How Do I Become a Compensation Specialist?

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  • Written By: Jeremy Laukkonen
  • Edited By: Allegra J. Lingo
  • Last Modified Date: 11 August 2019
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The path to become a compensation specialist typically begins with an education, though work experience and additional certifications are often involved as well. There is no specific degree that relates to the compensation specialist profession, though many companies that might eventually employ you will require at least a bachelor's in business or another related degree. You will probably not become a compensation specialist right out of college, so you will usually want to seek employment with a business that has that type of position. As you climb up the corporate ladder, you can also undergo specialized training and gain certifications that will help you eventually move into a compensation specialist position.

If you think that you might one day want to become a compensation specialist, you will typically want to begin with a college education. A degree in business is usually the most applicable, though you may also want to learn about the behavioral sciences and focus on finance. Communication skills are typically required for the job as well, since you may need to interface with a variety of other employees when putting together compensation packages and mediating disputes. Computer skills can also be essential because you will typically need to be proficient in a variety of different programs after you have become a compensation specialist.


After college, you will typically want to look for work in an industry that is known to use compensation specialists. You can apply to specific businesses that you know make use of the position, which will typically be large corporations. The financial sector often uses compensation specialists as well, so you may want to look at insurance companies, banks, and various financial service businesses. You will probably have to take an entry level position, though you may be able to find a company that will hire you directly into the relevant department.

In addition to college and work experience, you may also want to attain some advanced training and certifications. You can look in to what specific programs exist in your area, though there are both national and international organizations that offer relevant training. Some programs that might be of use to you include employee benefits training, compensation certifications, and courses on management of compensation and human resources. In many cases, you may want to inquire with your employer about the specific certifications that are required to become a compensation specialist with that particular business.



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