Payroll Specialist Salary
Pay for Payroll Specialists in the United States sits in the ballpark of $18.75 per hour. Total cash compensation to Payroll Specialists varies from $31K to $58K; higher pay grades include potential for bonuses and profit sharing as high as $5K each. The most influential factor affecting pay for this group is the company, though geography and years of experience have a (lesser) impact as well. Job satisfaction is reported as high by the vast majority of workers. Medical benefits are awarded to most, and a strong majority earn dental coverage. Among survey respondents, women are more common than men; 89 percent of Payroll Specialists are female. The figures in this overview were provided by individuals who took PayScale's salary questionnaire.
|Salary||$34,887 - $61,225|
|Bonus||$401.78 - $5,077|
|Profit Sharing||$294.41 - $4,932|
|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).)
|$31,273 - $58,272|
|Hourly Rate||$14.26 - $24.78|
|Overtime||$21.53 - $38.62|
|Bonus||$401.78 - $5,077|
|Profit Sharing||$294.41 - $4,932|
|Total Pay (||$31,273 - $58,272|
Job Description for Payroll Specialist
Payroll specialists can be found in many industries from small businesses to large organizations. Job responsibilities often include payroll processing, maintaining personnel databases, and managing budgetary expenditures. Knowledge and experience with tax laws, union contracts, wage and hour laws, and common fiscal procedures are important. Most payroll specialists are expected to have a good understanding of budgetary operations. Payroll specialists report to a supervisor who oversees the department. Flexible hours, including evenings and weekends, may be required.Read More...
Successful payroll specialists are able to multitask and manage time in a fast-paced environment. They may also be expected to work directly with clients and to successfully address and resolve employee complaints and concerns. A broad range of computer skills are necessary. Payroll specialists often work with online database programs and payroll processing, as well as Microsoft Office applications. Specialists may be called on to prepare reports and to provide accurate company data to management. Clerical skills also are very important. Within one work day, a payroll specialist may be performing data entry, verifying accuracy, maintaining files, preparing mail-outs, addressing contract issues, and answering calls and emails to clients and employees.
Payroll Specialists must be self-motivated, detail-oriented, and work well with numerical data. They must also have excellent customer service skills. A high school diploma or GED is required, while an associate's or bachelor’s degree in accounting or business is often preferred.
Payroll Specialist Tasks
- Audit employee timesheets for hours worked and accuracy.
- Prepare payroll related journal entries for period-end.
- Maintain, prepare and process payroll for organization personnel.
- Maintain current knowledge of IRS regulations.
- Compile and submit payroll deductions related check requests and payments.
Common Career Paths for Payroll Specialist
Payroll Specialists who advance into the role of a Human Resources Manager are fairly uncommon. Human Resources Managers on average earn $59K per year. A Payroll Manager role is the most common promotion for Payroll Specialists moving up the ladder, and pay for the position tends to be around the $56K mark. Another typical, albeit less common, transition for Payroll Specialists is a Payroll Administrator position, where earnings are usually $41K.
Popular Employer Salaries for Payroll Specialist
Paychex, Inc., Automatic Data Processing, Inc. (ADP), Kraco, Francis E. Parker Memorial Home, and ADP National Accounts are all popular places to work. For Payroll Specialists, comfortable salaries can be found at Kraco; in fact, median earnings sit around $54K, the highest in the area. Other big spenders include ADP National Accounts, Francis E. Parker Memorial Home, and Automatic Data Processing, Inc. (ADP), top-paying firms where Payroll Specialists see paychecks nearing $53K, $52K, or $47K.
Paychex, Inc., CoAdvantage, and Automatic Data Processing, Inc. (ADP) also scrape the bottom of the pay scale, with median earnings hovering around $35K, $47K, and $47K.
Popular Skills for Payroll Specialist
Payroll Specialists report using a deep pool of skills on the job. Most notably, skills in Automatic Data Processing Software Suite, ADP Time and Attendance System, ADP Payroll System, and Payroll Tax Compliance are correlated to pay that is above average, with boosts between 4 percent and 7 percent. At the other end of the pay range are skills like Data Entry and Data Processing. Those familiar with Microsoft Excel also tend to know Data Entry.
Pay by Experience Level for Payroll Specialist
Pay by Experience for a Payroll Specialist has a positive trend. An entry-level Payroll Specialist with less than 5 years of experience can expect to earn an average total compensation of $39,000 based on 1,483 salaries provided by anonymous users. Average total compensation includes tips, bonus, and overtime pay. A Payroll Specialist with mid-career experience which includes employees with 5 to 10 years of experience can expect to earn an average total compensation of $44,000 based on 1,006 salaries. An experienced Payroll Specialist which includes employees with 10 to 20 years of experience can expect to earn an average total compensation of $45,000 based on 1,120 salaries. A Payroll Specialist with late-career experience which includes employees with greater than 20 years of experience can expect to earn an average total compensation of $46,000 based on 482 salaries.
Pay Difference by Location
For Payroll Specialists, busy New York offers a higher-than-average pay rate, 28 percent above the national average. Payroll Specialists can also look forward to large paychecks in cities like Seattle (+19 percent), Los Angeles (+12 percent), San Diego (+12 percent), and Dallas (+11 percent). In Tampa, salaries are 13 percent below the national average and represent the lowest-paying market. A couple other locations with smaller-than-average paychecks include Phoenix and Cincinnati (4 percent lower).
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