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Career and Education Opportunities for Compensation and Benefits Managers in Columbia, Maryland

Compensation and benefits managers can find both educational opportunities and jobs in the Columbia, Maryland area. There are currently 590 working compensation and benefits managers in Maryland; this should grow 14% to about 680 working compensation and benefits managers in the state 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 $37 hourly or $77,920 per year on average in Maryland. Nationally, their income is about $41 per hour or $86,500 yearly. Incomes for compensation and benefits managers are better than in the overall category of Human Resources in Maryland, and better than the overall Human Resources category nationally. Compensation and benefits managers work in a variety of jobs, including: benefits coordinator, compensation manager, and job analysis manager.

The Columbia area is home to 109 schools of higher education, including fourteen within twenty-five miles of Columbia 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 studying to be 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 Columbia 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

Johns Hopkins University - Baltimore, MD

Johns Hopkins University, 3400 N Charles St, Mason Hall, Baltimore, MD 21218-2688. Johns Hopkins University is a large university located in Baltimore, Maryland. It is a private not-for-profit school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 20,049 students and an admission rate of 26%. Johns Hopkins University has a postbaccalaureate certificate program in Human Resources Management/Personnel Administration.

Montgomery College - Rockville, MD

Montgomery College, 40 W. Gude Drive, Suite 220, Rockville, MD 20850. Montgomery College is a large college located in Rockville, Maryland. It is a public school with primarily 2-year programs and has 24,452 students. Montgomery College has a one to two year program in Human Resources Management/Personnel Administration which graduated one student in 2008.

DeVry University-Maryland - Bethesda, MD

DeVry University-Maryland, 4550 Montgomery Ave, Suite 100 North, Bethesda, MD 20814-3304. DeVry University-Maryland is a small university located in Bethesda, Maryland. It is a private for-profit school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 99 students and an admission rate of 92%. DeVry University-Maryland has a master's degree program in Human Resources Management/Personnel Administration which graduated four students in 2008.

University of Maryland-Baltimore County - Baltimore, MD

University of Maryland-Baltimore County, 1000 Hilltop Circle, Baltimore, MD 21250. University of Maryland-Baltimore County is a large university located in Baltimore, Maryland. It is a public school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 12,268 students and an admission rate of 72%. University of Maryland-Baltimore County has a two to four year program in Labor and Industrial Relations which graduated eight students in 2008.

Prince George's Community College - Largo, MD

Prince George's Community College, 301 Largo Rd, Largo, MD 20774-2199. Prince George's Community College is a large college located in Largo, Maryland. It is a public school with primarily 2-year programs and has 12,005 students. Prince George's Community College has a one to two year program in Human Resources Management/Personnel Administration which graduated eleven students in 2008.

University of Maryland-University College - Adelphi, MD

University of Maryland-University College, 3501 University Blvd East, Adelphi, MD 20783-8010. University of Maryland-University College is a large university located in Adelphi, Maryland. It is a public school with primarily 4-year or above programs and has 34,130 students. University of Maryland-University College has two to four year, bachelor's degree, and postbaccalaureate certificate programs in Human Resources Management/Personnel Administration which graduated sixty-four, three, and thirty students respectively in 2008.

George Washington University - Washington, DC

George Washington University, 2121 I Street, NW, Washington, DC 20052. George Washington University is a large university located in Washington, District of Columbia. It is a private not-for-profit school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 25,027 students and an admission rate of 37%. George Washington University has bachelor's degree, postbaccalaureate certificate, master's degree, post-master's certificate, and doctor's degree programs in Human Resources Management/Personnel Administration which graduated three, twenty-seven, sixty-eight, eight, and sixteen students respectively in 2008.

The Community College of Baltimore County - Baltimore, MD

The Community College of Baltimore County, 7201 Rossville Blvd., Baltimore, MD 21237. The Community College of Baltimore County is a large college located in Baltimore, Maryland. It is a public school with primarily 2-year programs and has 20,673 students. The Community College of Baltimore County has 2 areas of study related to Compensation and Benefits Manager. They are:

  • Human Resources Management/Personnel Administration, one to two year which graduated 3 students in 2008.
  • Labor and Industrial Relations, one to two year.

