Benefits coordinators assist benefits specialists and other human resources personnel with administering benefits programs. These professionals can be found in HR departments of employers of all sizes, in a variety of industries, including construction, finance, manufacturing and telecommunications. Benefits coordinators often serve as the employees’ first contact regarding benefits issues. The path to a benefits coordinator career can begin with an associate’s degree in applied psychology.
The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) reports that in general, HR jobs should experience strong growth in coming years. Employment will increase due to an increasing need for HR personnel, a trend toward outsourcing human resources functions, and increasing efforts of employers to hire and retain quality employees through improved benefits packages. Individuals with well-rounded educational backgrounds and college degrees should enjoy the best job opportunities.
Becoming a benefits coordinator can mean a challenging and rewarding career, with room for professional growth. Job duties typically consist of assisting the benefits specialist or HR manager in administering employee benefits. Benefits coordinators often serve as the first contact for employees with questions or issues regarding benefits. In addition, benefits coordinators are usually required to stay up-to-date on employee legislation, as well as keep excellent records.
Benefits coordinators may assist with preparing and conducting employee benefit orientation, managing benefit enrollment, status changes and terminations, and setting up employee benefits files in compliance with company and governmental regulations. These professionals also track employee hours and other factors that affect benefit eligibility, and may represent their employer at career fairs and recruiting events. They often assist the HR department with other duties as necessary.
As part of the human resources team, benefits coordinators work in office environments; a 40-hour week is typical, although many work part-time.
National data on PayScale.com in May 2011 indicate that benefits coordinators earned an average salary of $40,981. The middle 50% earned between $18,419 and $53,543. Recent associate’s degree program graduates will typically start out toward the lower end of the scale and move up in salary with experience and additional education.
Many entry-level benefits coordinator positions require an associate’s degree. Industrial and organizational psychology courses, as well as knowledge of principles of management, are useful in landing these positions and gaining the knowledge and experience you’ll need to advance in your professional career.
A benefits coordinator career can begin with enrolling in an Associate of Arts in Applied Psychology degree program. Coursework typically includes group behavior, philosophy of human nature, social problems and human behavior perspective.
Employers can be confident that graduates of an associate’s degree in applied psychology program are able to:
Some employers offer opportunities for continuing education. It’s possible to enter the field with an associate’s degree and use a tuition assistance program to pay for a bachelor’s degree program.
With excellent organizational and communication skills, strong interpersonal skills and the ability to work on a team, you could be a great fit for a benefits coordinator career. Knowledge of group behavior and lifespan development will serve you well in this field, and could lead to advancement. Becoming a benefits coordinator is an ideal first step to advanced HR positions with higher salaries, such as benefits specialist. With additional education, including a bachelor’s in applied psychology with a concentration in organizational psychology, your career options are limitless.