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Career and Education Opportunities for Compensation / Benefits Specialists in Hartford, Connecticut

If you want to be a compensation / benefits specialist, the Hartford, Connecticut area offers many opportunities both for education and employment. Currently, 1,620 people work as compensation / benefits specialists in Connecticut. This is expected to grow by 11% to about 1,800 people by 2016. This is not quite as good as 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.

Compensation / benefits specialists earn approximately $29 per hour or $61,970 annually on average in Connecticut. Nationally they average about $25 hourly or $53,860 annually. Compared with people working in the overall category of Human Resources, people working as compensation / benefits specialists in Connecticut earn less. They earn less than people working in the overall category of Human Resources nationally. Compensation / benefits specialists work in a variety of jobs, including: human resources representative, pension administrator, and wage adjuster.

The Hartford area is home to sixty-two schools of higher education, including three within twenty-five miles of Hartford where you can get a degree as a compensation / benefits specialist. The most common level of education 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 Hartford 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.
  • Insurance Adjuster. Investigate, analyze, and determine the extent of insurance company's liability concerning personal, casualty, or property loss or damages, and attempt to effect settlement with claimants. Correspond with or interview medical specialists, agents, or claimants to compile information. Calculate benefit payments and approve payment of claims within a certain monetary limit.
  • 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

Holyoke Community College - Holyoke, MA

Holyoke Community College, 303 Homestead Ave, Holyoke, MA 01040. Holyoke Community College is a medium sized college located in Holyoke, Massachusetts. It is a public school with primarily 2-year programs and has 6,592 students. Holyoke Community College has a less than one year program in Human Resources Management/Personnel Administration which graduated two students in 2008.

Western New England College - Springfield, MA

Western New England College, 1215 Wilbraham Rd, Springfield, MA 01119-2684. Western New England College is a small college located in Springfield, Massachusetts. It is a private not-for-profit school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 3,215 students and an admission rate of 73%. Western New England College has a master's degree program in Human Resources Management/Personnel Administration which graduated one student in 2008.

American International College - Springfield, MA

American International College, 1000 State Street, Springfield, MA 01109. American International College is a small college located in Springfield, Massachusetts. It is a private not-for-profit school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 3,167 students and an admission rate of 78%. American International College has a bachelor's degree and a master's degree program in Human Resources Management/Personnel Administration which graduated four and five 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: Hartford, Connecticut

Hartford, Connecticut
Hartford, Connecticut photo by Contimm

Hartford is situated in Hartford County, Connecticut. It has a population of over 124,062, which has grown by 2.0% in the past ten years. The cost of living index in Hartford, 104, is above the national average. New single-family homes in Hartford cost $82,500 on average, which is far less than the state average. In 2008, eight new homes were constructed in Hartford, down from twelve the previous year.

The three big industries for women in Hartford are health care, finance and insurance, and educational services. For men, it is administrative and support and waste management services, construction, and accommodation and food services. The average commute to work is about 24 minutes. More than 12.4% of Hartford residents have a bachelor's degree, which is lower than the state average. The percentage of residents with a graduate degree, 5.2%, is lower than the state average.

The unemployment rate in Hartford is 14.4%, which is greater than Connecticut's average of 8.3%.

The percentage of Hartford residents that are affiliated with a religious congregation, 57.4%, is more than both the national and state average. Our Lady of Sorrows Church, All Saints Orthodox Church and Sacred Heart Church are all churches located in Hartford. The largest religious groups are the Catholic Church, the United Church of Christ and the Episcopal Church.

Hartford is home to the Albany Avenue Branch Hartford Public Library and the North Meadows Industrial Park as well as Little Hollywood Historic District and West End North Historic District. Shopping malls in the area include Park Plaza Shopping Center, Pavillion at State House Shopping Center and Civic Center Mall Shopping Center.