How to Become a Benefits Specialist

Benefits Specialists are in charge of handling all the paperwork in order for employees to receive compensation as well as other benefits the company offers.

Benefits Specialists work in the Human Resources department of a company handling all the paperwork for all other employees.

They work within the compliance of federal and state laws ensuring legal protocol is being met.

A Benefits Specialist can work in either a small or large company.

This position plays an important role in the Human Resources department.

They are the go to person when an employee sees some missing hours on their paycheck or has a question regarding benefits.

Someone who wants to become a Benefits Specialist can use their interpersonal, organizational and attention to detail skills in order to perform their role in this position.

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Education Requirements to Become a Benefits Specialist

A person can become a Benefits Specialist by obtaining a four year college degree.

Candidates should focus in business or business administration as their course of study.

In addition, candidates should seek certification in order to be more competitive in the field.

Furthermore, professionals with experience in Human Resources will help strengthen a candidate’s background.

Employers look for a business background, although an interdisciplinary study that includes a minor in human resources administration is an alternative route in order to become a Benefits Specialist.

Students interested in becoming a Benefits Specialist should look at individual programs to determine whether the school offers a discipline in human resources administration.

Certification gives a candidate the necessary qualifications in order to work in the field as a Benefits Specialist.

The Certified Employee Benefit Specialist program offers four specializations and will prepare candidates to start applying for jobs.

Visit: CEBS for more information regarding certification and specializations.

The Certified Employee Benefit Specialist program offers specializations in the following:

  • Certified Employee Benefit Specialist – Focuses on complete employee compensation
  • Group Benefits Associate (GBA) – Provides specialization in health care and other group benefits
  • Retirement Plans Associate (RPA) – Focuses on providing specialization in all retirement plans
  • Compensation Management Specialist (CMS) – Concentrates on compensation and human resources

Benefits Specialist Job Description

Benefits Specialists are required to coordinate all facets of employee benefits as well as benefit and employee personal information.

They use their familiarity with employment laws, healthcare coverage and other benefits such as retirement in order to help colleagues apply for them or answer any questions.

The main purpose of their job is to provide all employees with the highest coverage possible according to employee contract negotiations or specifications.

Some essential functions a Benefits Specialist performs can include the following responsibilities:

  • Manage employee benefit programs according to contract information
  • Explain enrollment information to employees such as: benefit options, benefit eligibility, payment information and open enrollment
  • Assist in verifying eligibility, pass on information to employees and process claims
  • Create a variety of information regarding benefits such as pamphlets, forms, brochures and procedures
  • Distribute a variety of documentation including: retirement forms, benefit packages, bulletins, proof of insurance, forms for new enrollment or changes
  • Processes information received from enrolling employees
  • Investigates discrepancies involving employee, company, payroll, benefit providers and government agencies in order to provide maximum benefits
  • Ensure accuracy of records and employee information

Benefits Specialists make sure every employee is aware of and knowledgeable of the benefits they are qualified to receive through their company.

Benefits Specialists are aware of laws, procedures and know detailed information regarding the benefits their company can offer.

They handle a lot of information and are responsible for communicating any coverage changes with other employees.

Benefits Specialist Salary and Career Path

The national average salary for Benefits Specialist is approximately $59,000 per year.

The salary range for these professionals is $33,000 to about $61,000 depending on experience, education and location.

Experienced Benefits Specialists should expect more job opportunities compared to other professions.

The fast growth is attributed to changes in healthcare coverage and employment laws that require the expertise from skilled Benefits Specialists.

The job market will need Benefits Specialists who are knowledgeable with compensation and with benefits expertise.

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