Payroll Accountants in the United States are often veterans in their line of work, with just over a half bringing more than 10 years of experience to the table. Salaries slide in at $52K per year on average but can range from $34K to $67K per year. Total cash compensation to Payroll Accountants bottoms out near $34K and approaches $67K on the high end; the biggest paychecks include approximately $5K from bonuses and almost $5K from profit sharing. Geography and experience level each impact pay for this group, with the former having the largest influence. Women account for the majority of Payroll Accountants who took the survey — 89 percent to be exact. A large number report receiving medical coverage from their employers and the larger part collect dental insurance. Most workers in this position report high levels of job satisfaction. The figures in this overview were provided by individuals who took PayScale's salary questionnaire.
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$37,510 - $69,173
(Median)
$38K
$52K
$69K
MEDIAN: $51,520
10%
50%
90%

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$14.24 - $28.11
(Median)
$14
$20
$28
MEDIAN: $20
10%
50%
90%

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National Salary Data (?
XAll compensation data shown are gross 10th to 90th percentile ranges. Take the PayScale Survey to find out how location influences pay for this job.
)
$0$24K$48K$72K
Salary
$37,510 - $69,173  
   
Bonus
$0.00 - $5,045  
Profit Sharing
$0.00 - $5,336  
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).
)
$33,924 - $67,331  
Country: United States | Currency: USD | Updated: 28 Oct 2016 | Individuals Reporting: 329
National Hourly Rate Data (?
XAll compensation data shown are gross 10th to 90th percentile ranges. Take the PayScale Survey to find out how location influences pay for this job.
)
$0$16$32$48
Hourly Rate
$14.24 - $28.11  
   
Hourly Tips
$0.56  
Overtime
$22.81 - $46.89  
National Annualized Data (?
XAll compensation data shown are gross 10th to 90th percentile ranges. Take the PayScale Survey to find out how location influences pay for this job.
)
$0$32K$64K$96K
Bonus
$0.00 - $5,045  
   
Profit Sharing
$0.00 - $5,336  
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).
)
$33,924 - $67,331  
Country: United States | Currency: USD | Updated: 28 Oct 2016 | 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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A lot of Payroll Accountants move on to become Payroll Managers, that group gets paid a slightly higher $56K on average.

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Popular Skills for Payroll Accountant


Survey results suggest that Payroll Accountants put a wide range of professional skills to use. Most notably, skills in Accounting, General Ledger Accounting, Payroll Tax Compliance, and ADP Payroll System are correlated to pay that is above average, with boosts between 6 percent and 13 percent. At the other end of the pay range are skills like Microsoft Excel and Accounts Receivable. The majority of those who know Payroll Administration also know 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.


Relatively untried employees who have less than five years' experience make $44K, but folks with five to 10 years under their belts enjoy an appreciably larger median of $52K. Payroll Accountants with one to two decades of relevant experience report an average salary of approximately $52K. Respondents who boast more than two decades on the job don't boast commensurate pay, unfortunately; these veterans see average earnings of only $51K.

Pay Difference by Location

National Average: $49,328

Larger city markers indicate a job is popular in that location.

Home to some of the best pay for Payroll Accountants, Chicago offers exceptional salaries, 38 percent above the national average. Payroll Accountants will also find cushy salaries in San Francisco (+32 percent), Los Angeles (+21 percent), San Jose (+16 percent), and Washington (+12 percent). Location significantly influences compensation, with Colorado Springs Payroll Accountants earning much less — 21 percent less — than the national average. Two other places where employers offer below-median salaries are Portland (18 percent less) and The Woodlands (8 percent less).

Related Job Salaries

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Experience Affects Payroll Accountant Salaries




National Average
$49,000


Skills That Affect Payroll Accountant Salaries

Accounting
up arrow 13%



ADP Payroll System
up arrow 4%

Payroll Administration
up arrow 2%

Accounts Payable
0%

National Average
$49,000


Microsoft Excel
up arrow 9%

Job Satisfaction

Highly satisfied
Rated 4 out of 5
based on 63 votes.

Gender

Female
89 %
Male
11 %

Years of Experience

Less than 1 year
2%
1-4 years
28%
5-9 years
18%
10-19 years
30%
20 years or more
22%

Common Health Benefits

medical benefits
Medical: 82%
dental benefits
Dental: 69%
medical benefits
Vision: 57%
dental benefits
None: 15%
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