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Career and Education Opportunities for Compensation and Benefits Managers in Cedar Rapids, Iowa

If you want to be a compensation and benefits manager, the Cedar Rapids, Iowa area offers many opportunities both for education and employment. Currently, 470 people work as compensation and benefits managers in Iowa. This is expected to grow 13% to about 530 people by 2016. This is better than the nation as a whole, where employment opportunities for compensation and benefits managers are expected to grow by about 8.5%. Compensation and benefits managers generally plan, direct, or coordinate compensation and benefits activities and staff of an organization.

Income for compensation and benefits managers is about $32 hourly or $67,540 annually on average in Iowa. Nationally, their income is about $41 hourly or $86,500 annually. Compared with people working in the overall category of Human Resources, people working as compensation and benefits managers in Iowa earn more. They earn more than people working in the overall category of Human Resources nationally. Compensation and benefits managers work in a variety of jobs, including: employee benefits director, compensation manager, and director of compensation.

The Cedar Rapids area is home to thirteen schools of higher education, including two within twenty-five miles of Cedar Rapids where you can get a degree as a compensation and benefits manager. 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 Cedar Rapids 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.

EDUCATIONAL OPPORTUNITIES: Compensation and Benefits Manager Training

University of Iowa - Iowa City, IA

University of Iowa, 101 Jessup Hall, Iowa City, IA 52242-1316. University of Iowa is a large university located in Iowa City, Iowa. It is a public school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 29,475 students and an admission rate of 82%. University of Iowa has 2 areas of study related to Compensation and Benefits Manager. They are:

  • Human Resources Management/Personnel Administration, bachelor's degree, master's degree, and doctor's degree.
  • Labor and Industrial Relations, bachelor's degree which graduated 31 students in 2008.

Mount Mercy College - Cedar Rapids, IA

Mount Mercy College, 1330 Elmhurst Dr NE, Cedar Rapids, IA 52402-4797. Mount Mercy College is a small college located in Cedar Rapids, Iowa. It is a private not-for-profit school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 1,555 students and an admission rate of 80%. Mount Mercy College has a bachelor's degree program in Human Resources Management/Personnel Administration.

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: Cedar Rapids, Iowa

Cedar Rapids, Iowa
Cedar Rapids, Iowa photo by Davumaya

Cedar Rapids is located in Linn County, Iowa. It has a population of over 128,056, which has grown by 6.0% over the last ten years. The cost of living index in Cedar Rapids, 78, is well below the national average. New single-family homes in Cedar Rapids are valued at $103,900 on average, which is far less than the state average. In 2008, two hundred ninety-nine new homes were built in Cedar Rapids, up from two hundred ninety-eight the previous year.

The three big industries for women in Cedar Rapids are health care, educational services, and finance and insurance. For men, it is construction, professional, scientific, and technical services, and accommodation and food services. The average commute to work is about 17 minutes. More than 28.4% of Cedar Rapids residents have a bachelor's degree, which is higher than the state average. The percentage of residents with a graduate degree, 7.4%, is lower than the state average.

The unemployment rate in Cedar Rapids is 6.0%, which is less than Iowa's average of 6.1%.

The percentage of Cedar Rapids residents that are affiliated with a religious congregation, 57.0%, is more than the national average but less than the state average. Seventh Day Church of God, Sevanth-Day Adventist Church and Hope Lutheran Church are some of the churches located in Cedar Rapids. The largest religious groups are the Catholic Church, the United Methodist Church and the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America.

Cedar Rapids is home to the Brucemore and the Admissions Office as well as Tomahawk Park and Noelridge Park. Shopping centers in the area include Mays Shopping Center, Lindale Plaza Shopping Center and Town and Country Shopping Center. Visitors to Cedar Rapids can choose from Howard Johnson, Marriott Cedar Rapids and Clarion Hotel & Convention Center for temporary stays in the area.