Considering a Payroll Specialist job? The overview below is designed to tell you more about the field, including the types of jobs available, skills required, typical salary range, and current industry trends.

Payroll specialists are directly responsible for ensuring employee paychecks are distributed on time and with accuracy. Because employees count on their paychecks, mistakes are not an option, making attention to detail and solid accounting practices critical parts of performing this job. Working with numbers can be immensely satisfying to mathematically inclined types, so being a payroll specialist is a great way to earn while doing what you love.


As a payroll specialist, you will be responsible for accurately processing payroll on a regular basis; usually weekly, bi-weekly or semimonthly. You may be required to work with employees to ensure their time cards are received on time and your duties will include some or all of the following:

  • Verifying or adding up hours on time cards
  • Ensuring employees have current tax withholding forms on file
  • Preparing payroll checks for processing, typically through a specialized computer program
  • Printing paychecks and check stubs and, once signed, preparing them for paper delivery or direct deposit
  • Compiling reports for taxes and business reporting purposes
  • Remitting payroll taxes to the appropriate tax agency

Salary and Outlook

The Bureau of Labor and Statistics reports that payroll specialists earned a median wage of $16.91 per hour, which comes to $35,170 per year. Job growth is steady, at 11 percent, which is as fast as the national job average. Many positions in this field can be had with a high school diploma and no specialized education.

Working with numbers and ensuring employees receive their earned income in a timely and accurate manner are just two of the satisfying tasks payroll specialists enjoy. Knowing that you are directly responsible for helping employees get paid can feel great; without you, there would be no paychecks. That is why this is one of our list of popular jobs.

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