- HR Careers Overview
- HR Management
- HR Recruiter
- HR Generalist
- HR Coordinator
- HR Training & Development
- HR Benefits Specialist
- Dispute Resolution Specialist
The responsibilities of the HR Benefits Specialists revolve around getting and keeping benefits for employees. Whether it be through writing the policies that put and keep the benefits in place, or negotiating with insurance companies, if it has to do with employee benefits, the HR Benefits Specialist is responsible for handling it.
The HR Benefits Specialist, within an HR department, is the individual responsible for acquiring and maintaining employee benefits. Employee benefits can include: health, vision, and dental insurance; 401K plans; retirement funds; or an assortment of other non-cash incentives. As with any position, HR or otherwise, variables such as size, industry, and culture affect how you operate. Employee Benefits Specialists have a wide range of responsibilities, depending on these variables. HR Benefits Specialists job duties:
- Creating a thorough benefits package that’s flexible for all employees and affordable for the company
- Researching and implementing non-cash methods to benefit employees such as 401K plans and retirement funds
- Evaluating and/or implementing all types of health benefits options such as on-site gyms and weight loss programs
- Establishing and maintaining relationships with insurance companies in order to stay up to date on policies and offer employees the best possible options
- Explaining and researching benefit policies for employees
- Appealing insurance decisions on the behalf of employees
- Planning, implementing, and/or managing 401K’s, pensions, retirement funds and other non-cash, financial benefits
- Work to offer benefits that prevent and treat environmental health issues that may be specific to one workplace or another, such as obesity or smoking
- Constantly keeping informed about Federal and State guidelines, and updating policies to reflect the guidelines
HR Benefits Specialists may be responsible for all of the duties listed above and more, or only a few of those, depending on their company. Things like health benefits and retirement plans are huge priorities for employees, so the position of HR Benefits Specialists should not be taken lightly. Benefits Specialist must consider the many assorted needs of employees, in addition to the company’s budget.
A Human Resources Bachelors degree or a Bachelors degree in business, with a minor in Human Resources, might be all you need as far as educational credentials go for many HR Benefits Specialists, but most companies require far more work experience than an entry level graduate can provide. Due to the detail oriented nature of the work, companies want to be confident that whoever is responsible for their employees benefits packages has a complete knowledge of the litigious world of insurance companies and high finance. A human resources MBA with an emphasis on benefits policies would allow you to gain the necessary work experience and networking contacts to help land you that dream HR Benefits Specialist position.
One must consider the many factors involved when attempting to calculate approximate earnings within a profession. Location, experience, and the company hiring, all play a role in determining how much one can earn. In the table below, compiled from data from the May 2009 BLN Occupational Outllook for Human Resource, Benefits and Compensation Specialists, you can see that Benefits Specialists tend to earn more than most professions on average. This is due to the experienced and specialized nature of the position.
HR Management Salary Annual Salary Range Entry Level $34,960 Mid Career Level $43,340- $70,130 Senior – Seasoned Level $86,540
Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics