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Career and Education Opportunities for Compensation and Benefits Managers in Chicago, Illinois

There are many career and education opportunities for compensation and benefits managers in the Chicago, Illinois area. There are currently 3,070 working compensation and benefits managers in Illinois; this should grow 12% to about 3,430 working compensation and benefits managers in the state by 2016. This is better than the national trend for compensation and benefits managers, which sees this job pool growing by about 8.5% over the next eight years. In general, compensation and benefits managers plan, direct, or coordinate compensation and benefits activities and staff of an organization.

The income of a compensation and benefits manager is about $36 per hour or $76,850 per year on average in Illinois. In the U.S. as a whole, their income is about $41 hourly or $86,500 per year on average. Earnings for compensation and benefits managers are better than earnings in the general category of Human Resources in Illinois and better than general Human Resources category earnings nationally. Compensation and benefits managers work in a variety of jobs, including: office manager, human resources director, and benefits coordinator.

There are nineteen schools within twenty-five miles of Chicago where you can study to be a compensation and benefits manager, among 180 schools of higher education total in the Chicago area. Given that the most common education level for compensation and benefits managers is a Bachelor's degree, you can expect to spend about four years training to become a compensation and benefits manager if you already have a high school diploma.

CAREER DESCRIPTION: Compensation and Benefits Manager

In general, compensation and benefits managers plan, direct, or coordinate compensation and benefits activities and staff of an organization.

Compensation and benefits managers analyze compensation policies and prevailing wage rates to develop competitive compensation plans. They also direct preparation and distribution of written and verbal data to inform employees of benefits and personnel policies. Equally important, compensation and benefits managers have to formulate and direct work efforts of subordinates and staff relating to employment and employee relations. They are often called upon to design methods to further optimize employment policies and practices, and recommend changes to management. They are expected to formulate policies, procedures and programs for recruitment orientation, benefits and compensation, and labor and industrial relations. Finally, compensation and benefits managers layout, evaluate and modify benefits policies to insure that programs are current, competitive and in adherence to legal requirements.

Every day, compensation and benefits managers are expected to be able to listen to and understand others in meetings. They need to read and understand documents and reports.

It is important for compensation and benefits managers to administer and review employee benefit programs, including the integration of benefit programs following mergers and acquisitions. They are often called upon to mediate between benefits providers and employees. They also ready budgets for personnel operations. They are sometimes expected to negotiate bargaining agreements. Somewhat less frequently, compensation and benefits managers are also expected to layout, evaluate and modify benefits policies to insure that programs are current, competitive and in adherence to legal requirements.

Compensation and benefits managers sometimes are asked to investigate and report on industrial accidents for insurance carriers. and maintain records and compile statistical reports concerning personnel-related data such as hires and absenteeism rates. And finally, they sometimes have to direct preparation and distribution of written and verbal data to inform employees of benefits and personnel policies.

Like many other jobs, compensation and benefits managers must have exceptional integrity and be thorough and dependable.

Similar jobs with educational opportunities in Chicago include:

  • Administrator. Plan, direct, or coordinate supportive services of an organization, such as recordkeeping, mail distribution, telephone operator/receptionist, and other office support services. May oversee facilities planning and maintenance and custodial operations.
  • Healthcare Manager. Plan, direct, or coordinate medicine and health services in hospitals, clinics, managed care organizations, public health agencies, or similar organizations.
  • Human Relations Manager. Plan, direct, and coordinate human resource management activities of an organization to maximize the strategic use of human resources and maintain functions such as employee compensation, recruitment, and regulatory compliance.
  • Postmaster. Direct and coordinate operational, administrative, and supportive services of a U.S. post office; or coordinate activities of workers engaged in postal and related work in assigned post office.

EDUCATIONAL OPPORTUNITIES: Compensation and Benefits Manager Training

American Intercontinental University Online - Hoffman Estates, IL

American Intercontinental University Online, 5550 Prairie Stone Pky-Ste 400, Hoffman Estates, IL 60192. American Intercontinental University Online is a large university located in Hoffman Estates, Illinois. It is a private for-profit school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 22,963 students and an admission rate of 45%. American Intercontinental University Online has associate's degree, bachelor's degree, and master's degree programs in Human Resources Management/Personnel Administration which graduated 224, 325, and 188 students respectively in 2008.

DePaul University - Chicago, IL

DePaul University, 55 E Jackson, Chicago, IL 60604. DePaul University is a large university located in Chicago, Illinois. It is a private not-for-profit school with primarily 4-year or above programs and has 22,554 students. DePaul University has a bachelor's degree and a master's degree program in Human Resources Management/Personnel Administration which graduated zero and eleven students respectively in 2008.

