Payroll Administrator Jobs

Payroll administrator jobs… did you know?

Similar jobs: payroll clerk, wages clerk

Everyone who earns a wage cares about getting their money paid correctly and on time! Your job as a payroll administrator, also known as a payroll clerk, is an important one because you make sure people get their salary.

You could work for the finance department of a company or for an organisation that handles the payroll services for lots of other companies. Every business needs your skills, so you could work anywhere from a retail or manufacturing head office to the NHS and even Local Government.

You’ll generally need general basic office skills, an eye for detail, and to be accurate when it comes to numbers. It’s important for you to be honest and discrete too, because you’ll know how much everyone in the company is earning but you won’t win any friends or impress employers if you spread that information around.

Industry: Legal, Finance and Accounting

Payroll administrator job trends

How much money can you make as a payroll administrator?

£15,000 – £28,000 (UK average)

Labour market information for 2017 says you can earn on average between £15,000 and £28,000 a year as a payroll administrator or clerk in the UK.

Your starting salary can vary because of factors like level of experience, training, location or the size of the company. Your salary as a payroll administrator will increase over time as you build skills, knowledge and experience.

What entry qualifications and training do you need for this job?

School, college and training

You’ll normally enter a payroll administration role with GCSEs or their equivalent, including maths and English.

There are no set requirements and employers are unlikely to require you to be educated to degree level.

It isn’t always required to have previous experience in payroll or bookkeeping. However, you could go on an introductory course in bookkeeping and payroll with The International Association of Book-keepers (IAB) or The Association of Accounting Technicians (AAT).

While building your skills on the job you could be trained in specialist accounting and payroll software like Sage or Pegasus, which will also be useful for other jobs related to finance administration.
While you are working, you could get the opportunity to study for industry recognised qualifications like:

  • Certificate in payroll administration (AAT)
  • National payroll certificate (IPP)
  • Certificate and diploma in payroll or computerised payroll (IAB)

Apprenticeships and traineeships

You can gain entry into the finance industry through an apprenticeship or traineeship, with many currently available in the UK.

Career Progression and further qualifications

As a payroll administrator you could go on to become a payroll supervisor or manager. You could also work for a wide variety of businesses and organisations, both in the private sector (business employers) and the public sector (e.g. local authorities or the NHS).

What experience do you need for payroll administrator jobs?

Work experience

To become a payroll administrator, you’ll find it useful to have previous work experience in an office-based environment. You’ll also find it helps to show you have IT skills and can use Office software like Word and Excel (which is used for making spreadsheets and is therefore very useful in the finance world to track money and accounts).
Examples of relevant work experience include:

  • Work shadowing (even if it’s just for a day)
  • Work placements in a company
  • Year-long industry placements on a sandwich degree course.

What skills do you need for payroll administrator jobs?

Useful skills to highlight to your employer when applying for jobs as a payroll administrator or payroll clerk include:

  • General office administration skills / experience
  • IT skills to help you use Office software
  • Number skills to help you work with numbers accurately and make sure people get the wages they are due
  • TGood communication skills (spoken and written)

Vocational qualifications and work experience will help you build these skills over time.

What does a payroll administrator do?

You could be working to strict payment deadlines in ensuring employees get the right wages for the work they have done.
Example job responsibilities:

  • Checking how many hours employees have worked
  • Calculating how much money they are owed
  • Deducting national insurance and tax payments
  • Processing holiday pay, sick pay, maternity pay and any expenses, e.g. work-approved taxi rides
  • Calculating overtime, shift payments and pay increases
  • Communicating with staff about timesheets or pay slips if they ask
  • Issuing P45s and other tax forms
  • Paying wages by cash, cheque or electronic transfer
  • General administrative work like filing, photocopying or typing

Your first steps into payroll administrator jobs

To find jobs for young people in this role, you can search on job boards for positions with these words in the title:

  • Payroll administrator
  • Payroll clerk
  • Accounts assistant
  • Payroll apprentice
  • Payroll trainee
  • Payroll and benefits assistant
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