Benefits administration certification is designed for human resources professionals who want to build skills and advance their careers. You should evaluate your professional goals carefully because the range of offerings is large. In general, certifying organizations offer online, self-study and classroom test preparation and grant certification on completion of online exams. Some programs are comprehensive, some are more targeted and some are international in focus. Sponsoring organizations also offer continuing professional education and networking opportunities.

Comprehensive Benefit Administration Certifications

Four organizations provide the most comprehensive curricula: the International Foundation of Employee Benefit Professionals, WorldatWork Society of Certified Professionals, the Economic Research Institute and the HR Certification Institute. IFEBP offers an eight-course Certified Employee Benefit Specialist certification. WorldatWork offers a seven-course Certified Benefits Professional designation. ERI offers a similarly-focused, 12-course Benefits Analyst Credential. HRCI offers the Professional in Human Resources and Senior Professional in Human Resources certifications. These six-unit programs focus broadly on human resources but include substantial benefits coursework. Some online universities also offer post-graduate certifications in human resources management that include benefits administration courses.

Targeted Certifications

Sometimes the full menu is too much. HRcertification.com, offers specific training in several benefit areas, including 401(k) plans, the Family Medical Leave Act or COBRA requirements. Participants may choose to apply these courses toward a Certified Administrator designation. HRCI offers two benefits administration certifications specific to California. Organizations like SAP and ADP offer training in the use of proprietary products used in compensation and benefits record keeping.

International Certifications

Three of the biggest certifying organizations also offer international options. IFEBP offers a CEBS specific to Canadian law. WorldatWork has a seven-course Canadian version of its Certified Compensation Professional certification and an eight-course Global Remuneration Professional certification. HRCI offers three international benefits administration certificates that deal with global compensation and benefits -- a basic Global Professional Human Resources and more advanced Human Resources Business Professional and Human Resources Management Professional certifications.

Continuing Professional Education

Human resources professionals can continue their career development with post-certification education and networking through the more comprehensive organizations. IFEBP graduates may join the International Society of Certified Employee Benefit Specialists. WorldatWork Society of Professionals is open to those with WorldatWork certifications. Graduates of HRCI have opportunities through the Society of Human Resource Management. Some organizations require continuing education for periodic recertification. Benefits administration certifications may also be useful for meeting the continuing education requirements for other professional licenses.