Payroll Specialist

Use sophisticated computer programs to keep employee paychecks flowing.
picture of Payroll Specialist

Quick Stats


Salary Range
$24,000 – $52,000

Data from U.S. Department of Labor


What do Payroll Specialists do?

People take jobs in order to help others, feel a sense of accomplishment, and make a difference in the world. They also take jobs in order to pay the bills, buy groceries, and take expensive vacations in Hawaii. Without the work of a Payroll Specialist, even the most dedicated employee might think twice about heading to work in the morning. A Payroll Specialist helps keep the paychecks flowing, and therefore, they have an important role to play in keeping the company up and running.

When you’re a Payroll Specialist, sophisticated computer programs make your job a snap. Using their computers or the company’s time clock, employees record the time they spend on the job, and you import that data into your computer program. The program quickly totals how much each person should be paid. Vacations, sick days, and other missed time may be input by hand, but the rest is handled automatically.

Pulling out taxes, charitable contributions, insurance payments, and the like is also part of your responsibility, and the computer program may handle these issues for you as well. If an employee wants to change contribution levels, however, you’ll need to input those changes into the computer by hand.

When your work is complete, you may ask your company’s Accountant to double-check your work. Numbers can be tricky, and it pays to have someone else look things over. Once the amounts have been verified, you work with your company’s Banker to print checks or transfer money into employee checking accounts.


Should I be a Payroll Specialist?

You should have a certificate degree or higher and share these traits:
  • Detail Oriented: You pay close attention to all the little details.
  • Team Player: You're able to listen, communicate, and work with tons of different people.
  • Independent: You enjoy flying solo and doing things your own way.

  • Also known as: Payroll and Benefits Specialist

    How to become a Payroll Specialist

    Most Payroll Specialists have a Certificate or higher. Chart?chd=s:9bvvaa&chl=no+college+%2847%25%29|certificate+%2821%25%29|associate%27s+%2816%25%29|bachelor%27s+%2816%25%29||&cht=p3&chs=466x180&chxr=0,47,47
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