SOC Code: 11-3041

Pay Band(s): 5, 6 and 7         (Salary Structure)

Standard Occupational Description: Plan, direct, or coordinate compensation and benefits activities and staff of an organization.

Commonwealth of Virginia Description: In the Commonwealth there may be separate managers of the compensation and benefit programs.

Compensation and Benefits Manager positions in the Commonwealth are assigned to the following Roles in the Human Resource Services Career Group:

Human Resource Manager I

Human Resource Manager II

Human Resource Manager III

While Compensation and Benefits Manager within the Commonwealth are all located within the Human Resource Services Career Group, individuals may want to pursue other opportunities within the Commonwealth depending upon individual training, education, knowledge, skills, abilities, and interests.   

Other Career Group(s) that may be of interest are:

General Administration

Policy Analysis and Planning

Program Administration

Training and Instruction


(Technical and Functional Expertise)

Note: The technical and functional skills listed below are based on general occupational qualifications for Compensation and Benefits Managers commonly recognized by most employers.  Typically, you will not be required to have all of the skills listed to be a successful performer.  Recruitment and selection standards for an individual state job must be based on the specific knowledge, skills, and abilities for that job as indicated in the job announcement and job description in the Employee Work Profile.

  1. Motivating, developing, and directing people as they work, identifying the best people for the job.
  2. Communicating effectively in writing as appropriate for the needs of the audience.
  3. Talking to others to convey information effectively.
  4. Understanding written sentences and paragraphs in work related documents.
  5. Giving full attention to what other people are saying, taking time to understand the points being made, asking questions as appropriate, and not interrupting at inappropriate times.
  6. Using logic and reasoning to identify the strengths and weaknesses of alternative solutions, conclusions or approaches to problems.
  7. Determining how a system should work and how changes in conditions, operations, and the environment will affect outcomes.
  8. Using mathematics to solve problems.
  9. Adjusting actions in relation to others' actions.
  10. Being aware of others' reactions and understanding why they react as they do.

Note: The technical and functional knowledge statements listed below are based on general occupational qualifications for Compensation and Benefits Managers commonly recognized by most employers.  Typically, you will not be required to have all of the knowledge listed to be a successful performer.  Recruitment and selection standards for an individual state job must be based on the specific knowledge, skills, and abilities for that job as indicated in the job announcement and job description in the Employee Work Profile.

The Knowledge of:

  1. Principles and procedures for personnel recruitment, selection, training, compensation and benefits, labor relations and negotiation, and personnel information systems.
  2. Business and management principles involved in strategic planning, resource allocation, human resources modeling, leadership technique, production methods, and coordination of people and resources.
  3. Arithmetic, algebra, geometry, calculus, statistics, and their applications.
  4. Structure and content of the English language including the meaning and spelling of words, rules of composition, and grammar.
  5. Principles and methods for curriculum and training design, teaching and instruction for individuals and groups, and the measurement of training effects.
  6. Laws, legal codes, court procedures, precedents, government regulations, executive orders, agency rules, and the democratic political process.
  7. Human behavior and performance; individual differences in ability, personality, and interests; learning and motivation; psychological research methods; and the assessment and treatment of behavioral and affective disorders.

Note: The technical and functional abilities listed below are based on general occupational qualifications for Compensation and Benefits Managers commonly recognized by most employers.  Typically, you will not be required to have all of the abilities listed to be a successful performer.  Recruitment and selection standards for an individual state job must be based on the specific knowledge, skills, and abilities for that job as indicated in the job announcement and job description in the Employee Work Profile.

The Ability to:

  1. Read and understand information and ideas presented in writing.
  2. Listen to and understand information and ideas presented through spoken words and sentences.
  3. Communicate information and ideas in speaking so others will understand.
  4. Communicate information and ideas in writing so others will understand.
  5. Speak clearly so others can understand you.
  6. Apply general rules to specific problems to produce answers that make sense.
  7. Tell when something is wrong or is likely to go wrong. It does not involve solving the problem, only recognizing there is a problem.
  8. Combine pieces of information to form general rules or conclusions (includes finding a relationship among seemingly unrelated events).
  9. Shift back and forth between two or more activities or sources of information (such as speech, sounds, touch, or other sources).
  10. Concentrate on a task over a period of time without being distracted.

