The average salary of entry-level health-benefits employees varies based on location, skill level, company size and type, as well as the supply and demand of labor. The single most important factor influencing an individual's rate of pay is the kind of work performed. Because of the type of work performed by health care benefits workers, the entry-level salary is typically higher than other entry-level positions in fields outside of the health care industry, such as manufacturing or retail sales.
Benefits Administration Positions
According to SHRM Society of Human Resource Management, an entry-level health benefit worker's responsibility is to develop, implement and administer cost-effective health benefits programs. According to the 2012 General industry HR compensation survey report, the entry-level salary for such benefits workers hovered between $44,000 and $46,000. The organizations that participated in this survey included Blue Cross Blue Shield, AFLAC, The American Cancer Society and United Healthcare. Entry-level health benefits workers who earn a starting rate of $44,000 generally carry the title of Benefits Manager or Coordinator. The Bureau of Labor Statistics report that Benefits Managers do more than manage health benefits; they also manage employee compensation as well as retirement plans and other benefits the organization has to offer. They usually hold a bachelor's degree in Human Resources.
Medical Billing Jobs
Entry-level health benefits workers that support the business function carry the title of medical records clerk, medical billing officer, medical administrative assistant, or health information specialist; they are paid an average of $32,350 per year. These workers don't require a degree and typically have a professional certification. Their responsibilities are to organize and manage health data, as well as code and categorize patient information for reimbursement.
Health Care Analyst
The "Triad Business Journal" reports that health care reform and the shift toward “value-based” care mean a growing list of jobs are now in high demand within the health care industry, starting with Healthcare Analyst. Providers are now using patient data and analysis to better identify those needing a higher level of care, and to track cost savings associated with preventive care and early intervention. Healthcare Analysts will be needed to verify the validity of data, correct any errors, analyze data using computer software, and prepare reports. This job requires a bachelor's degree and extra study or training in the medical field. As a result of the health care boom and demand, the average entry-level salary for these positions is $47,000.
Volunteer Work & Internships
Entry-level salaries may be higher for health care benefit workers who are able to show that they have skill sets that are high in demand during the interview process. For instance, individuals who are able to showcase their expertise and skills in healthcare benefits through volunteer projects or internships are likely to enter into the field at a higher pay rate than those individuals who fail to mention relevant volunteer work or internships.
2016 Salary Information for Compensation and Benefits Managers
Compensation and benefits managers earned a median annual salary of $116,240 in 2016, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. On the low end, compensation and benefits managers earned a 25th percentile salary of $87,120, meaning 75 percent earned more than this amount. The 75th percentile salary is $156,050, meaning 25 percent earn more. In 2016, 15,800 people were employed in the U.S. as compensation and benefits managers.