Ellis University - Chicago, IL

Ellis University, 111 N Canal St Ste 380, Chicago, IL 60606. Ellis University is a small university located in Chicago, Illinois. It is a private not-for-profit school with primarily 4-year or above programs and has 2,692 students. Ellis University has a master's degree program in Human Resources Management/Personnel Administration.

Roosevelt University - Chicago, IL

Roosevelt University, 430 S Michigan Ave, Chicago, IL 60605-1394. Roosevelt University is a medium sized university located in Chicago, Illinois. It is a private not-for-profit school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 7,708 students and an admission rate of 43%. Roosevelt University has a bachelor's degree and a master's degree program in Human Resources Management/Personnel Administration.

University of St Francis - Joliet, IL

University of St Francis, 500 N Wilcox St, Joliet, IL 60435-6188. University of St Francis is a small university located in Joliet, Illinois. It is a private not-for-profit school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 3,334 students and an admission rate of 60%. University of St Francis has a bachelor's degree program in Human Resources Management/Personnel Administration.

DeVry University-Illinois - Chicago, IL

DeVry University-Illinois, 3300 N Campbell Ave, Chicago, IL 60618. DeVry University-Illinois is a large university located in Chicago, Illinois. It is a private for-profit school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 19,417 students and an admission rate of 92%. DeVry University-Illinois has a master's degree program in Human Resources Management/Personnel Administration which graduated 176 students in 2008.

North Central College - Naperville, IL

North Central College, 30 N Brainard St, Naperville, IL 60540. North Central College is a small college located in Naperville, Illinois. It is a private not-for-profit school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 2,726 students and an admission rate of 69%. North Central College has a bachelor's degree program in Human Resources Management/Personnel Administration which graduated one student in 2008.

Harper College - Palatine, IL

Harper College, 1200 W Algonquin Rd, Palatine, IL 60067-7398. Harper College is a large college located in Palatine, Illinois. It is a public school with primarily 2-year programs and has 15,250 students. Harper College has a less than one year program in Human Resources Management/Personnel Administration which graduated four students in 2008.

National-Louis University - Chicago, IL

National-Louis University, 122 S Michigan Ave, Chicago, IL 60603. National-Louis University is a medium sized university located in Chicago, Illinois. It is a private not-for-profit school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 6,874 students and an admission rate of 56%. National-Louis University has a master's degree program in Human Resources Management/Personnel Administration which graduated thirty-three students in 2008.

Oakton Community College - Des Plaines, IL

Oakton Community College, 1600 E Golf Rd., Des Plaines, IL 60016-1268. Oakton Community College is a large college located in Des Plaines, Illinois. It is a public school with primarily 2-year programs and has 10,552 students. Oakton Community College has a less than one year program in Human Resources Management/Personnel Administration which graduated seven students in 2008.

Moraine Valley Community College - Palos Hills, IL

Moraine Valley Community College, 9000 W. College Parkway, Palos Hills, IL 60465-0937. Moraine Valley Community College is a large college located in Palos Hills, Illinois. It is a public school with primarily 2-year programs and has 17,477 students. Moraine Valley Community College has a one to two year and an associate's degree program in Human Resources Management/Personnel Administration which graduated one and two students respectively in 2008.

Saint Xavier University - Chicago, IL

Saint Xavier University, 3700 W 103rd St, Chicago, IL 60655. Saint Xavier University is a medium sized university located in Chicago, Illinois. It is a private not-for-profit school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 5,307 students and an admission rate of 71%. Saint Xavier University has a master's degree program in Human Resources Management/Personnel Administration.

Lewis University - Romeoville, IL

Lewis University, One University Parkway, Romeoville, IL 60446-2200. Lewis University is a medium sized university located in Romeoville, Illinois. It is a private not-for-profit school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 5,536 students and an admission rate of 71%. Lewis University has a bachelor's degree program in Human Resources Management/Personnel Administration which graduated three students in 2008.

Northwestern University - Evanston, IL

Northwestern University, 633 Clark St, Evanston, IL 60208. Northwestern University is a large university located in Evanston, Illinois. It is a private not-for-profit school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 20,128 students and an admission rate of 27%. Northwestern University has 2 areas of study related to Compensation and Benefits Manager. They are:

  • Human Resources Management/Personnel Administration, master's degree which graduated 2 students in 2008.
  • Labor and Industrial Relations, master's degree.

