Payroll Specialist Salary
Average Payroll Specialists in the United States make around $18.61 per hour. With some bonuses approaching $5K and certain profit sharing proceeds approaching $7K, overall incomes of Payroll Specialists spread between $31K and $58K depending on individual performance. The particular firm is the main element affecting pay for this group — geography and years of experience are driving factors as well. Most Payroll Specialists like their work and job satisfaction is high. There are far more female Payroll Specialists who answered the questionnaire than men, making up 90 percent. Most enjoy medical while a strong majority get dental coverage. Vision coverage is also available to the larger part. The figures in this rundown are based on the results of PayScale's salary questionnaire.
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
It's not very common for Payroll Specialists to move on to become Human Resources Managers. Average pay for a Human Resources Manager is $59K annually. The most common promotion for Payroll Specialists is Payroll Manager, a position that typically pays $56K annually. Another standard transition for Payroll Specialists seeking advancement is to assume a Payroll Administrator role, where pay is often $41K.
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Popular Employer Salaries for Payroll Specialist
Paychex, Inc., Automatic Data Processing, Inc. (ADP), Kraco, Francis E. Parker Memorial Home, and ADP National Accounts are some prominent firms with considerable interest in employing a large team of Payroll Specialists. Those at Kraco can expect to make the most, with the company offering a median salary of $54K. Other employers shelling out big bucks include ADP National Accounts, Francis E. Parker Memorial Home, and CoAdvantage, where Payroll Specialists typically earn around $53K, $52K, or $47K, respectively.
Paychex, Inc., Automatic Data Processing, Inc. (ADP), and CoAdvantage also rank near the bottom for pay, handing out $35K, $47K, and $47K-paychecks on average.
Popular Skills for Payroll Specialist
Payroll Specialists report using a large range 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. Those proficient in Microsoft Excel are, more often than not, also skilled in Data Entry.
Pay by Experience Level for Payroll Specialist
Median of all compensation (including tips, bonus, and overtime) by years of experience.
For Payroll Specialists, experience does not seem to be a major factor in determining pay. The average beginner in this position makes around $39K, but folks who have been around for five to 10 years see a markedly higher median salary of $44K. Payroll Specialists see a median salary of $45K after reaching one to two decades on the job. Individuals who have achieved more than 20 years of experience don't seem to earn much more than people who have 10 to 20 years under their belts; the more senior group reports an average income of $46K.
Pay Difference by Location
For those looking to make money, Payroll Specialists in New York enjoy an exceptional pay rate, 25 percent above the national average. Payroll Specialists can also look forward to large paychecks in cities like Seattle (+19 percent), San Diego (+12 percent), Houston (+12 percent), and Los Angeles (+10 percent). Those in the field find the lowest salaries in Tampa, 13 percent below the national average. Nashville and Phoenix are a couple other places where companies are known to pay below the median — salaries are 4 percent lower and 3 percent lower, respectively.
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