The following is a list of sample tasks typically performed by Compensation and Benefits Managers.  Employees in this occupation will not necessarily perform all of the tasks listed. 

  1. Administer, direct, and review employee benefit programs, including the integration of benefit programs following mergers and acquisitions.
  2. Analyze compensation policies, government regulations, and prevailing wage rates to develop competitive compensation plan.
  3. Analyze statistical data and reports to identify and determine causes of personnel problems and develop recommendations for improvement of organization's personnel policies and practices.
  4. Design, evaluate and modify benefits policies to ensure that programs are current, competitive and in compliance with legal requirements.
  5. Develop methods to improve employment policies, processes, and practices, and recommend changes to management.
  6. Direct preparation and distribution of written and verbal information to inform employees of benefits, compensation, and personnel policies.
  7. Formulate policies, procedures and programs for recruitment, testing, placement, classification, orientation, benefits and compensation, and labor and industrial relations.
  8. Fulfill all reporting requirements of all relevant government rules and regulations, including the Employee Retirement Income Security Act (ERISA).
  9. Identify and implement benefits to increase the quality of life for employees, by working with brokers and researching benefits issues.
  10. Manage the design and development of tools to assist employees in benefits selection, and to guide managers through compensation decisions.


Like people, occupations have traits or characteristics.  These characteristics give important clues about the nature of the work and work environment, and give you an opportunity to match your own personal interests to a specific occupation.  When you choose a job in an occupation that matches your own interests you have taken an important step in planning a successful and rewarding career.

The occupation of Compensation and Benefits Managers has Enterprising, Social and Conventional characteristics as described below:

Enterprising — Enterprising occupations frequently involve starting up and carrying out projects. These occupations can involve leading people and making many decisions. Sometimes they require risk taking and often deal with business.

Social — Social occupations frequently involve working with, communicating with, and teaching people. These occupations often involve helping or providing service to others.

Conventional — Conventional occupations frequently involve following set procedures and routines. These occupations can include working with data and details more than with ideas. Usually there is a clear line of authority to follow.


Generally this is not required for Compensation and Benefits Managers positions in state government. However, some employers may prefer certification. Certification may enhance professional growth and career opportunities. Certification may be obtained through two major human resources associations: the Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM) and The International Public Management Association for Human Resources (IPMA-HR).

The Society for Human Resources Management has two levels of certification. They are the Professional in Human Resources (PHR) and the Senior Professional in Human Resources (SPHR). Both require experience and a passing score on a comprehensive exam. Society for Human Resource Management's web site is:

The International Public Management Association for Human Resources offers two certifications. They are the IPMA-Certified Professional (IPMA-CP) and the IPMA-Certified Specialist (IPMA-CS). The International Public Management Association for Human Resources' web site is:

Some organizations offer certification programs, which are signs of competence and can enhance one's advancement opportunities. For example, the International Foundation of Employee Benefit Plans confers a designation to persons who complete a series of college-level courses and pass exams covering employee benefit plans. International Foundation of Employee Benefit Plans' web site is:

Managers with the Commonwealth of Virginia are eligible for the Virginia Certified Manager Program offered by the Department of Human Resources. Web site is This certificate program offers practitioner-oriented course work that builds upon management training programs offered through agencies, colleges, and universities.

Attainment of the Certified Administrative Manager (CAM) designation offered by the Institute of Certified Professional Managers, through work experience and successful completion of examinations, can increase a manager's advancement potential. The Institute of Certified Professional Managers is a certifying organization and offers a management certification program. The Institute is located at James Madison University, Harrisonburg, Virginia.  Web site is Management Skills is the theme of the program, which emphasizes the teaching and application of real-world, practical skills and techniques over theories, and critical-thinking skills over rote knowledge.


The Department of Labor provides the following information:

Establishing and maintaining a firm's pay system is the principal job of the compensation manager. Assisted by staff specialists, compensation managers devise ways to ensure fair and equitable pay rates. They may conduct surveys to see how their firm's rates compare with others and to see that the firm's pay scale complies with changing laws and regulations. In addition, compensation managers often oversee their firm's performance evaluation system, and they may design reward systems such as pay-for-performance plans.

