What is an Employee Assistance Plan Manager?

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When looking at all of the various career options out there, you may have come across the job of employee assistance plan manager or employee welfare manager. To find out if you might want to get into this type of work, you should research what these professionals do, where they work and the skills and education that they are required to have.

What They Do

Employee assistance plan managers, referred to as EAP managers by many people, are important individuals. They make sure that the employees in their companies are happy, healthy and able to work. They have a wide variety of responsibilities, and each company will give its EAP managers slightly different duties, but in general, an employee assistance plan manager can expect to help employees by creating and managing programs related to:

  • child care
  • elder care
  • weight loss and fitness
  • mental health care
  • medical problems
  • transportation
  • recreation

Basically, an EAP manager is responsible for making sure that the employees of a company are able to be as productive as possible by getting rid of or managing external problems.

Where They Work

EAP managers usually work for large companies that have many employees. Since large companies exist across all industries, these professionals can find jobs in almost any type of corporation. Approximately 500,000 employee welfare managers are working in the United States, and according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, 73 percent of them worked for labor unions or similar organizations in 2012. About 15 percent of all EAP managers work in the employment services industry, meaning that they work in places like temporary job or job placements agencies. Most of these types of professionals work in an office for most or all of the day. Some EAP managers, however, are given additional responsibilities, such as recruiting college students. Employee welfare managers who are involved with recruitment may have to travel to college campuses and job fairs around the region that they live in. Most EAP managers work during normal business hours.

Skills and Education

If you want to get into this line of work, you’ll probably need to get a bachelor’s degree. Majors that you may want to consider include human resources and business administration. In general, no specific certification is required, but some employees do prefer to hire candidates who are either already certified or are willing to work towards certification. As an EAP manager, you’ll be working with employees within an organization. Because of this, interpersonal skills are key. Listening and speaking skills are also important – if employees feel like they can’t effectively communicate with you or that you don’t understand them, they’ll be less likely to seek help for any problems that they may have. If you end up being responsible or partially responsible for finding quality employees for your organization, you’ll also have to be able to pay attention to detail to find the right candidates.

If you love helping people, a career as an employee welfare manager may be a good idea. Once you earn your degree and land a job as an employee assistance plan manager, you’ll have a fun and important career to look forward to.

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