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Career and Education Opportunities for Compensation / Benefits Specialists in Thornton, Colorado

There are many career and education opportunities for compensation / benefits specialists in the Thornton, Colorado area. There are currently 2,490 jobs for compensation / benefits specialists in Colorado and this is projected to grow 32% to 3,290 jobs by 2016. This is better than the nation as a whole, where employment opportunities for compensation / benefits specialists are expected to grow by about 23.6%. In general, compensation / benefits specialists conduct programs of compensation and benefits and job analysis for employer.

A person working as a compensation / benefits specialist can expect to earn about $28 per hour or $58,450 per year on average in Colorado and about $25 hourly or $53,860 yearly on average in the U.S. as a whole. Earnings for compensation / benefits specialists are not quite as good as earnings in the general category of Human Resources in Colorado and not quite as good as general Human Resources category earnings nationally. Jobs in this field include: contracts specialist, employment benefits or pensions retirement plan specialist, and compensation analyst.

The Thornton area is home to fifty-nine schools of higher education, including three within twenty-five miles of Thornton where you can get a degree as a compensation / benefits specialist. Given that the most common education level for compensation / benefits specialists is a Bachelor's degree, you can expect to spend about four years studying to be a compensation / benefits specialist if you already have a high school diploma.

CAREER DESCRIPTION: Compensation / Benefits Specialist

In general, compensation / benefits specialists conduct programs of compensation and benefits and job analysis for employer. They also may specialize in specific areas.

Compensation / benefits specialists insure company adherence to federal and state laws, including reporting requirements. They also advise managers and employees on state and federal employment regulations, collective agreements, benefit and compensation policies, personnel procedures and classification programs. Equally important, compensation / benefits specialists have to ready occupational classifications, job descriptions and salary scales. Finally, compensation / benefits specialists furnish advice on the resolution of classification and salary complaints.

Every day, compensation / benefits specialists are expected to be able to listen to and understand others in meetings. They need to articulate ideas and problems. It is also important that they think through problems and come up with general rules.

It is important for compensation / benefits specialists to evaluate job positions, determining classification, exempt or non-exempt status, and salary. They are often called upon to help in preparing and maintaining personnel records and handbooks. They also speak at conferences and events to promote apprenticeships and related training programs. They are sometimes expected to observe and survey employees and conduct focus group meetings to collect job, organizational, and occupational data. Somewhat less frequently, compensation / benefits specialists are also expected to negotiate collective agreements on behalf of employers or staff, and mediate labor disputes and grievances.

They also have to be able to ready reports, such as organization and flow charts, and career path reports, to summarize job analysis and evaluation and compensation analysis data And finally, they sometimes have to research job and worker requirements, structural and functional relationships among jobs and occupations, and occupational trends.

Like many other jobs, compensation / benefits specialists must have exceptional integrity and be able to absorb the factors involved and a problem and provide a well thought out solution.

Similar jobs with educational opportunities in Thornton include:

  • Employment Coordinator. Interview job applicants and refer them to prospective employers for consideration. Search application files, notify selected applicants of job openings, and refer qualified applicants to prospective employers. Contact employers to verify referral results. Record and evaluate various pertinent data.
  • Employment Recruiter. Seek out, interview, and screen applicants to fill existing and future job openings and promote career opportunities within an organization.
  • Job Training Specialist. Conduct training and development programs for employees.
  • Real Estate Appraiser. Appraise real property to determine its value for purchase, sales, or loan purposes.

EDUCATIONAL OPPORTUNITIES: Compensation / Benefits Specialist Training

DeVry University-Colorado - Westminster, CO

DeVry University-Colorado, 1870 West 122nd Avenue, Ste. 316, Westminster, CO 80234-2010. DeVry University-Colorado is a small university located in Westminster, Colorado. It is a private for-profit school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 1,081 students and an admission rate of 93%. DeVry University-Colorado has a master's degree program in Human Resources Management/Personnel Administration which graduated four students in 2008.

Colorado Christian University - Lakewood, CO

Colorado Christian University, 8787 West Alameda Avenue, Lakewood, CO 80226. Colorado Christian University is a small university located in Lakewood, Colorado. It is a private not-for-profit school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 2,583 students and an admission rate of 32%. Colorado Christian University has a bachelor's degree program in Human Resources Management/Personnel Administration which graduated forty-six students in 2008.

Regis University - Denver, CO

Regis University, 3333 Regis Blvd, Denver, CO 80221-1099. Regis University is a large university located in Denver, Colorado. It is a private not-for-profit school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 11,238 students and an admission rate of 44%. Regis University has a bachelor's degree and a postbaccalaureate certificate program in Human Resources Management/Personnel Administration which graduated one and two students respectively in 2008.

CERTIFICATIONS

Certified Pension Consultant: The Certified Pension Consultant (CPC) credential is designed for benefits professionals working in plan administration, pension actuarial administration, insurance, and financial planning.

For more information, see the American Society of Pension Professionals and Actuaries website.

Qualified 401(k) Administrator: The Qualified 401(k) Administrator (QKA) credential is conferred by ASPPA to retirement plan professionals who work primarily with 401(k) plans.

For more information, see the American Society of Pension Professionals and Actuaries website.

Global Professional in Human Resources: Globalization is the defining political and economic force in the world today.

For more information, see the HR Certification Institute website.

Certified Retirement Specialist: If you are a professional with an interest in issues and opportunities in the 403(b) marketplace, advance your career by obtaining the Certified Retirement Specialist (CRS) designation.

For more information, see the NTSAA (National Tax Sheltered Accounts Association) Educational Institute website.

Skill Analyst Certification: This certification provides analysts with the experience and understanding included with the aspects of job classification and analysis.

For more information, see the SkillsNET website.

Certified Compensation Professional: Recognized as the world's standard since 1976, the Certified Compensation Professional (CCP) designation is known throughout the global rewards community as a mark of expertise and excellence in all areas of compensation.

For more information, see the WorldAtWork website.

Certified Benefits Professional: Designed for today's dynamic benefits environment, the Certified Benefits Professional (CBP) program provides solid strategies and understanding.

For more information, see the WorldAtWork website.

LOCATION INFORMATION: Thornton, Colorado

Thornton, Colorado
Thornton, Colorado photo by bonjourpeewee

Thornton is located in Adams County, Colorado. It has a population of over 113,429, which has grown by 37.7% over the last ten years. The cost of living index in Thornton, 94, is below the national average. New single-family homes in Thornton are priced at $176,300 on average, which is far less than the state average. In 2008, two hundred ninety-five new homes were constructed in Thornton, down from four hundred eighty-four the previous year.

The three big industries for women in Thornton are educational services, health care, and finance and insurance. For men, it is construction, professional, scientific, and technical services, and administrative and support and waste management services. The average commute to work is about 29 minutes. More than 19.9% of Thornton residents have a bachelor's degree, which is lower than the state average. The percentage of residents with a graduate degree, 4.8%, is lower than the state average.

The unemployment rate in Thornton is 6.3%, which is less than Colorado's average of 6.6%.

The percentage of Thornton residents that are affiliated with a religious congregation, 30.4%, is less than both the national and state average. The largest religious groups are the Catholic Church, the LDS (Mormon) Church and the Lutheran Church.