Payroll Specialist Salary
The larger portion of Payroll Specialists in the United States are women. Median pay in this female-dominated area goes for around $18.53 per hour. Cash earnings for Payroll Specialists — including $5K in bonuses and $7K in profit sharing proceeds near the top of the pay scale — generally stretch from $31K to $57K depending on individual performance. The company is the biggest factor affecting pay for this group, followed by the particular city and years of experience. For the most part, Payroll Specialists enjoy their work and report high levels of job satisfaction. A large number report receiving medical coverage from their employers and a fair number collect dental insurance. Participants in PayScale's salary questionnaire provided the particulars of this report.
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
While not commonly seen, Payroll Specialists who transition into a Human Resources Manager position may see a rise in pay. The median salary for Human Resources Managers is $59K per year. The most common career progression for Payroll Specialists leads to becoming a Payroll Manager, where average pay is $56K annually. However, many Payroll Specialists also opt to become Payroll Administrators. Typically, a Payroll Administrator brings home $41K.
Payroll Specialist Job Listings
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Popular Employer Salaries for Payroll Specialist
Paychex, Inc., Automatic Data Processing, Inc. (ADP), ADP National Accounts, Kraco, and Francis E. Parker Memorial Home are leaders in the field that employ a large number of Payroll Specialists. Kraco attracts talent by shelling out the biggest paychecks in the area — the median in that office is $54K.
Although Paychex, Inc. hands out the lowest average salary in town at $35K, employee compensation still varies greatly; workers can make as little as $28K or as much as $53K.
Popular Skills for Payroll Specialist
Survey respondents exploit a significant toolbox of skills in their work. Most notably, skills in ADP Time and Attendance System, Automatic Data Processing Software Suite, ADP Payroll System, and ADP are correlated to pay that is above average, with boosts between 5 percent and 8 percent. Skills that pay less than market rate include Data Entry. Most people skilled in Microsoft Excel are similarly competent in Data Entry.
Pay by Experience Level for Payroll Specialist
Median of all compensation (including tips, bonus, and overtime) by years of experience.
Payroll Specialists do not generally earn higher incomes from more experience in the field. The average beginner in this position makes around $38K, but folks who have been around for five to 10 years see a markedly higher median salary of $44K. Payroll Specialists claiming one to two decades of experience make an estimated median of $45K. Respondents who claim more than 20 years of experience may encounter pay that doesn't quite reflect their extensive experience; these veterans report a median income of around $46K.
Pay Difference by Location
Seattle is home to an above-average pay rate for Payroll Specialists, 23 percent higher than the national average. Payroll Specialists will also find cushy salaries in New York (+20 percent), San Diego (+13 percent), Houston (+12 percent), and Los Angeles (+10 percent). Tampa ranks last in the field for pay, reporting salaries 13 percent below the national average. A couple other locations with smaller-than-average paychecks include St. Louis and Nashville (5 percent lower).
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