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Career and Education Opportunities for Compensation / Benefits Specialists in Portland, Oregon

Compensation / benefits specialists can find both educational opportunities and jobs in the Portland, Oregon area. Currently, 950 people work as compensation / benefits specialists in Oregon. This is expected to grow 16% to 1,100 people by 2016. This is not quite as good as the national trend for compensation / benefits specialists, which sees this job pool growing by about 23.6% over the next eight years. Compensation / benefits specialists generally conduct programs of compensation and benefits and job analysis for employer.

Compensation / benefits specialists earn about $22 hourly or $47,420 yearly on average in Oregon and about $25 hourly or $53,860 per year on average nationally. Compensation / benefits specialists earn less than people working in the category of Human Resources generally in Oregon and less than people in the Human Resources category nationally. People working as compensation / benefits specialists can fill a number of jobs, such as: employee benefits manager, wage analyst, and salary and wage administrator.

The Portland area is home to fifty-nine schools of higher education, including five within twenty-five miles of Portland where you can get a degree as a compensation / benefits specialist. Compensation / benefits specialists usually hold a Bachelor's degree, so it will take about four years to learn 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 Portland 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.
  • 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

DeVry University-Oregon - Portland, OR

DeVry University-Oregon, Peterkort Center II - 9755 SW Barnes Road-Ste 150, Portland, OR 97225-6651. DeVry University-Oregon is a small university located in Portland, Oregon. It is a private for-profit school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 117 students and an admission rate of 82%. DeVry University-Oregon has a master's degree program in Human Resources Management/Personnel Administration.

University of Phoenix-Oregon Campus - Tigard, OR

University of Phoenix-Oregon Campus, 13221 SW 68th Parkway, Suite 500, Tigard, OR 97223-8368. University of Phoenix-Oregon Campus is a small university located in Tigard, Oregon. It is a private for-profit school with primarily 4-year or above programs and has 1,065 students. University of Phoenix-Oregon Campus has a master's degree program in Human Resources Management/Personnel Administration which graduated one student in 2008.

Clark College - Vancouver, WA

Clark College, 1933 Fort Vancouver Way, Vancouver, WA 98663-3598. Clark College is a large college located in Vancouver, Washington. It is a public school with primarily 2-year programs and has 10,378 students. Clark College has a less than one year and an associate's degree program in Human Resources Management/Personnel Administration which graduated six and one students respectively in 2008.

Linfield College-Adult Degree Program - McMinnville, OR

Linfield College-Adult Degree Program, 900 SE Baker Street, McMinnville, OR 97128-6894. Linfield College-Adult Degree Program is a small college located in McMinnville, Oregon. It is a private not-for-profit school with primarily 4-year or above programs and has 475 students. Linfield College-Adult Degree Program has a less than one year program in Human Resources Management/Personnel Administration which graduated fifteen students in 2008.

Portland State University - Portland, OR

Portland State University, 724 SW Harrison, Portland, OR 97201. Portland State University is a large university located in Portland, Oregon. It is a public school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 25,959 students and an admission rate of 80%. Portland State University has a bachelor's degree program in Human Resources Management/Personnel Administration which graduated forty-four students 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: Portland, Oregon

Portland, Oregon
Portland, Oregon photo by Fcb981

Portland is located in Multnomah County, Oregon. It has a population of over 557,706, which has grown by 5.4% in the past ten years. The cost of living index in Portland, 103, is above the national average. New single-family homes in Portland are priced at $194,700 on average, which is below the state average. In 2008, six hundred forty-eight new homes were constructed in Portland, down from 1,205 the previous year.

The three big industries for women in Portland are health care, educational services, and professional, scientific, and technical services. For men, it is professional, scientific, and technical services, construction, and accommodation and food services. The average commute to work is about 23 minutes. More than 32.6% of Portland residents have a bachelor's degree, which is higher than the state average. The percentage of residents with a graduate degree, 11.4%, is higher than the state average.

The unemployment rate in Portland is 10.7%, which is greater than Oregon's average of 10.6%.

The percentage of Portland residents that are affiliated with a religious congregation, 45.7%, is less than the national average but more than the state average. The largest religious groups are the Catholic Church, the Presbyterian Church (USA) and the Charismatic Churches Independent.

Portland is home to the Barnes Yard and the Haig as well as Cottonwood Bay City Park and Wallace City Park. Visitors to Portland can choose from Motel 6, Shilo Inns & Resorts and Comfort Inn Portland for temporary stays in the area.