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

Many educational and employment opportunities exist for compensation and benefits managers in the Columbia, Missouri area. There are currently 710 jobs for compensation and benefits managers in Missouri and this is projected to grow 5% to about 750 jobs by 2016. This is not quite as good as the nation as a whole, where employment opportunities for compensation and benefits managers are expected to grow by about 8.5%. In general, compensation and benefits managers plan, direct, or coordinate compensation and benefits activities and staff of an organization.

Compensation and benefits managers earn approximately $42 hourly or $88,710 annually on average in Missouri. Nationally they average about $41 hourly or $86,500 per year. Compensation and benefits managers earn more than people working in the category of Human Resources generally in Missouri and more than people in the Human Resources category nationally. People working as compensation and benefits managers can fill a number of jobs, such as: benefit director, benefits coordinator, and director of compensation.

The Columbia area is home to thirteen schools of higher education, including two 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

Columbia College - Columbia, MO

Columbia College, 1001 Rogers, Columbia, MO 65216. Columbia College is a large college located in Columbia, Missouri. It is a private not-for-profit school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 14,081 students and an admission rate of 53%. Columbia College has a bachelor's degree program in Human Resources Management/Personnel Administration which graduated fifty-two students in 2008.

Westminster College - Fulton, MO

Westminster College, 501 Westminster Ave, Fulton, MO 65251-1299. Westminster College is a small college located in Fulton, Missouri. It is a private not-for-profit school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 992 students and an admission rate of 77%. Westminster 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: Columbia, Missouri

Columbia, Missouri
Columbia, Missouri photo by Grey_Wanderer

Columbia is situated in Boone County, Missouri. It has a population of over 100,733, which has grown by 19.2% over the last ten years. The cost of living index in Columbia, 85, is well below the national average. New single-family homes in Columbia are valued at $171,800 on average, which is below the state average. In 2008, three hundred thirty-five new homes were constructed in Columbia, down from six hundred fifty-three the previous year.

The top three industries for women in Columbia are educational services, health care, and accommodation and food services. For men, it is educational services, accommodation and food services, and health care. The average travel time to work is about 15 minutes. More than 50.5% of Columbia residents have a bachelor's degree, which is higher than the state average. The percentage of residents with a graduate degree, 24.0%, is higher than the state average.

The unemployment rate in Columbia is 6.8%, which is less than Missouri's average of 8.9%.

The percentage of Columbia residents that are affiliated with a religious congregation, 40.9%, is less than both the national and state average. Sugar Grove Church, Fairview Church and Emmanuel Church are among the churches located in Columbia. The most common religious groups are the Southern Baptist Convention, the Catholic Church and the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ).

Columbia is home to the Columbia Country Club and the Columbia Plaza as well as Nickell Park and Stephens Park. Shopping centers in the area include Whitegate Shopping Center, North County Shopping Center and Biscayne Mall. Visitors to Columbia can choose from Churchill's, Columbia Super 8 Motel and Arrow Head Motel LLC for temporary stays in the area.