Becoming an Enrollment Specialist: Job Description & Salary

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Learn about an enrollment specialist's job description, salary and training requirements. Get straight talk about the pros and cons of an enrollment specialist career.
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An Enrollment Specialist Career: Pros and Cons

Enrollment specialists enroll new members in education and insurance programs, maintain old members and answer questions about products and programs. Check out the pros and cons tables to learn more.

Pros of Becoming an Enrollment Specialist
Multiple job options (eligibility interviewer, human resources assistant, customer service representative)*
Work schedule is usually daytime hours*
May only require only a high school diploma or associate's degree*
Work available in a variety of industries (government, insurance, education and healthcare)*

Cons of Becoming an Enrollment Specialist
Below average earnings (in May 2014 information clerks earned a mean annual salary of about $27,000, human resources assistants averaged about $38,000 and eligibility interviewers made an average of about $42,000 - the average for all occupations was about $45,000)*
Below average job growth for some specialties (eligibility interviewers had a projected 2% growth from 2014-2024)*
Jobs may be threatened by outsourcing*
Must be computer savvy*

Source: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.

Career Information

Job Description and Duties

The job duties of an enrollment specialist may vary by industry. For example, in the insurance industry, your job may be closely related to that of an information clerk or customer service worker. In both of these jobs, you collect data from customers either face-to-face, over the telephone or online. As you gather information, you enter it into a computer database or create a handwritten record. After speaking with an individual, you may use the information they provided to determine if they qualify for services from your company. If you are an enrollment specialist for a school, your job may be closely related to an admissions counselor and you'll help potential students navigate the admissions or financial-aid process. You might also work for a public school system or the government with the job of locating uninsured children and informing their parents of government health and education programs.

Enrollment specialists may work on a temporary as-needed basis or on a full-time schedule, depending on the type of work. Most work hours are during the day with little or no work on weekends, evenings or holidays. However, some positions may require work outside of normal business hours.

Job Growth and Salary

Job growth and salary possibilities are dependent on the type of work you do. Eligibility interviewers, which fall into the information clerk category, were projected to have a 2% job growth over the decade from 2014-2024, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS). Information clerks in general, were expected to see a seven percent job growth from 2014-2024. Human resource assistants had a projected job growth of 11%. Customer service representatives had a projected job growth of 10% from 2014-2024.

Salaries also depend on your job category and duties. In May 2014, the BLS reported the mean annual wage for receptionists and information clerks was about $27,000, with most making between about $18,000 and $38,000. For customer service representatives, the BLS reported a mean annual wage of about $33,000 in May 2014, with most making between about $19,000 and $51,000. Human resources assistants had a mean annual salary of $38,000, with most making between about $25,000 and $54,000.

Career Skills and Requirements

Enrollment specialists may be required to have some education or experience in the field in which they work. For some jobs, you may only be required to have a high school diploma, while others require a 2-year or 4-year degree. Jobs in financial services generally require some knowledge of financial concepts, while jobs in the healthcare industry require knowledge of health insurance. Enrollment specialists that work with government programs typically prefer candidates that are bilingual. Most jobs require proficiency in computer database and office programs. Specific skills and personal qualities required for this job include:

  • Interpersonal communication skills
  • Computer skills
  • Ability to keep information confidential
  • Customer service skills
  • Patience

Job Postings from Real Employers

Job postings from April 2012 showed employers were seeking enrollment specialists for a number of industries. Employers often cited a requirement for candidates to have people skills and be able to work with a diverse population. Below are some examples of these job postings:

  • A Utah insurance company was looking for a temporary (on call) human resource assistant/enrollment specialist to enroll individuals in insurance plans. This required a background in health insurance, knowledge of government health privacy policies, life or health insurance license, reliable transportation and PowerPoint presentation skills.
  • A county health department in New York was looking for an eligibility interview/enrollment specialist to screen individuals for state government benefits. Requirements for the position included some college coursework in human services or health or experience in the field and a high school diploma or equivalent.
  • An online learning management company in Arizona was looking for a full-time online enrollment specialist to help nursing students sign up for online programs. The job entailed answering questions regarding what programs are available, how online courses work and completing the admissions process. Customer service skills and a 2-year degree were required, and the employer preferred someone with knowledge of nursing.
  • A benefits administration company in Washington advertised for an electronic enrollment specialist to determine benefit eligibility and to process electronic benefit enrollments. The job required an associate's degree and knowledge of electronic file management and data entry.

How to Make Your Skills Stand Out

Because many job ads site the preference for bilingual candidates, you may want to take foreign language courses and become fluent. Also, gaining experience in the industry in which you want to work may help you to gain an edge over the competition. Keeping up with the latest computer database software may also be helpful.

Alternative Career Paths

If you like the job of enrollment specialist, but you're looking for a career with higher salary potential, you might consider becoming an administrative assistant. Administrative assistants do some of the same job functions as an enrollment specialist, like gathering information, preparing presentations and interacting with people, with the addition of more clerical tasks, such as preparing letters and answering telephones. In 2011, the BLS reported that administrative assistants made a mean annual wage of about $48,000.

If you like working in the insurance industry, but you would like a career with higher earning and growth potential, you might consider becoming an insurance sales agent. As an insurance agent, you help individuals purchase insurance products. You explain the different options and benefits available, similar to an enrollment specialist, and then you sell the insurance package that best fits your client's needs. Many employers only require a high school diploma, but many of the agents in the job market have bachelor's degrees. Insurance agents must have a state license. The BLS projected a 22% job growth from 2010-2020 for insurance agents. In May 2011, the mean annual wage for insurance agents was around $63,000.

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Johns Hopkins University

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Regent University

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Louisiana State University Shreveport

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South College

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Tulane University

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