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Payroll Specialist Salary

Most Payroll Specialists in the United States are women. The median pay for people in this role is approximately $17.95 per hour. Total incomes of Payroll Specialists incorporate potential for, in a few cases, more than $3K from bonuses and close to $5K from profit sharing; these performance components cause packages to range between $30K and $55K. The most important factor affecting compensation for this group is the company, followed by geography and years of experience. A strong majority report receiving medical coverage from their employers and a fair number collect dental insurance. Most Payroll Specialists report high levels of job satisfaction. This overview is based on answers to PayScale's salary questionnaire.

$32,580 - $57,404
(Median)
$33K
$44K
$57K
MEDIAN: $43,663
10%
50%
90%

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$13.83 - $23.86
(Median)
$14
$18
$24
MEDIAN: $17.00
10%
50%
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$20K$40K$60K
Salary
$32,580 - $57,404  
   
Bonus
$0.00 - $2,994  
Profit Sharing
$201.34 - $4,596  
Commission
$500 - $3,100  
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).
)
$30,351 - $55,398  
Country: United States | Currency: USD | Updated: 1 Apr 2015 | Individuals Reporting: 1,517
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$13$26$39
Hourly Rate
$13.83 - $23.86  
   
Hourly Tips
$0.00 - $0.36  
Overtime
$20.00 - $36.79  
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$26K$52K$78K
Bonus
$0.00 - $2,994  
   
Commission
$500 - $3,100  
Profit Sharing
$201.34 - $4,596  
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).
)
$30,351 - $55,398  
Country: United States | Currency: USD | Updated: 1 Apr 2015 | Individuals Reporting: 1,984

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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.

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Payroll Specialist Tasks

  • Maintain current knowledge of IRS regulations.
  • Compile and submit payroll deductions related check requests and payments.
  • Maintain, prepare and process payroll for organization personnel.
  • Audit employee timesheets for hours worked and accuracy.
  • Prepare payroll related journal entries for period-end.

Common Career Paths for Payroll Specialist


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While Payroll Specialists do not often become Human Resources Managers, the job pays $58K per year on average. More often, however, Payroll Specialists go on to become Payroll Managers or Payroll Administrators.

Payroll Specialist Job Listings

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Popular Employer Salaries for Payroll Specialist


Francis E. Parker Memorial Home attracts talent by shelling out the biggest paychecks in the area — the median in that office is $52K.

Paychex, Inc. offers the lowest pay in the field with a median salary of just $38K. There's also little variation in pay at the company, with pay ranging from $27K to $46K.

Popular Skills for Payroll Specialist


Survey participants wield an impressively varied skill set on the job. Most notably, skills in ADP Time and Attendance System, ADP Payroll System, ADP, and Benefits & Compensation are correlated to pay that is above average, with boosts between 8 percent and 11 percent. Skills that pay less than market rate include Accounts Receivable. Most people who know Microsoft Excel also know Data Entry.

Pay by Experience Level for Payroll Specialist

Median of all compensation (including tips, bonus, and overtime) by years of experience.


Experience and pay tend to be weakly linked for Payroll Specialists — those with more experience do not necessarily bring in higher earnings. Although individuals who have less than five years' experience earn $37K on average, people with five to 10 years benefit from a notably larger average of $42K. For Payroll Specialists, 10 to 20 years of experience on the job amounts to an average salary of $44K. Payroll Specialists with more than 20 years of experience report incomes that are no higher than those with 10 to 20 years on the job.

Pay Difference by Location


Payroll Specialists will find that New York offers an impressive pay rate, one which exceeds the national average by 21 percent. Payroll Specialists can also look forward to large paychecks in cities like Seattle (+20 percent), Houston (+16 percent), Chicago (+12 percent), and Minneapolis (+10 percent). Falling short of the national average by 14 percent, the area with the worst salaries is Tampa. St. Louis and Cincinnati are a couple other places where companies are known to pay below the median — salaries are 11 percent lower and 3 percent lower, respectively.

Payroll Specialist Reviews

What is it like working as a Payroll Specialist?

Payroll Specialist in Austin:
"For Love or Money?"
Pros: I enjoy successfully processing an accurate pay period because I care about every one of our employees and want them to not worry about compensation for their hard work.
Cons: Offering 100% of myself on a daily basis, and feeling like I am compensated for 75%. I least like that I cannot participate in PFP or some type of Bonus structure.

Related Job Salaries

United States (change)

Experience Affects Payroll Specialist Salaries




National Average
$41,000


Skills That Affect Payroll Specialist Salaries



ADP
up arrow 8%


Payroll Administration
up arrow 4%

Microsoft Excel
up arrow 3%

Payroll Tax Compliance
up arrow 3%

Accounting
up arrow 2%

Microsoft Office
up arrow 2%

Microsoft Word
up arrow 1%

Accounts Payable
0%

National Average
$41,000

Data Processing
up arrow 1%

Customer Service
up arrow 2%

Data Entry
up arrow 3%

Accounts Receivable
up arrow 3%

Job Satisfaction

Extremely satisfied
Rated 5 out of 5
based on 719 votes.

Gender

Female
91 %
Male
9 %

Years of Experience

Less than 1 year
2%
1-4 years
27%
5-9 years
26%
10-19 years
28%
20 years or more
17%

Common Health Benefits

medical benefits Medical: 80% dental benefits Dental: 71%
vision benefits Vision: 58% employee benefits None: 17%