DEFINITION of Certified Employee Benefit Specialist

A Certified Employee Benefit Specialist can earn a professional designation by completing an educational program, and is a professional who handles benefits for companies but wants to be able to plan and negotiate packages.

BREAKING DOWN Certified Employee Benefit Specialist

Overseen by the Wharton School of Business at the University of Pennsylvania and the Dalhousie University in Canada, this leading certification in the field can often lead to additional employment prospects. A Certified Employee Benefit Specialist has a vast understanding of compensation structures, health insurance and disability insurance.

Candidates must complete eight courses either online or in a class setting. In the U.S., the agenda focuses on topics such as group health plan design, group benefits management, healthcare financing and economics, retirement plan design, retirement plan management, asset management, human resources and compensation management, compensation concepts and principles, executive compensation, basic personal financial planning, and tax and estate planning.

The coursework is slightly different in Canada. It covers principles of group benefits, applications of group benefits, healthcare economics and issues, retirement income programs, asset management, government-sponsored benefits, compensation concepts and principles, executive compensation, human resource management, and basic personal financial planning.

All students must pass an exam following completion of each of the eight courses.

Candidates can also add onto their CEBS credentials by becoming a Group Benefit Associate (GBA), Retirement Plans Associate (RPA) or a Compensation Management Specialist (CMS).

According to the International Foundation of Employee Benefits Plans (IFEBP), “A CEBS designation is the most desired professional credential in the employee benefits and compensation field. This certification proves excellence and assures a standard of competency in the field.”

Business Schools for Certified Employee Benefit Specialists

Some of the most popular business schools for this designation are Strayer University, Southern New Hampshire University, Herzing University, Colorado State University Global and Capella University.