Benefits Manager Salary

By Henry R. Steele - January 8, 2018
Reading Time: 9 minutes

The following article discusses the career path of Benefits Manager. Learn about how to become one, education requirements, job duties, traits and qualities, national salary outlook as well as top national employers of Benefits Managers.

Job Duties

Benefits managers are usually part of the overall HR department of the organization. Their primary aim is to ensure all matters relating to employee benefits are properly handled. Usually, if they work in medium to large organizations, this focuses on programs relating to health care insurance, although other elements can also be included.

See also 14 Great Jobs to Get with a Bachelor’s Degree in Business

There are two key benefits that matter to employees. The first is their health insurance as sponsored by their employer, and the second is their paid vacation time. These are both administered by benefits managers. Additionally, they help to determine whether an employee is eligible for certain benefits, gathering all relevant documentation to support this. They manage various claim forms for their employees as well, ensuring that their employer-sponsored health insurance is properly managed.

The benefits managers’ greatest workload has to do with insurance. At the same time, they are responsible for the proper maintenance of databases in which employee vacation and sick day eligibility is maintained. They also ensure that the right people can access the right elements of this database. In so doing, all departments can ensure they are as productive as possible.

Other job duties of a benefits manager include:

  • Making sure that all programs and plans are compliant with relevant governmental regulations
  • Ensuring that vendor services are properly delivered as outlined in service level agreements
  • Being responsible for the recruitment, training, and retention of benefits staff, ensuring that they are capable of responding to any employee queries relating to the benefits program
  • Suggesting changes to the benefits program that make it more efficient and affordable, and holding responsibility for the budget

Where We Work

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, there were 15,800 compensation and benefits managers in 2016. The largest employers of these professionals were:

  • Management of companies and enterprises: 24%
  • Professional, scientific, and technical services: 13%
  • Government: 10%
  • Insurance carriers and related activities: 9%
  • Healthcare and social assistance: 8%

How to Become

Usually, benefits managers are expected to hold a bachelor’s degree with a major in business or related field. Some organizations are now looking for those who have a master’s degree in human resources or business instead. It is also expected that business managers have a good understanding of computers and systems and that they are committed to keeping their knowledge up to date in relation to the regulatory environment of employee compensation and health care laws.

Education Requirements

Benefits managers usually need a bachelor’s degree in a field such as business administration, human resources, finance, or business management. Work experience is also essential. Usually, they enter the workplace as administrators for compensation and benefits, and then choose to specialize in one of those two areas.

See 10 Best Human Resources Management Degree

There is no legal requirement for these professionals to become certified. However, certification is generally appreciated by employers as it demonstrates commitment to excellence. There are also some positions that do require certification. Someone usually has to have a number of years’ experience before they can become certified through associations such as WorldatWork, the International Foundation of Employee Benefit Plans, and the HR Certification Institute.

Traits & Qualities

The most effective benefits managers have the following traits to some degree or other:

  • Strong analytical skills
  • Excellent business skills
  • Great communication skills, both verbal and written
  • Strong business skills
  • Excellent decision making skills
  • Great leadership skills

Minimum Education

Bachelor’s Degree

National Salary

The national average salary estimate for Benefits Manager was $74,059. This number is estimated from over 314,824 employees, users past and present job advertisements from Indeed.com. This equates to an hourly salary of $38.57 and monthly of $6,172.

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$25,000

$149,000

Salary Distribution

Salary by State

The following section lists Benefits Manager salaries in each state around the country. The figures are based on the total number of job postings through Indeed.com. For example, Connecticut had the largest quoted salary of $92,562 while West Virginia had the smallest quoted salary of $50,000.

Arizona Illinois New Hampshire Tennessee
California Massachusetts New Jersey Texas
Colorado Maryland Nevada Utah
Connecticut Maine New York Virginia
DC Michigan Ohio Vermont
Florida Missouri Oregon Washington
Georgia North Carolina Pennsylvania Wisconsin
Idaho Nebraska South Carolina West Virginia
Arizona$55,534 Rank: 30th
The average salary ranks 30th among states in the country. There were also job openings from employers like Aerotek.

