Popular Careers

Career Development

Career development resources for aspiring professionals.

Career Change Center

Career change guides, tutorials and resources for professionals in transition.

Job Search Resources

Job search resources, websites, guides and directories for job seekers.


Career and Education Opportunities for Compensation and Benefits Managers in Seattle, Washington

Compensation and benefits managers can find many career and educational opportunities in the Seattle, Washington area. There are currently 370 jobs for compensation and benefits managers in Washington and this is projected to grow by 17% to 430 jobs 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%. 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 $43 per hour or $91,120 yearly on average in Washington. In the U.S. as a whole, their income is about $41 hourly or $86,500 annually on average. Earnings for compensation and benefits managers are better than earnings in the general category of Human Resources in Washington and better than general Human Resources category earnings nationally. Compensation and benefits managers work in a variety of jobs, including: human resources coordinator, compensation manager, and human resources manager.

There are sixty-five schools of higher education in the Seattle area, including nine within twenty-five miles of Seattle where you can get a degree to start your career as a compensation and benefits manager. The most common level of education 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 Seattle 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

DeVry University-Washington - Federal Way, WA

DeVry University-Washington, 3600 S 344th Wy, Federal Way, WA 98001-9558. DeVry University-Washington is a small university located in Federal Way, Washington. It is a private for-profit school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 900 students and an admission rate of 90%. DeVry University-Washington has a master's degree program in Human Resources Management/Personnel Administration which graduated two students in 2008.

City University of Seattle - Bellevue, WA

City University of Seattle, 11900 NE First Street, Bellevue, WA 98005. City University of Seattle is a small university located in Bellevue, Washington. It is a private not-for-profit school with primarily 4-year or above programs and has 2,489 students. City University of Seattle has a bachelor's degree and a master's degree program in Human Resources Management/Personnel Administration which graduated sixteen and sixteen students respectively in 2008.

Clover Park Technical College - Lakewood, WA

Clover Park Technical College, 4500 Steilacoom Blvd SW, Lakewood, WA 98499-4004. Clover Park Technical College is a medium sized college located in Lakewood, Washington. It is a public school with primarily 2-year programs and has 3,781 students. Clover Park Technical College has a less than one year program in Human Resources Management/Personnel Administration which graduated three students in 2008.

Pierce College at Puyallup - Puyallup, WA

Pierce College at Puyallup, 1601 39th Ave SE, Puyallup, WA 98374-2222. Pierce College at Puyallup is a small college located in Puyallup, Washington. It is a public school with primarily 2-year programs and has 3,101 students. Pierce College at Puyallup has a one to two year program in Human Resources Management/Personnel Administration which graduated four students in 2008.

Bellevue College - Bellevue, WA

Bellevue College, 3000 Landerholm Cir SE, Bellevue, WA 98007-6484. Bellevue College is a large college located in Bellevue, Washington. It is a public school with primarily 4-year or above programs and has 11,748 students. Bellevue College has a one to two year program in Human Resources Management/Personnel Administration which graduated two students in 2008.

Tacoma Community College - Tacoma, WA

Tacoma Community College, 6501 S 19th St, Tacoma, WA 98466-6100. Tacoma Community College is a medium sized college located in Tacoma, Washington. It is a public school with primarily 2-year programs and has 5,942 students. Tacoma Community College has a less than one year program in Human Resources Management/Personnel Administration which graduated four students in 2008.

Lake Washington Technical College - Kirkland, WA

Lake Washington Technical College, 11605 132nd Ave NE, Kirkland, WA 98034-8506. Lake Washington Technical College is a small college located in Kirkland, Washington. It is a public school with primarily 2-year programs and has 3,010 students. Lake Washington Technical College has a less than one year program in Human Resources Management/Personnel Administration which graduated thirteen students in 2008.

University of Washington-Seattle Campus - Seattle, WA

University of Washington-Seattle Campus, 1400 NE Campus Parkway, Seattle, WA 98195-4550. University of Washington-Seattle Campus is a large university located in Seattle, Washington. It is a public school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 39,675 students and an admission rate of 61%. University of Washington-Seattle Campus has a bachelor's degree program in Human Resources Management/Personnel Administration which graduated eight students in 2008.

Edmonds Community College - Lynnwood, WA

Edmonds Community College, 20000 68th Ave W, Lynnwood, WA 98036-5912. Edmonds Community College is a medium sized college located in Lynnwood, Washington. It is a public school with primarily 2-year programs and has 7,823 students. Edmonds Community College has a less than one year and an associate's degree program in Human Resources Management/Personnel Administration which graduated twelve and eighteen 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: Seattle, Washington

Seattle, Washington
Seattle, Washington photo by Dschwen

Seattle is located in King County, Washington. It has a population of over 598,541, which has grown by 6.2% in the past ten years. The cost of living index in Seattle, 126, is far greater than the national average. New single-family homes in Seattle are valued at $206,700 on average, which is well below the state average. In 2008, five hundred ninety-five new homes were built in Seattle, down from seven hundred seventy-five the previous year.

The three big industries for women in Seattle are health care, professional, scientific, and technical services, and educational services. For men, it is professional, scientific, and technical services, construction, and educational services. The average commute to work is about 25 minutes. More than 47.2% of Seattle residents have a bachelor's degree, which is higher than the state average. The percentage of residents with a graduate degree, 17.3%, is higher than the state average.

The unemployment rate in Seattle is 7.8%, which is less than Washington's average of 8.7%.

The percentage of Seattle residents that are affiliated with a religious congregation, 37.3%, is less than the national average but more than the state average. The largest religious groups are the Catholic Church, the LDS (Mormon) Church and the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America.

Seattle is home to the Berth 5 and the Akli Point Lighthouse as well as Lincoln Park and Myrtle Edwards Park. Shopping centers in the area include Lake City Shopping Center, Westwood Village Shopping Center and Oak Tree Village Shopping Center. Visitors to Seattle can choose from A-1 Motel, Arlington Suites and Marriott Sea-Tac Airport for temporary stays in the area.