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What does a Compensation Specialist do?

Photo of Brenna Goyette
Brenna Goyette
Certified Professional Resume Writer, Career Expert

Published 3 min read

A Compensation Specialist is responsible for ensuring that employees are fairly compensated for their work. They may conduct research to determine industry standards for compensation, develop and administer compensation programs, and negotiate salaries and benefits packages with employers.

Compensation Specialist job duties include:

  • Conducts job evaluations to determine appropriate salary ranges for positions.
  • Conducts surveys to compare the company’s compensation levels to those of other employers.
  • Develops and administers salary and bonus programs.
  • Administers stock option and restricted stock programs.
  • Counsels managers on compensation-related issues.
  • Analyzes compensation data to ensure compliance with internal equity and external competitiveness guidelines.
  • Identifies and corrects pay discrepancies.
  • Recommends improvements to existing compensation programs.
  • Designs and implements new compensation programs as needed.

Compensation Specialist Job Requirements

A bachelor's degree in human resources, business administration, or a related field is typically required for a compensation specialist position. Some employers may prefer candidates who have a master's degree in human resources or business administration. Certification from the Human Resources Certification Institute (HRCI) or the Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM) may be beneficial. Compensation specialists typically have several years of experience working in human resources.

Compensation Specialist Skills

  • Analytical skills
  • Profit and loss analysis
  • Financial analysis
  • Finance
  • Budgeting
  • Cost control
  • Project management
  • Organizational skills
  • Communication skills
  • Negotiation skills
  • Problem-solving skills

Related: Top Compensation Specialist Skills: Definition and Examples

How to become a Compensation Specialist

A compensation specialist is a human resources professional who designs and implements employee compensation programs. The specialist also conducts research on pay practices and makes recommendations to management on how to create a competitive and equitable pay structure.

To become a compensation specialist, you will need at least a bachelor's degree in human resources or a related field. You should also have several years of experience working in human resources, preferably in a position that involved designing and administering employee compensation programs. Strong analytical and communication skills are essential, as is the ability to use data to make recommendations.

Related: Compensation Specialist Resume Example

Related: Compensation Specialist Interview Questions (With Example Answers)