How To Become a Certified Benefits Specialist?

Benefits specialist is crucial role in human resource management. A certified benefits specialist looks after company’s benefits programs. They are also responsible for liasioning with insurance companies to stay abreast of the benefits policies and provide employees with best insurance and benefits plan possible. A key role for them to play is to educate employees about various insurance and retirement policies and address any queries, they may have.  For this, they are required to be well-versed with their organization’s policies.

All in all, a benefits specialist oversees benefits program. Knowledge of various benefits policies – 401(K), savings plan, dental health insurance, or any other program – offered by companies is needed to perform good.

What do you need to become a benefits specialist?

An undergraduate degree isn’t mandatory to become a benefits specialist. A few candidates might go with HR programs to get into it. There are specialized courses which you can take under HR at undergraduate level, which benefit to start a career as a specialist. Interdisciplinary programs in human resource management or business administration, also give the knowledge required to work in human resource management. Further, pursuing post graduate program or MBA with concentration in human resources will lead directly a job in this.

How to get certified as a Benefits Specialist?

One can easily start a job as a Benefit Specialist, after some training in organization. That’s usual process. However, given particular set of skills, certified benefits specialist is increasingly in demand among companies. Specialized HR certifications are available that equip candidates with the skills required to work as a benefits specialist.

Following are some popular certifications:

Certified Employee Benefits Specialist ( CEBS) by IFEBP ( The International Foundation Employee Benefits Plans)

This is an exclusive certification meant for benefits specialist. In order to take this certification, one has to pass eight courses. Compensation Management Specialist(CMS), Group Benefits Associate (GBA) and Retirement Plans Associate, are three credential offered by IFEBP. Earning even one credential while working in human resources will lead to the CEBS credential.

Certified Benefits Professional ( CBP ) by World at Work
This is a popular HR certification among total rewards community. It equips with the skills to keep organizations benefits program ahead in the industry. The program is mean to help professionals learn strategy development, design, and administration of U.S. employee benefits program.

Certified Compensation and Benefits Manager ( CCBM) by HRMI ( Human Resource Management Institute )
This certification equips candidate to design strategic pay plan, variable pay plan, and award business and services. In order to take this certification, one needs to have at least 5 years of experience in human resources or related discipline.

The above three certifications are popular among total rewards communities. For anyone looking to start or excel in career as a benefits specialist, these would help. Additionally, keeping oneself updated about various benefits laws through blogs, magazines, etc will help to stay ahead of the trends in this line of work.

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