Payroll Accountant Salary (United States)

Seasoned employees—those with more than 10 years of experience in the field—make up the largest chunk of Payroll Accountants in the United States, 50 percent. There is a range in pay— $30,976 to $64,811 per year—with average salary amounting to $45,539 annually. Cash earnings—including $4,771 in bonuses and $5,918 profit sharing proceeds near the top of the pay scale—generally stretch from $34,694 to $65,797 depending on individual performance. Residency is the biggest factor affecting pay for this group, followed by experience level. Benefits are plentiful in this line of work; most people have both medical and dental plans, and more than half have vision insurance. The majority of workers are highly satisfied with their job. The numbers in this rundown were provided by PayScale's salary survey participants.
Payroll Accountant Salary (?
XAll compensation data shown are gross, national 10th to 90th percentile ranges. Pay can vary greatly by location. To view local data, take the PayScale survey.
)
$34,694 - $65,797
(Median)
35K
41K
49K
57K
66K
MEDIAN: $48,685
10%
25%
50%
75%
90%
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Payroll Accountant Salary (?
XAll compensation data shown are gross, national 10th to 90th percentile ranges. Pay can vary greatly by location. To view local data, take the PayScale survey.
)
$11.12 - $24.37
(Median)
11
15
18
21
24
MEDIAN: $17.00
10%
25%
50%
75%
90%
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National Salary Data

 (?
XAll compensation data shown are gross, national 10th to 90th percentile ranges. Pay can vary greatly by location. To view local data, take the PayScale survey.
)
$0$22K$44K$66K
Salary
$34,694 - $65,797  
   
Bonus
$0.00 - $4,771  
Profit Sharing
$-0.50 - $5,918  
Total Pay (?
XTotal Pay combines base annual salary or hourly wage, bonuses, profit sharing, tips, commissions, overtime pay and other forms of cash earnings, as applicable for this job. It does not include equity (stock) compensation, cash value of retirement benefits, or the value of other non-cash benefits (e.g. healthcare).
)
$30,976 - $64,811  
PayScale
Country: United States | Currency: USD | Updated: 3 Sep 2014 | Individuals Reporting: 415
National Hourly Rate Data (?
XAll compensation data shown are gross, national 10th to 90th percentile ranges. Pay can vary greatly by location. To view local data, take the PayScale survey.
)
$0$15$30$45
Hourly Rate
$11.12 - $24.37  
   
Overtime
$16.68 - $43.43  
National Annualized Data (?
XAll compensation data shown are gross, national 10th to 90th percentile ranges. Pay can vary greatly by location. To view local data, take the PayScale survey.
)
$0$30K$60K$90K
Bonus
$0.00 - $4,771  
   
Profit Sharing
$-0.50 - $5,918  
Total Pay (?
XTotal Pay combines base annual salary or hourly wage, bonuses, profit sharing, tips, commissions, overtime pay and other forms of cash earnings, as applicable for this job. It does not include equity (stock) compensation, cash value of retirement benefits, or the value of other non-cash benefits (e.g. healthcare).
)
$30,976 - $64,811  
PayScale
Country: United States | Currency: USD | Updated: 3 Sep 2014 | Individuals Reporting: 174
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Job Description for Payroll Accountant

Payroll accountants generate, maintain, and interpret various reports and financial statements for the company. Most of their work is performed internally, and adherence to various government standards and company policies is critical. Depending on the size of the company, this work may be performed with a team of other accountants or independently; however, payroll accountants should be flexible enough to work both independently and in a team setting. All work is performed in an indoor office environment during regular business hours, although some overtime may be required due to upcoming deadlines or other business needs.
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Payroll Accountant Tasks
  • Generate and interpret financial records and statements for management.
  • Maintain records of assets, liabilities, profit and loss, tax liability, or other financial activities within an organization.
  • Analyze financial data in order to prepare financial reports.
  • Utilize accounting principles to report employee earnings; such as salaries, wages, bonuses, and overtime and payroll taxes as well as employer paid benefits; such as vacation and holidays, various insurance and retirement plans.

Common Career Paths for Payroll Accountant

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For Payroll Accountants, career advancement usually has a positive, though somewhat slight, impact on pay. Approaching the top of the pay scale, a Payroll Manager will earn $7,924 more than someone not as far along in their career.

Payroll Accountant Job Listings

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Popular Skills for Payroll Accountant

Overall, survey participants reported applying a fair number of skills to their work. Most notably, skills in General Ledger Accounting, Accounting, Payroll Tax Compliance, and ADP Payroll System are correlated to pay that is above average, with boosts of 12 percent, 12 percent, 11 percent, and 11 percent, respectively. For most people, competency in Payroll Administration indicates knowledge of ADP Payroll System and Accounts Payable.

Pay by Experience Level for Payroll Accountant

Median of all compensation (including tips, bonus, and overtime) by years of experience.
Salaries start at $41K, which grows to $46K after five to 10 years. Compensation is $49,670 after 10 to 20 years. For Payroll Accountants, pay actually goes down to about $49K after two decades on the job. Payroll Accountants with one to 10 years in the field are most commonly found while those with 10 to 20 years of experience are harder to spot. The rarest group is the one with the most experience to boot—more than 20 years.

Pay Difference By Location

San Francisco
up arrow 30%
Washington
up arrow 14%
San Jose
up arrow 12%
Dallas
up arrow 10%
Houston
up arrow 1%
National Average
$46,000
Charlotte
up arrow 8%
Atlanta
up arrow 8%
Portland
up arrow 12%
Larger circles over a city indicate a job is popular in that location.
Surpassing the national average by 30 percent, Payroll Accountants in San Francisco receive some of the highest pay in the country. Also paying near the top of the field are Washington, San Jose, Dallas, and Houston, where Payroll Accountants annually earn 14 percent, 12 percent, 10 percent, and 1 percent more than the national average. Portland is the lowest-paying area, 12 percent south of the national average. Employers also pay below the national average in Charlotte (-8 percent) and Atlanta (-8 percent).

Related Job Salaries

Experience Affects Payroll Accountant Salaries

National Average
$46,000

Skills That Affect Payroll Accountant Salaries

Accounting
up arrow 12%
ADP Payroll System
up arrow 2%
Payroll Administration
up arrow 1%
Accounts Receivable
up arrow 1%
Accounts Payable
0%
National Average
$46,000

Job Satisfaction

Highly satisfied Image
Highly satisfied
Rated 4 out of 5 based on 146 votes.

Gender

Female
90%
female alumni
 
Male
10%
male alumni

Years of Experience

Less than 1 year
3%
1-4 years
24%
5-9 years
22%
10-19 years
32%
20 years or more
18%

Common Health Benefits

medical benefits Medical: 82% dental benefits Dental: 75%
vision benefits Vision: 57% employee benefits None: 16%
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