The following article discusses the career path of Compensation Manager. Learn about how to become one, education requirements, job duties, traits and qualities, national salary outlook as well as top national employers of Compensation Managers.
Compensation managers hold responsibility for making sure employee compensation program and payroll runs efficiently and accurately. They can be found in any kind of organization, from small businesses to large corporations, where they manage and develop benefit and compensation plans for staff. This includes things such as 401(k) programs, health care programs, paid time off programs, benefits, and pay rates.
Usually, these professionals are found within the human resources department. Here, they ensure that all compensation strategies are carried out in an effective manner. They understand the annual job market and what other companies offer in terms of compensation. In so doing, they ensure that their business remains profitable but also attractive to employees.
Other job duties of compensation managers are:
- To manage the recruitment, training, development, and retention of staff
- To ensure the compensation department runs smoothly on a day to day basis, focusing on incentive programs, salary administration, performance appraisal, and job evaluation
– Planning all practices, policies, and procedures in relation to compensation programs, thereby making sure the organization’s overall objectives can be met
- To ensure compliance with state and federal laws and regulatory requirements, as well as with professional standards
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, a compensation manager has at least a bachelor’s degree in a field related to human resources or business. However, more employers now look for those who hold a graduate degree, preferably the master of business administration (MBA) degree. Those who have at least some experience in management, payroll, and human resources are the highest in demand.
Typically, a bachelor’s degree in finance, business management, business administration, or human resources is required, but the MBA is now preferred. Employers also look for those with significant professional experience gained through past positions. Usually, these professionals start their career in a job, benefits, or compensation analysis role, growing into the position of manager thanks to experience gained through various fields of human resources.
There is no legal requirement for compensation managers to hold a certification. However, obtaining it does increase credibility and demonstrates expertise. Some employers prefer those who have been certified. However, with management programs, it often takes several years before someone can qualify for the examination. Most certifications are completed through organizations such as WorldatWork and the International Foundation of Employee Benefit Plans. Alternatively, general HR certifications can be obtained through the HR Certification Institute.
Traits & Qualities
The most effective compensation managers have the following traits to some degree or other:
- Strong analytical skills
- Excellent business acumen
- Perfect communication skills, both written and verbal
- Decision making skills, even under pressure
- Strong leadership skills
- Being willing to work long hours, including some unsociable ones
- To have superior problem solving, quantitative, and analytical skills
The national average salary estimate for Compensation Manager was $93,104. This number is estimated from over 268,524 employees, users past and present job advertisements from Indeed.com. This equates to an hourly salary of $48.49 and monthly of $7,759.
- Most Reported
Salary by State
The following section lists Compensation Manager salaries in each state around the country. The figures are based on the total number of job postings through Indeed.com. For example, Massachusetts had the largest quoted salary of $118,205 while South Carolina had the smallest quoted salary of $46,406.
Top 20 National Employers
According to Indeed.com, the following states had employers looking to hire a Compensation Manager. The quoted salary figure represents the average salary from all job postings by this employer.
|Employer Name||Location||Average Salary|
|Aspire Accounting & Finance||New Jersey||$160,000|
|A New Beginning-Genesis 2||New York||$157,322|
|FPC of Valdosta||New York||$150,000|
|Direct Search Systems||Illinois||$145,566|
|Robert Half Management Resources||California||$139,423|
|Clinical Management Consultants||California||$133,593|
|The ONeil Search Group||New York||$130,000|
|Selective Recruitment, hiring for client||Idaho||$130,000|
|Roland and Associates||Ohio||$127,874|
|Mackenzie Stuart plc||Texas||$127,739|
|Robert Half Finance & Accounting||Massachusetts||$124,110|
|Beacon Hill Staffing||Massachusetts||$122,897|
|Willmott & Associates, Inc.||Massachusetts||$122,831|
|Inner Circle Search||California||$121,770|
- Compensation and Benefits Managers : Occupational Outlook …
- Compensation – Society for Human Resource Management
- Compensation Manager, Employment | WorldatWork
|Career Name||Average Salary|
|Director of Human Resources||$93,347|
|Director of Operations||$90,674|
|Director of Purchasing||$90,585|
|Director of Marketing||$90,048|