I am employed by a work comp, payroll & government compliance company based out of Bradenton, FL. I work at their Orlando branch. I think our company typically pays their payroll reps a little higher than some of the other positions in the company. Starting out with no experience in the payroll field, I began making almost $30,000/yr. in 2005.
Some good skills would include knowledge of the specific system that company uses to process its payroll - we use a system called PayPlus. Also knowledge regarding state/federal laws regarding wage compliance, general knowledge of the industry you will be providing payroll for and great customer relation skills (you will spend much of your time on the telephone dealing with clients).