National Labor College - Silver Spring, MD

National Labor College, 10000 New Hampshire Ave, Silver Spring, MD 20903-1706. National Labor College is a small college located in Silver Spring, Maryland. It is a private not-for-profit school with primarily 4-year or above programs and has 221 students. National Labor College has a two to four year and a bachelor's degree program in Labor and Industrial Relations which graduated zero and twenty students respectively in 2008.

Catholic University of America - Washington, DC

Catholic University of America, 620 Michigan Avenue, NE, Washington, DC 20064. Catholic University of America is a medium sized university located in Washington, District of Columbia. It is a private not-for-profit school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 6,705 students and an admission rate of 81%. Catholic University of America has a bachelor's degree and a master's degree program in Human Resources Management/Personnel Administration which graduated one and twelve students respectively in 2008.

Marymount University - Arlington, VA

Marymount University, 2807 N Glebe Rd, Arlington, VA 22207-4299. Marymount University is a small university located in Arlington, Virginia. It is a private not-for-profit school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 3,541 students and an admission rate of 84%. Marymount University has a postbaccalaureate certificate and a master's degree program in Human Resources Management/Personnel Administration which graduated zero and thirty-six students respectively in 2008.

American University - Washington, DC

American University, 4400 Massachusetts Ave NW, Washington, DC 20016-8001. American University is a large university located in Washington, District of Columbia. It is a private not-for-profit school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 11,684 students and an admission rate of 53%. American University has a master's degree program in Human Resources Management/Personnel Administration.

DeVry University-Virginia - Arlington, VA

DeVry University-Virginia, 2450 Crystal Drive, Arlington, VA 22202-3843. DeVry University-Virginia is a small university located in Arlington, Virginia. It is a private for-profit school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 739 students and an admission rate of 93%. DeVry University-Virginia has a master's degree program in Human Resources Management/Personnel Administration which graduated six students in 2008.

Trinity Washington University - Washington, DC

Trinity Washington University, 125 Michigan Ave NE, Washington, DC 20017-1094. Trinity Washington University is a small university located in Washington, District of Columbia. It is a private not-for-profit school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 1,734 students and an admission rate of 74%. Trinity Washington University has bachelor's degree, postbaccalaureate certificate, and master's degree programs in Human Resources Management/Personnel Administration which graduated four, zero, and thirty-three students respectively in 2008.

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: Columbia, Maryland

Columbia, Maryland
Columbia, Maryland photo by Jeff Kubina

Columbia is located in Howard County, Maryland. It has a population of over 96,421. The cost of living index in Columbia, 100, is near the national average.

The three most popular industries for women in Columbia are educational services, health care, and professional, scientific, and technical services. For men, it is professional, scientific, and technical services, public administration, and educational services. The average travel time to work is about 30 minutes. More than 59.0% of Columbia residents have a bachelor's degree, which is higher than the state average. The percentage of residents with a graduate degree, 28.7%, is higher than the state average.

The percentage of Columbia residents that are affiliated with a religious congregation, 49.3%, is less than the national average but more than the state average. Abiding Savior Lutheran Church, Atholton Seventh Day Adventist Church and Long Reach Interfaith Center are all churches located in Columbia. The most prominent religious groups are the Catholic Church, the United Methodist Church and the Southern Baptist Convention.

Columbia is home to the Symphony Woods Office Center and the Rivers Corporate Park as well as Middle Patuxent Environmental Area and Clarksville Environmental Area. Shopping centers in the area include Governor Century Plaza Shopping Center, Atholton Shopping Center and Owen Brown Village Shopping Center. Visitors to Columbia can choose from PFMG, Courtyard by Marriott and Hilton Inn Columbia for temporary stays in the area.