Should I Consider Becoming a Benefits Clerk?
Feb 27, 2015 | 10:00 am
In business today, one of the busiest areas on a regular basis is the human resources department. These offices are manned by a seemingly tireless band of benefits clerks.
What is a Benefits Clerk?
The field of human relations is a growing field. On the front lines of that field is the benefits clerk. The benefits clerk works in the human resources department to help employees understand the benefits package offered by the employer. Clerks often act as a liaison between the employees and the insurance companies and benefits providers. The questions of employees regarding their benefits are important and they need to know the proper way to file a claim. The benefits clerk is usually the first resource within the organization to deal with this issue.
What Are Some of the Duties of a Benefits Clerk?
In addition to being at meetings with new employees, a benefits clerk assists all employees by answering questions about how these packages affect the employees’ dependents and how to fill out a benefits application. Then, the clerk processes the submitted application and files this information in the human resources department; he or she also is responsible to cancel policies and benefits for employees who have left the organization. In general, the benefits clerk is the go-to person when major events happened and the oracle of knowledge the employees and management depend on.
What Kind of Skills Are Required of a Benefits Clerk?
For the most part, a benefits clerk must have organizational skills to work in the ever more complicated human resources department. A benefits clerk, of course, must have good written and verbal communications skills to help employees understand their benefits, eligibility requirements and dependent information. It is suggested that a clerk who can speak more than one language is an asset to a company with a diverse workforce, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.
What Kind of Education is Required?
For decades, a high school education and some secretarial classes swung the door to the HR department wide open. A high school education is still the prime requirement for a clerk, but should you aspire to management, an associate’s or bachelor’s degree is required. Regardless of your education, you should expect to take additional courses on everything from equal opportunity employment regulations to the latest on insurance, and the list may seem unending. The problem for some aspiring benefits clerks is that these courses are not fluff courses. Employees and management will come to you with questions that require accurate answers and you had best be prepared.
The nice thing about the benefits career is that it will seldom be boring and at times the profession can net some hectic days. Depending on the company, you may even have to explain new benefits to the midnight shift and you may have more than your share of arguing employees, but when the chips are down, it is your knowledge that can make all the difference for a person in need. You may have to be the savior of the company’s profits just the same. That’s not a bad thing to look forward to each and every day; it’s what you call job satisfaction.