Payroll Specialist Salary

Women make up the vast majority of Payroll Specialists in the United States. The average pay in this industry is approximately $17.99 per hour. Cash earnings for Payroll Specialists — including $3K in bonuses and $7K in profit sharing proceeds near the top of the pay scale — generally stretch from $30K to $56K depending on individual performance. The most important factor affecting compensation for this group is geographic location, followed by the company and experience level. Most Payroll Specialists report high levels of job satisfaction. Medical benefits are awarded to a fair number, and a strong majority earn dental coverage. The figures in this overview were provided by individuals who took PayScale's salary questionnaire.

$32,878 - $57,996
(Median)
$33K
$44K
$58K
MEDIAN: $43,936
10%
50%
90%

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$13.86 - $23.88
(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
$32,878 - $57,996  
   
Bonus
$0.00 - $3,029  
Profit Sharing
$398.66 - $6,727  
Commission
$504 - $5,087  
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).
)
$30,443 - $55,542  
Country: United States | Currency: USD | Updated: 20 Jun 2015 | Individuals Reporting: 1,589
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
$13.86 - $23.88  
   
Hourly Tips
$0.00 - $0.36  
Overtime
$19.90 - $36.67  
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 - $3,029  
   
Commission
$504 - $5,087  
Profit Sharing
$398.66 - $6,727  
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).
)
$30,443 - $55,542  
Country: United States | Currency: USD | Updated: 20 Jun 2015 | Individuals Reporting: 2,074
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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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It's not very common for Payroll Specialists to move on to become Human Resources Managers. Average pay for a Human Resources Manager is $58K annually. More commonly, Payroll Specialists 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 offers the highest compensation with a median salary of $52K.

Payroll Specialists will find the worst pay at Paychex, Inc., where the median salary crawls in at $38K. Furthermore, compensation is curbed at $46K, leaving little room for growth.

Popular Skills for Payroll Specialist


Survey takers working as Payroll Specialists report using a large range of professional skills. Most notably, skills in ADP Time and Attendance System, ADP, ADP Payroll System, 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 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.


More years of relevant experience do not necessarily translate to higher paychecks. Salaries for the relatively untried average out to around $37K, but survey participants with five to 10 years of experience earn a significantly higher median of $42K. The average pay reported by folks with 10 to 20 years of experience is around $44K. Individuals who have achieved more than 20 years of experience don't seem to earn any more than people who have 10 to 20 years under their belts.

Pay Difference by Location


Surpassing the national average by 21 percent, Payroll Specialists in New York receive some of the highest pay in the country. Payroll Specialists will also find cushy salaries in Seattle (+17 percent), Houston (+17 percent), Chicago (+13 percent), and Minneapolis (+9 percent). With compensation 14 percent below the national average, Tampa is not known for hefty paychecks and actually represents the lowest-paying market. Not at the bottom but still paying below the median are employers in St. Louis and Cincinnati (8 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

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Experience Affects Payroll Specialist Salaries




National Average
$41,000


Skills That Affect Payroll Specialist Salaries



ADP
up arrow 8%


Payroll Administration
up arrow 3%

Payroll Tax Compliance
up arrow 3%

Microsoft Excel
up arrow 2%

Accounting
up arrow 2%

Microsoft Office
up arrow 1%

Accounts Payable
0%

Microsoft Word
0%

National Average
$41,000

Data Processing
up arrow 1%

Data Entry
up arrow 3%

Customer Service
up arrow 3%

Accounts Receivable
up arrow 3%

Job Satisfaction

Extremely satisfied
Rated 5 out of 5
based on 710 votes.

Gender

Female
90 %
Male
10 %

Years of Experience

Less than 1 year
3%
1-4 years
27%
5-9 years
25%
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%
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