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How to become a Payroll Administrator

Follow these steps to get started:

  1. Pursue education. Payroll administrators often require only a high school diploma, while some employers require an Associate Degree in Accounting or Finance.
  2. Gain experience. Most of the procedural duties of a payroll administrator are company-specific, so the majority of what you need to know about payroll administration will come with experience.
  3. Become certified. The most common certification for this occupation is the Certified Payroll Professional credential, offered by the American Payroll Association.
  4. Continue education. Earning a bachelor's degree is required to move into advanced or supervisory roles.
How to become: Office Manager · Administrative Assistant · Payroll Coordinator · Payroll Specialist · Human Resources Administrator
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Typical qualifications for a Payroll Administrator

Your Indeed Profile has 3 of the 4 qualifications typically needed to be a Payroll Administrator.
Indeed users who have worked as a Payroll Administrator typically have these qualifications.
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Skills employers are looking for

Note this is provided for informational purposes only. Adding qualifications does not guarantee a job interview, opportunity, or an offer.
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Payroll Administrator jobs in United States

Payroll Specialist/HR Administrator
Burger King3.4
Avondale, AZ
View job details
1 month ago
Automotive Payroll Administrator - Atlantic Automotive Group
West Islip, NY
$28 - $32 an hour
1 day ago
Payroll Administrator
Kansas City, MO
2 days ago
Payroll Administrator
Herff Jones, LLC3.5
Indianapolis, IN
2 days ago
Payroll Administrator
Rise Baking Company2.6
Tucker, GA
2 days ago
View all Payroll Administrator jobs

Career progression for Payroll Administrator

Education levels for Payroll Administrators

Based on the requirements of Payroll Administrator job openings on Indeed in the United States within the last three years.
required level of educationpercent of job openings
High school diploma or GED39.2%
Bachelor's degree31.5%
Associate's degree23.8%
Master's degree5.5%
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Common questions about career advices for a Payroll Administrator

What types of skills do I need to acquire to work as a payroll administrator?

The following skills are important for a payroll administrator:

  • Strong math and accounting skills
  • Communication
  • Decision-making
  • Discretion and attention to detail
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What is the difference between a payroll administrator and a payroll coordinator?

While a payroll administrator is responsible for activities related to processing payroll checks, tax forms and other records in a small- to medium-sized business, a payroll coordinator communicates between the separate departments of an organization and the payroll department in a larger, multi-department company. The coordinator processes paperwork related to employees' vacation and enters new employees into the payroll system. Both require excellent math, communication and organizational skills.

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What is the upward career path for a payroll administrator?

Payroll administrators who wish to advance their careers can veer in two different directions:

  • Payroll data analyst. Becoming an analyst requires an in-depth knowledge of payroll systems and legal regulations, which you acquire during the course of your career as a payroll administrator. This role steps back from daily payroll processing duties and focuses more on data mining, identifying trends and suggesting improvements.
  • Payroll manager/supervisor. With about five years' experience in payroll, you may consider using your knowledge and leadership skills to move into a management position. This role focuses more on the management aspect than hands-on payroll processing. This position can transition to the role of payroll director after several years of management experience, depending on the specific company.
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