Joliet Junior College - Joliet, IL

Joliet Junior College, 1215 Houbolt Rd, Joliet, IL 60431-8938. Joliet Junior College is a large college located in Joliet, Illinois. It is a public school with primarily 2-year programs and has 14,088 students. Joliet Junior College has a less than one year and a one to two year program in Human Resources Management/Personnel Administration which graduated five and four students respectively in 2008.

North Park University - Chicago, IL

North Park University, 3225 W Foster Ave, Chicago, IL 60625-4895. North Park University is a small university located in Chicago, Illinois. It is a private not-for-profit school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 3,255 students and an admission rate of 30%. North Park University has a bachelor's degree program in Human Resources Management/Personnel Administration which graduated two students in 2008.

Triton College - River Grove, IL

Triton College, 2000 5th Ave, River Grove, IL 60171-1995. Triton College is a large college located in River Grove, Illinois. It is a public school with primarily 2-year programs and has 15,547 students. Triton College has a less than one year and an associate's degree program in Human Resources Management/Personnel Administration which graduated four and six students respectively in 2008.

Illinois Institute of Technology - Chicago, IL

Illinois Institute of Technology, 3300 S Federal St, Chicago, IL 60616. Illinois Institute of Technology is a medium sized school located in Chicago, Illinois. It is a private not-for-profit school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 7,404 students and an admission rate of 57%. Illinois Institute of Technology has a master's degree program in Human Resources Management/Personnel Administration which graduated seven students in 2008.

Loyola University Chicago - Chicago, IL

Loyola University Chicago, 820 N. Michigan, Chicago, IL 60611-9810. Loyola University Chicago is a large university located in Chicago, Illinois. It is a private not-for-profit school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 15,670 students and an admission rate of 74%. Loyola University Chicago has 2 areas of study related to Compensation and Benefits Manager. They are:

  • Human Resources Management/Personnel Administration, bachelor's degree and master's degree which graduated eight and zero students respectively in 2008.
  • Labor and Industrial Relations, master's degree.

CERTIFICATIONS

Fundamental Payroll Certification: The Fundamental Payroll Certification (FPC) is open to all those who wish to demonstrate a baseline of payroll competency.

For more information, see the American Payroll Association website.

Manager of Quality/Organizational Excellence: The Certified Manager of Quality/Organizational Excellence is a professional who leads and champions process-improvement initiatives’ everywhere from small businesses to multinational corporations’ that can have regional or global focus in a variety of service and industrial settings.

For more information, see the American Society for Quality 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.

Business and Employer Services - Professional Certification: Professional certification exam for Business and Employer Services in workforce development.

For more information, see the Dynamic Works Institute 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 Manager: Certified Manager certification is valued for the credibility and recognition it brings to managers and the organizations for which they work.

For more information, see the Institute of Certified Professional Managers website.

Program Management Professional: Project Management Institute's newest credential is specifically developed to acknowledge the qualifications of the professional who leads the coordinated management of multiple projects and ensures the ultimate success of a program.

For more information, see the Project Management Institute 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: Chicago, Illinois

Chicago, Illinois
Chicago, Illinois photo by Dschwen

Chicago is situated in Cook County, Illinois. It has a population of over 2,853,114, which has shrunk by 1.5% in the past ten years. The cost of living index in Chicago, 114, is well above the national average. New single-family homes in Chicago are valued at $200,500 on average, which is far less than the state average. In 2008, three hundred eighty-one new homes were built in Chicago, down from eight hundred seventy the previous year.

The three big industries for women in Chicago are health care, educational services, and professional, scientific, and technical services. For men, it is construction, professional, scientific, and technical services, and accommodation and food services. The average commute to work is about 35 minutes. More than 25.5% of Chicago residents have a bachelor's degree, which is lower than the state average. The percentage of residents with a graduate degree, 10.0%, is higher than the state average.

The unemployment rate in Chicago is 11.6%, which is greater than Illinois's average of 10.5%.

The percentage of Chicago residents that are affiliated with a religious congregation, 57.6%, is more than both the national and state average. Southlawn United Methodist Church, Southern Missionary Baptist Church and Lakeside Evangelical Church are all churches located in Chicago. The most common religious groups are the Catholic Church, the Muslim Estimate and the Lutheran Church.

Chicago is home to the Five Crossings and the Wrigley Field as well as Monticello Park and Wilson Playground. Shopping centers in the area include Lincoln Village Shopping Center, Market Place at Six Corners Shopping Center and Kimbark Plaza Shopping Center. Visitors to Chicago can choose from Extended Stay America, Embassy Suites Lakefront and Cottage Inn for temporary stays in the area.