Payroll Administrator

Last Updated:
June 29, 2023

Job Description Overview

A Payroll Administrator job description involves managing the financial aspect of employee compensation. In Human Resources, Payroll Administrators are responsible for ensuring the correct wages and deductions are paid to employees on time.

A typical day for a Payroll Administrator includes maintaining employee records, processing time off requests, and coordinating with management to resolve any payroll-related issues. They also monitor tax laws and ensure tax reports are filed accurately and timely.

This job requires strong mathematical and organizational skills, as well as attention to detail. A Payroll Administrator should be comfortable working with numbers and be proficient with payroll software.

The goal of a Payroll Administrator is to ensure all employees receive accurate and timely compensation, and that company financial records are up to date. If you're interested in a career as a Payroll Administrator, you should have a degree in business, accounting, or a related field.

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Job Duties and Responsibilities

  • Process payroll accurately and on time
  • Ensure compliance with federal and state payroll laws and regulations
  • Maintain employee payroll records
  • Answer employee payroll-related questions
  • Administer employee benefits, such as retirement or health plans
  • Handle payroll deductions, such as taxes or garnishments
  • Prepare and submit reports to management and government agencies
  • Verify and reconcile payroll data to ensure accuracy
  • Monitor employee timekeeping and attendance
  • Maintain confidentiality of employee payroll information

Experience and Education Requirements

To work as a Payroll Administrator in Human Resources, you usually need a combination of education and experience. Many employers require a high school diploma or GED equivalent, but some prefer candidates to have an associate or bachelor's degree in Accounting or Human Resources. It's also important to have experience working with payroll processing software, payroll taxes, and benefits administration. You'll need to be detail-oriented, comfortable working with numbers, and able to communicate clearly with employees and management. Some organizations may also require certification, such as the Certified Payroll Professional (CPP) credential. Relevant experience in HR or payroll can help you stand out when applying for this role.

Salary Range

If you're considering a career as a Payroll Administrator in the United States, you'll be pleased to know that the salary range for this role varies between $38,000 to $68,000 per year. Payroll Administrators are responsible for maintaining accurate payroll records, processing employee paychecks, and ensuring that all taxes and deductions are correctly calculated and deducted. Typically, the level of experience and location of the job will impact the salary range. For example, Payroll Administrators working in New York City may earn more than those in a smaller city. In Canada, the salary range is similar, ranging between CAD 39,000 to CAD 70,000 per year. 


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Career Outlook

The career outlook for Payroll Administrators in the Human Resources industry is promising over the next 5 years. According to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics, employment of payroll and timekeeping clerks is projected to grow 4 percent from 2019 to 2029, about as fast as the average for all occupations. The main driver of this growth is increased demand for accurate recordkeeping, to ensure compliance with changing tax and other regulations. Additionally, with a growing trend towards outsourcing payroll services, companies are expected to continue to rely on payroll administrators to manage this critical function. For those interested in pursuing a career in payroll administration, there will likely be ample job opportunities available as the field continues to grow.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

Q: What does a payroll administrator do?

A: A payroll administrator is responsible for managing employee payroll records, ensuring accurate payments, and filing taxes.

Q: What skills does a payroll administrator need?

A: A payroll administrator needs strong attention to detail, proficiency in math and accounting, knowledge of payroll software, and the ability to communicate effectively with employees and government agencies.

Q: Do payroll administrators need any education or certification?

A: While there are no strict educational requirements, many employers prefer candidates with a degree in accounting or human resources, and some require certification through organizations such as the American Payroll Association.

Q: What are some common challenges faced by payroll administrators?

A: Common challenges include navigating complex tax laws and regulations, implementing new payroll software or procedures, and dealing with discrepancies or errors in payroll records.

Q: Is there room for growth in the payroll administrator role?

A: Yes, experienced payroll administrators may advance to supervisory or management positions, or expand their skills and knowledge to become payroll consultants or human resources generalists.

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