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Compensation Analyst

Compensation, benefits, and job analysis specialists plan and conduct various employee programs. They may specialize in specific areas such as position classifications or pensions. They may collect data and information regarding job duties so that they can write a company's various job titles, which include duties, training and required skills. They also may conduct research regarding occupational classification systems, usually in larger firms or organizations, as well as the effects of industry and occupational trends on worker relationships. They also may serve as a liaison between their organization and labor unions, government, and other organizations.

Job Skills

Compensation, benefits, and job analysis specialists must be able to work well with individuals while working toward the goals of the organization. The field requires a number of different skills. They need to be good communicators, both verbally and in writing. Because of the increasingly diverse work force, they must be comfortable working with people from a broad range of cultural backgrounds. They must be able to reconcile conflicting ideas and points of view and work under high pressure. They must possess a fair-minded, congenial, and persuasive personality.

Income

In 2002, compensation, benefits, and job analysis specialists earned a median annual salary of $45,100. Earnings ranged from the lowest 10%, who earned less than $28,160, and the highest 10%, who earned more than $72,250. In local government, the industry employing the most compensation, benefits, and job analysis specialists, the median annual salary was $48,870.

Training and Education

Educational backgrounds for compensation, benefits, and job analysis specialists vary greatly. For entry-level positions, employers usually prefer candidates with bachelor's degrees in human resources, personnel administration, or industrial and labor relations. Some employers prefer candidates with bachelor's degrees in a technical or business field, while others prefer a well-rounded liberal arts education. College courses leading to a career as a training and development specialist can be found in the departments of business administration, education, instructional technology, organizational development, human services, communication, or public administration. Usually a broad assortment of courses in the social sciences, business, and behavioral science is preferred, although some jobs require a specialized background in engineering, science, finance, or law. For those seeking advancement to top management positions, a master's degree in human resources, labor relations, or in business administration with a concentration in human resources will be necessary.

Employment

In 2002, compensation, benefits, and job analysis specialists held about 91,000 jobs. About 80% of salaried jobs were in the private sector. 18% were employed by local, State, and Federal government.

Job Outlook

Between 2002 and 2012, the number of compensation, benefits, and job analysis specialists is expected to increase faster than the average. Demand will increase due to legislation that sets standards for occupational safety and health, equal opportunity, wages, health, pensions, and family leave, as well as expansion in international human resources management and human resources information systems. Job growth will be somewhat tempered by the increased use of computers, making workers more and more efficient. Competition will be keen among qualified college graduates and experienced workers.