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$15,000

$120,000

Salary Distribution
California$79,745 Rank: 5th
The average salary ranks 5th among states in the country. There were also job openings from employers like ACT 1, CyberCoders, Avispa Technology, and AppleOne.

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$32,000

$149,000

Salary Distribution
Colorado$71,924 Rank: 18th
The average salary ranks 18th among states in the country. There were also job openings from employers like University of Colorado, Bradsby Group, Robert Half Finance & Accounting, and Appliance Factory Mattress Kingdom.

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$21,000

$152,000

Salary Distribution
Connecticut$92,562 Rank: 1st
The average salary ranks 1st among states in the country. There were also job openings from employers like Robert Half Finance & Accounting, Green Key Resources, and Mackey & Guasco Staffing LLC.

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$37,000

$172,000

Salary Distribution
DC$78,214 Rank: 8th
The average salary ranks 8th among states in the country. There were also job openings from employers like Robert Half Finance & Accounting.

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$34,000

$140,000

Salary Distribution
Florida$63,884 Rank: 27th
The average salary ranks 27th among states in the country. There were also job openings from employers like Affinity Resources, Food Talent Network, Randstad Professionals, and Parker and Lynch.

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$21,000

$128,000

Salary Distribution
Georgia$73,556 Rank: 14th
The average salary ranks 14th among states in the country. There were also job openings from employers like Criterion Executive Search, JOHNSON AGENCY, and Robert Half Management Resources.

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$30,000

$136,000

Salary Distribution
Idaho$56,921 Rank: 28th
The average salary ranks 28th among states in the country. There were also job openings from employers like Colonial Life & Accident Insurance Company.

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$18,000

$117,000

Salary Distribution
Illinois$82,069 Rank: 4th
The average salary ranks 4th among states in the country. There were also job openings from employers like Robert Half, Groupe LEADER, Interim HR Consulting, and Ajilon.

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$32,000

$154,000

Salary Distribution
Massachusetts$77,370 Rank: 10th
The average salary ranks 10th among states in the country. There were also job openings from employers like Beacon Hill Staffing, Robert Half Finance & Accounting, Fisher Agency, and Willmott & Associates.

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$26,000

$155,000

Salary Distribution
Maryland$78,530 Rank: 7th
The average salary ranks 7th among states in the country. There were also job openings from employers like CyberCoders and Robert Half Finance & Accounting.

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$27,000

$156,000

Salary Distribution
Maine$56,164 Rank: 29th
The average salary ranks 29th among states in the country. There were also job openings from employers like Fisher Agencies and Aetna.

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$28,000

$89,000

Salary Distribution
Michigan$73,243 Rank: 16th
The average salary ranks 16th among states in the country. There were also job openings from employers like North Star Medical Recruitment Group, Inc. and Robert Half Finance & Accounting.

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$24,000

$148,000

Salary Distribution
Missouri$74,748 Rank: 13th
The average salary ranks 13th among states in the country. There were also job openings from employers like WMS Partners, LLC.

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$25,000

$149,000

Salary Distribution
North Carolina$73,385 Rank: 15th
The average salary ranks 15th among states in the country. There were also job openings from employers like City of Asheville.

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$29,000

$137,000

Salary Distribution
Nebraska$90,810 Rank: 2nd
The average salary ranks 2nd among states in the country. There were also job openings from employers like State of Nebraska.

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$46,000

$148,000

Salary Distribution
New Hampshire$64,754 Rank: 25th
The average salary ranks 25th among states in the country. There were also job openings from employers like Robert Half Finance & Accounting.

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$22,000

$129,000

Salary Distribution
New Jersey$79,285 Rank: 6th
The average salary ranks 6th among states in the country. There were also job openings from employers like Robert Half Finance & Accounting, Prosearch Network, Robert Half Management Resources, and Direct Sales Recruiting, LLC.

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$30,000

$151,000

Salary Distribution
Nevada$71,168 Rank: 20th
The average salary ranks 20th among states in the country. There were also job openings from employers like Aerotek.

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$27,000

$136,000

Salary Distribution
New York$82,196 Rank: 3rd
The average salary ranks 3rd among states in the country. There were also job openings from employers like Execu|Search, Robert Half Finance & Accounting, The Moore Agency of CNY, and Green Key Resources.

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$23,000

$176,000

Salary Distribution
Ohio$68,447 Rank: 23rd
The average salary ranks 23rd among states in the country. There were also job openings from employers like Robert Half Finance & Accounting and Integrity Staffing Services.

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$20,000

$144,000

Salary Distribution
Oregon$64,731 Rank: 26th
The average salary ranks 26th among states in the country. There were also job openings from employers like Robert Half Finance & Accounting.

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$28,000

$115,000

Salary Distribution
Pennsylvania$71,329 Rank: 19th
The average salary ranks 19th among states in the country. There were also job openings from employers like SS, Inc., Recruitment Trends Inc., Robert Half Finance & Accounting, and Solution Staffing, Inc.

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$25,000

$141,000

Salary Distribution
South Carolina$54,765 Rank: 31st
The average salary ranks 31st among states in the country. There were also job openings from employers like AppleOne.

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$18,000

$110,000

Salary Distribution
Tennessee$72,286 Rank: 17th
The average salary ranks 17th among states in the country. There were also job openings from employers like Vaco, LLC, Exam Prep Inc, and The Judge Group.

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$18,000

$161,000

Salary Distribution
Texas$67,542 Rank: 24th
The average salary ranks 24th among states in the country. There were also job openings from employers like Robert Half Finance & Accounting, CVS Health, The Hill Group, and Colonial Life & Accident Insurance Company.

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$21,000

$139,000

Salary Distribution
Utah$69,599 Rank: 21st
The average salary ranks 21st among states in the country. There were also job openings from employers like All Filters LLC.

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$35,000

$115,000

Salary Distribution
Virginia$77,107 Rank: 11th
The average salary ranks 11th among states in the country. There were also job openings from employers like Robert Half Finance & Accounting, Dept of Social Services – Local, AppleOne, and Accounting Career Network.

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$25,000

$155,000

Salary Distribution
Vermont$77,552 Rank: 9th
The average salary ranks 9th among states in the country. There were also job openings from employers like The University of Vermont Medical Center.

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$18,000

$178,000

Salary Distribution
Washington$68,720 Rank: 22nd
The average salary ranks 22nd among states in the country. There were also job openings from employers like American Income Life.

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$25,000

$133,000

Salary Distribution
Wisconsin$76,906 Rank: 12th
The average salary ranks 12th among states in the country. There were also job openings from employers like Mangrum Career Solutions, LLC, Gables Search Group, Accounting Career Network, and Cameron Craig Group.

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$38,000

$119,000

Salary Distribution
West Virginia$50,000 Rank: 32nd
The average salary ranks 32nd among states in the country. There were also job openings from employers like Arias and Associates.

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$25,000

$75,000

Salary Distribution

Top 20 National Employers

According to Indeed.com, the following states had employers looking to hire a Benefits Manager. The quoted salary figure represents the average salary from all job postings by this employer.

Employer Name Location Average Salary

Learn More

Related Careers

Career Name Average Salary
Henry R. Steele
Henry R. Steele
Managing Editor
Henry is Managing Editor of BusinessStudent.com. He is a seasoned business professional who regularly consults with local business's throughout Southern California. Henry pursued his undergrad in Business and Economics at the University of San Diego and gained valuable life changing experience through a unique internship upon graduation.Follow on Twitter.com

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