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How Do I Become a Benefits Administrator?

A benefits administrator may oversee a company's healthcare benefits plans.
Some benefits administrators progress through the ranks of human resources or personnel management.
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  • Written By: Geri Terzo
  • Edited By: A. Joseph
  • Last Modified Date: 14 December 2014
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A benefits administrator is a senior professional who has a great degree of responsibility in an organization. This individual typically must oversee the retirement benefits and possibly the healthcare benefits of an entire organization. To become a benefits administrator, an individual can progress through the ranks of human resources or personnel management or might be a senior member of a finance department at a corporation. If an organization has the resources to devote an entire division to benefits, a professional might attain the administrator role after beginning as a team member and working under a more senior individual until an opportunity for promotion arises.

To become a benefits administrator and begin handling sensitive financial and personal information about the personnel in an organization, you should consider earning a college degree in human resources or a related field. Employers will expect that candidates for this role have completed a college education, and a related degree will increase your credentials. Job experience in a personnel management capacity or in payroll or finance could also prepare you to become a benefits administrator.

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Human resource professionals often oversee an organization's benefits tied to retirement, healthcare, disabilities and various types of employee leave. Obtaining job experience in the human resource department could lead to an opportunity to become a benefits administrator. New employers might require some job experience as a benefits administrator to be hired, so it might work to your advantage to excel through the human resource division at a single corporation until the administrator designation is attained. If this is not reasonable, you can become an attractive candidate for the administrative role at another company by being as involved as possible in the benefits procedures while working as a team member. For instance, you can participate during open enrollment when decisions surrounding employer benefits for the subsequent year are made.

There is a difference between overseeing benefits in the public sector of the economy and serving as a benefits administrator in the private sector. Both sectors might be beholden to a board of directors for major decisions, but the public sector is often governed by laws and legislative policies concerning employee benefits in a region. Private sector employers might find greater flexibility and opportunity for a more assertive approach to implementing and managing benefits. To become a benefits administrator, you might need to have experience in the sector for which you will be running a retirement plan, healthcare package or both. Decide which group you prefer to be integrated with so that the job experience remains relevant to the industry.

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