Employee benefits managers handle the company's employee benefits program, notably its health insurance and pension plans. Expertise in designing and administering benefits programs continues to take on importance as employer-provided benefits account for a growing proportion of overall compensation costs, and as benefit plans increase in number and complexity.

Because of the diversity of duties and levels of responsibility, the educational backgrounds of human resources, training, and labor relations managers and specialists vary considerably. In filling entry-level jobs, many employers seek college graduates who have majored in human resources, personnel administration, or industrial and labor relations. Other employers look for college graduates with a technical or business background or a well-rounded liberal arts education.

A background in law also is desirable for employee benefits managers and others who must interpret the growing number of laws and regulations. A master's degree in human resources, labor relations, or in business administration with a concentration in human resources management is highly recommended for those seeking general and top management positions.

The State Council of Higher Education lists many Virginia educational institutions having educational programs in human resources management on their web site:


Competencies are a set of identified behaviors, knowledge, skills, and abilities that directly and positively impact the success of employees and the organization. Competencies can be observed and measured.  When consistently demonstrated, competencies make employees particularly effective in their work.  Competencies help lay out a road map to career success.  You can use the Commonwealth Competencies to help improve your individual performance by adopting behaviors that make high performing employees successful in their jobs. In this way, you can use the Commonwealth Competencies for your further professional development.

The Commonwealth Competencies are:

  1. Technical and Functional Expertise
  2. Understanding the Business     
  3. Achieving Results
  4. Serving the Customer
  5. Teamwork
  6. Interpersonal and Communication Skills
  7. Leadership and Personal Effectiveness

The above competencies may be applied to employees throughout the Commonwealth of Virginia.  They can be rank-ordered by agencies and hiring managers to represent the needs of a specific job.  The rank ordering will change depending upon the occupation, an organization's priorities, the actual job requirements, and the supervisor's preferences. 

Career success is both about what you do (applying your technical knowledge, skills, and ability) and how you do it (the consistent behaviors you demonstrate and choose to use) while interacting and communicating with others.  Hopefully, by studying the Commonwealth competencies, identifying your developmental opportunities, and working to refine your own competence, you can take charge of your career!

For additional information about the Commonwealth Competencies go to:  For the competencies, we first list the competencies and then define each.  Finally, we list competency indicators; to describe what successful performance looks like. 


Career opportunities in the Commonwealth are not limited to moving “up” to the next highest role and pay band, changing positions, or to becoming a supervisor.  That's because most roles describe a broad group of occupationally related positions that perform a range of work that requires increased knowledge and skills.  For that reason, Commonwealth roles describe the career paths within the same or higher-level role for the same or different Career Group.  The broad salary range and the Commonwealth's pay practices provide flexibility in recognizing career development and advancement. (Salary Structure)

For example: Compensation and Benefits Managers








Human Resource Manager I



Human Resource Manager II



Human Resource Manager III

Sample Career Path

Human Resource Manager I

The Human Resource Manager I role is the career track for first level managerial employees involved in the planning, implementation and management of one or more specialty areas or serves as a single charge position. These employees consult with agency management on issues related to staffing, policy compliance and organizational development/management as well as direct the work of paraprofessional and professional staff. These employees formulate goals and objectives to support the organization's mission.

Human Resource Manager II

The Human Resource Manager II role is the career track for managers who manage one or more major human resource functional areas of significant complexity to director-level positions that require either a broad range of human resource knowledge or extensive knowledge in a human resource functional area. Employees may direct a major human resource program of considerable complexity and diversity in agencies with a diverse workforce that may include classified, faculty, exempt, many types of occupations and/or geographically dispersed field offices. Employees may manage/administer a major human resource program at the state level.

Human Resource Manager III

The Human Resource Manager III role provides a career track for executive-level employees, who are responsible for providing comprehensive leadership and direction to other managers, geographically dispersed programs, multiple state agencies or programs, and/or highly complex statewide human resource management programs.


O*NET (Occupational Information Network)

Virginia Employment Commission

Career One Stop

Virginia Career Resource Network

Society for Human Resource Management

The International Public Management Association for Human Resources

International Foundation of Employee Benefit Plans