Practice your trade after completing an apprenticeship.
As children, most people dream about jobs that have clout and cachet, like Actor, Musician, and President Of The United States. When they become adults, however, what they crave most in a position is a decent salary and a good benefits package. An Employee Benefits Specialist, or Benefits Manager, delivers on the dream of good benefits.
As an Employee Benefits Specialist, you’re hired by companies to work in their human resources and/or finance departments, where you’re charged with designing, negotiating, and administering employee benefits programs. You might focus on health benefits, including medical, dental, and vision insurance. You might focus on retirement benefits, including defined benefit pension plans and defined contribution plans, such as 401(k) plans, as well as profit-sharing and stock ownership plans. Or, you might focus on other miscellaneous benefits, such as life insurance, disability insurance, parental leave, relocation benefits, vacation benefits, and wellness programs, among others.
On a daily basis, you haggle with benefits vendors and providers, while educating, advising, and informing employees who have questions about benefits packages. You also enroll new hires in benefits programs, prepare and file benefits paperwork, and calculate and analyze benefits costs. Additionally, you resolve benefits-related disputes with employees and/or providers, and manage compliance with relevant government regulations, which often dictate what benefits companies must offer and to whom.
Despite its tactical nature, your job as an Employee Benefits Specialist is just as strategic as it is administrative. After all, companies’ benefits packages help them compete for new employees, retain top performers, and stimulate workforce productivity. By helping it offer the best benefits at the lowest cost, therefore, you’re doing your part to make your company as healthy as its staff is!