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.

$34,815 - $60,454
$35K
$46K
$60K
MEDIAN: $45,867
10%
50%
90%

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$14.10 - $24.62
$14
$19
$25
MEDIAN: $18.61
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$21K$42K$63K
Salary
$34,815 - $60,454  
   
Bonus
$405.47 - $5,091  
Profit Sharing
$293.61 - $6,884  
Commission
$850  
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).
)
$30,975 - $57,574  
Country: United States | Currency: USD | Updated: 18 Jan 2017 | Individuals Reporting: 1,370
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
$14.10 - $24.62  
   
Hourly Tips
$1.25  
Overtime
$21.29 - $37.94  
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
$405.47 - $5,091  
   
Commission
$850  
Profit Sharing
$293.61 - $6,884  
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).
)
$30,975 - $57,574  
Country: United States | Currency: USD | Updated: 18 Jan 2017 | Individuals Reporting: 2,100

Find Out Exactly What You Should Be Paid

United States (change)

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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

  • 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


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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 $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.

Payroll Specialist Job Listings

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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

National Average: $42,130

Larger city markers indicate a job is popular in that 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.

Payroll Specialist Reviews

Q: 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

Key Stats for Payroll Specialist

Gender

Female
90 %
Male
10 %

Job Satisfaction

Extremely satisfied
Rated 5 out of 5
based on 524 votes.
033
Less than 1 year
3%
1-4 years
33%
5-9 years
21%
10-19 years
28%
20 years or more
14%
Location:
Years in Fields/Career:
United States (change)

Experience Affects Payroll Specialist Salaries




National Average
$42,000


Job Satisfaction

Extremely satisfied
Rated 5 out of 5
based on 524 votes.

Gender

Female
90 %
Male
10 %

Years of Experience

Less than 1 year
3%
1-4 years
33%
5-9 years
21%
10-19 years
28%
20 years or more
14%

Common Health Benefits

medical benefits
Medical: 80%
dental benefits
Dental: 73%
vision benefits
Vision: 62%
dental benefits
None: 17%
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