a job in human resources.


So, if you’re interested in helping fellow employees through this important work, consider becoming a benefits manager today. You’ll not only help organize and grow your company, you’ll help guide employees as well. In other words, everyone benefits. What could be better?
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Popular tags:

 business administration  Certified Employee Benefits Specialist  benefits  degrees  social sciences  labor laws  resources management  schools  offices  Bureau of Labor Statistics

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