Payroll Administrator Job Description: Top Duties and Qualifications

A Payroll Administrator, or Payroll Clerk handles all duties related to payroll in an organisation or company. Their primary duties include preparing, processing and distributing employee paychecks. 


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Payroll Administrator duties and responsibilities

Payroll Administrators may work alone in a small organisation, or may oversee other payroll employees in a larger organisation. Their daily duties and responsibilities include:

  • Checking the number of hours employees have worked
  • Calculating wages and salaries
  • Issuing employees’ wages by cash, cheque or electronic transfer
  • Collaborating with the human resources department to maintain employee data
  • Calculating pay raises, shift payments and overtime compensation
  • Issuing tax forms and related documentation and assisting employees to complete them 
  • Deducting tax and insurance payments 
  • Resolving issues employees have with timesheets, payslips and other payroll matters
  • Changing employee bank records when necessary to process payments accurately
  • Initiating direct deposits


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What does a Payroll Administrator do?

A Payroll Administrator collects and reviews timekeeping information and issues paychecks that are complete and correct. In the process of creating paychecks, a Payroll Administrator performs withholdings, including wage garnishments, voluntary contributions to benefits programmes and taxes. These withholdings are indicated on each paycheck so that an employee can check its accuracy. 

Payroll Administrators usually work full time in an office setting. They also work standard business hours and can work in almost every industry. 


Payroll Administrator skills and qualifications

A successful Payroll Administrator candidate will various prerequisite skills and qualifications to perform their duties effectively, these include:

  • Excellent verbal and written communication skills
  • In-depth understanding of human resources and labour rules and regulations 
  • Attention to detail and strong numeracy skills
  • Working knowledge of payroll software 
  • Strong organisational and time management skills 
  • Ability to prioritise tasks effectively 
  • Interpersonal skills


Payroll Administrator experience requirements 

Payroll Administrators should have several years of experience working in a similar or related position. Many employers typically require candidates to have two or more years of experience in payroll management. Some employers consider candidates with several years of experience in bookkeeping or accounting. In some organisations, Payroll Administrator candidates are required to have human resources experience. A senior-level Payroll Administrator position requires candidates to have several years of experience in a managerial role, especially in large organisations. Some companies require candidates to have a background in their industry. 


Payroll Administrator education and training requirements

Most large organisations prefer Payroll Administrators with a degree in business administration, accounting or finance. Some employers accept candidates who have acquired industry-recognised certifications, such as the Level 1 Certificate in Payroll, Level 1 or 2 Certificate in Bookkeeping or a Foundation Certificate in Bookkeeping. 

In some organisations, Payroll Administrators are employed via an advanced apprenticeship scheme. Small companies may accept candidates with experience in accounts and bookkeeping, provided that they have relevant GCSEs, including English and maths. For a senior-level Payroll Administrator role, many companies require candidates to have a postgraduate degree or a professional certification from The Chartered Institute of Payroll Professionals.


Payroll Administrator salary expectations

According to Indeed Salaries, the average salary of Payroll Administrator is £22,375 per year. Their actual salary varies depending on several factors, including their employer, geographical location, qualifications, experience and exact job duties and responsibilities. 


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Payroll Administrator job description FAQs


What qualities make a good Payroll Administrator?

Good Payroll Administrators should have an in-depth payroll knowledge of their job as well as personal qualities required for the role including being trustworthy, honest, communicative, helpful, responsive, approachable and confidential. They should also have empathy with the payroll concerns of the employees and must remain levelheaded if employees become irate over payroll issues. 


How can you make your Payroll Administrator job description stand out?

To make your Payroll Administrator job description stand out, provide candidates with an overview of the qualities that make your company a worthy employer. Discuss your work environment and how candidates will help the company improve employee job satisfaction. Highlight the duties and responsibilities of the role and mention any industry-specific tools or training candidates need to qualify for the position. Also, mention the unique employment benefits such as pensions, sponsored holidays and subsidies for professional training. 


What makes a good Payroll Administrator job description?

A good Payroll Administrator job description is brief, straight to the point and uses simple language. It also notes opportunities for growth and upward movement in your organisation. This encourages potential candidates to see the big picture and contributes to your organisation as a whole, instead of just focusing on their specific role.


Who does a Payroll Administrator report to?

A Payroll Administrator can report to a Payroll Manager, a Payroll Supervisor and other relevant senior members of the human resources department.

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