Payroll Specialist Salary

Most Payroll Specialists in the United States are women. The workforce as a whole earns a median of approximately $18.16 per hour. Total cash compensation to Payroll Specialists bottoms out near $31K and approaches $56K on the high end; the biggest paychecks include approximately $3K from bonuses and almost $7K from profit sharing. Compensation for this group is mainly affected by the company, but the particular city and years of experience are influential factors as well. Medical benefits are awarded to a large number, and a fair number earn dental coverage. For the most part, Payroll Specialists enjoy their work and report high levels of job satisfaction. The figures in this overview were provided by individuals who took PayScale's salary questionnaire.

$33,640 - $58,830
(Median)
$34K
$45K
$59K
MEDIAN: $44,534
10%
50%
90%

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$13.94 - $24.11
(Median)
$14
$18
$24
MEDIAN: $18.00
10%
50%
90%

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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
$33,640 - $58,830  
   
Bonus
$0.00 - $3,410  
Profit Sharing
$350.00 - $6,868  
Commission
$1,000  
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).
)
$30,725 - $56,135  
Country: United States | Currency: USD | Updated: 12 Jan 2016 | Individuals Reporting: 1,811
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
$13.94 - $24.11  
   
Hourly Tips
$0.00 - $1.04  
Overtime
$20.40 - $37.08  
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 - $3,410  
   
Commission
$1,000  
Profit Sharing
$350.00 - $6,868  
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).
)
$30,725 - $56,135  
Country: United States | Currency: USD | Updated: 12 Jan 2016 | Individuals Reporting: 2,437
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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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Though some Payroll Specialists move into positions like Human Resources Manager (where the average salary is $58K), this progression is not the norm. Becoming a Payroll Manager is, more often than not, the most common role that Payroll Specialists move into when they're ready for the next step in their career. The average salary for the position is $55K. Another frequent advance is for Payroll Specialists to assume a Payroll Administrator role; in this role, workers often earn $40K.

Payroll Specialist Job Listings

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Popular Employer Salaries for Payroll Specialist


The biggest paychecks can be found at Francis E. Parker Memorial Home — the median salary there is $52K.

Pay for Payroll Specialists is the lowest at Paychex, Inc., which has a median salary of $37K. In addition, there's little room to grow there, with salaries maxing out at $46K.

Popular Skills for Payroll Specialist


Survey results imply that Payroll Specialists deploy a deep pool 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 6 percent and 9 percent. Skills that are correlated to lower pay, on the other hand, include Data Entry and Accounts Receivable. Most people experienced in 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 does not seem to be a strong driver of pay increase in this role. The average worker who claims fewer than five years of experience earns around $37K. In contrast, however, individuals who report five to 10 years in this occupation see a much larger median of $43K. People with 10 to 20 years of experience make an average of about $44K in this role. Veterans who have surpassed the 20-year mark may make only slightly more than those who are navigating the mid-career stage; the more senior group reports median earnings of around $45K.

Pay Difference by Location

National Average: $41,286

Larger city markers indicate a job is popular in that location.

Home to some of the best pay for Payroll Specialists, New York offers exceptional salaries, 21 percent above the national average. Payroll Specialists will also find cushy salaries in Seattle (+18 percent), Houston (+15 percent), Chicago (+12 percent), and San Diego (+9 percent). Trailing the national average by 13 percent, Tampa is the market with the smallest paychecks. Employers also pay below the national average in St. Louis and Cincinnati (4 percent lower).

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 6%


Payroll Administration
up arrow 3%

Payroll Tax Compliance
up arrow 3%

Microsoft Excel
up arrow 1%

Accounting
up arrow 1%

Microsoft Office
up arrow 1%

Microsoft Word
0%

National Average
$41,000

Accounts Payable
up arrow 1%

Data Processing
up arrow 2%

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 757 votes.

Gender

Female
90 %
Male
10 %

Years of Experience

Less than 1 year
3%
1-4 years
29%
5-9 years
24%
10-19 years
28%
20 years or more
17%

Common Health Benefits

medical benefits
Medical: 80%
dental benefits
Dental: 72%
medical benefits
Vision: 59%
dental benefits
None: 16%
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