Payroll Specialist Salary

Women make up the vast majority of Payroll Specialists in the United States. The average pay in this industry is approximately $18.00 per hour. Total cash compensation to Payroll Specialists approaches anywhere from $31K on the lower end to $56K on the higher end; in exceptional cases, this can include more than $3K from bonuses and upwards of $7K from profit sharing. While geography and tenure impact pay for this group, the particular firm is the most influential factor. Medical benefits are awarded to a strong majority, and a fair number earn dental coverage. Most Payroll Specialists report high levels of job satisfaction. The information for this rundown comes from respondents who completed PayScale's salary questionnaire.

$33,004 - $58,106

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$13.89 - $23.89

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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$20K$40K$60K
Salary
$33,004 - $58,106  
   
Bonus
$0.00 - $3,064  
Profit Sharing
$398.66 - $6,727  
Commission
$509 - $5,803  
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).
)
$30,526 - $55,597  
Country: United States | Currency: USD | Updated: 18 Jul 2015 | Individuals Reporting: 1,608
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$13$26$39
Hourly Rate
$13.89 - $23.89  
   
Hourly Tips
$0.00 - $1.04  
Overtime
$20.01 - $36.67  
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$26K$52K$78K
Bonus
$0.00 - $3,064  
   
Commission
$509 - $5,803  
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).
)
$30,526 - $55,597  
Country: United States | Currency: USD | Updated: 18 Jul 2015 | Individuals Reporting: 2,094
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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. With an annual salary of $54K, Payroll Manager is the most common role for Payroll Specialists to subsequently assume on their way up the ladder. Transitioning into a Payroll Administrator role — which usually pays $40K — is also typical for Payroll Specialists, though less common by comparison.

Payroll Specialist Job Listings

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Popular Employer Salaries for Payroll Specialist


Payroll Specialists seeking a sizable paycheck can earn the most at Francis E. Parker Memorial Home, where the average salary comes to $52K.

Paychex, Inc. doles out the lowest salaries in town — median pay is $38K — not to mention workers can only make as much as $46K and scope of pay is rather limited.

Popular Skills for Payroll Specialist


Payroll Specialists report using a large range of skills 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 are correlated to lower pay, on the other hand, 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.


Payroll Specialists do not generally earn higher incomes from more experience in the field. Respondents with less than five years' experience take home $37K on average. In contrast, those who have been around for five to 10 years earn a noticeably higher average of $42K. The average pay reported by folks with 10 to 20 years of experience is around $44K. Veterans who have surpassed the 20-year mark may make no more than those who are navigating the mid-career stage.

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 (+16 percent), Houston (+15 percent), Chicago (+12 percent), and Minneapolis (+9 percent). The lowest-paying market is Tampa, which sits 14 percent below the national average. Employers in St. Louis and Cincinnati also lean toward paying below-median salaries (10 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.

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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 4%

Microsoft Excel
up arrow 2%

Accounting
up arrow 2%

Payroll Tax Compliance
up arrow 2%

Microsoft Office
up arrow 1%

Microsoft Word
0%

National Average
$41,000

Accounts Payable
up arrow 1%

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 702 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: 59% employee benefits None: 17%
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