The 10 States With The Highest Payroll Specialist Salaries For 2019

Chris Kolmar
by Chris Kolmar
Rankings, Salaries - 1 month ago

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Without fail, in surveys across basically every demographic, the number one most important aspect of a job for most people is the salary — how much do payroll specialists get paid where I live?

And while there are many things to go into how much you, specifically, can expect to make, there’s really good data for average salaries for payroll specialists by state across America broken down by seniority level. So while your city may be slightly different than the state average, these averages give you a rough sense of what to expect for your salary.

To better understand how salaries change across America, we decided to take a look the most recent data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics on average pay for payroll specialists by state.

Additionally, we wanted to adjust the salary based on the cost of living in a state — because your salary goes further in North Carolina than it does in California.

The state with the best salary for payroll specialists after this adjustment? That would be Payroll And Timekeeping Clerks.

Here’s a quick snapshot of the top ten states for salaries:

  1. Illinois
  2. Georgia
  3. Minnesota
  4. Tennessee
  5. Kansas
  6. Michigan
  7. Utah
  8. Iowa
  9. Texas
  10. Wyoming

Let’s take a look at how we got here and a full ranking of all the states.

If you’re interested, you can read more about the job scene here:

How we determined pay by state

As we mentioned earlier, we took the average annual salary data for payroll specialists from the 2018 Bureau of Labor Statistics — specifically their ‘Occupational Employment Statistics.’

To make the comparison of salaries apples to apples across states, we also took into account the cost of living in each state.

We then created an index by dividing the average wage for a state by the cost of living relative to average. As an example, the cost of living index in California is 135.9 and the average pay is $51520, so our index value would be:

$51,520 * (100 / 135.9) = $37,910

We then ranked every state on this criteria with the state with the highest salary index ranking as highest average salary for payroll specialists.

Here’s a look at the full ranking for all states.

For more reading, check out:

Detailed List Of Payroll Specialist Salaries By State

Rank State Adjusted Salary Average Wage Cost Of Living
1 Illinois $51,797 $49,000 94.6
2 Georgia $50,601 $46,250 91.4
3 Minnesota $50,168 $50,570 100.8
4 Tennessee $49,944 $44,650 89.4
5 Kansas $49,632 $44,620 89.9
6 Michigan $49,471 $44,030 89.0
7 Utah $49,440 $45,980 93.0
8 Iowa $48,978 $44,570 91.0
9 Texas $48,941 $44,390 90.7
10 Wyoming $48,442 $44,470 91.8
11 Washington $48,346 $50,860 105.2
12 Colorado $48,150 $49,980 103.8
13 Virginia $47,341 $47,720 100.8
14 Ohio $46,886 $43,980 93.8
15 Wisconsin $46,064 $44,590 96.8
16 Mississippi $45,692 $39,250 85.9
17 Kentucky $45,624 $41,290 90.5
18 Oklahoma $45,605 $40,680 89.2
19 Nebraska $45,578 $41,750 91.6
20 Indiana $45,497 $40,720 89.5
21 North Dakota $45,462 $45,190 99.4
22 North Carolina $45,271 $42,510 93.9
23 Arkansas $45,189 $39,360 87.1
24 Alabama $44,627 $40,700 91.2
25 Delaware $44,319 $44,940 101.4
26 Missouri $43,849 $39,640 90.4
27 Nevada $43,736 $45,180 103.3
28 Pennsylvania $43,550 $44,160 101.4
29 Idaho $43,441 $40,010 92.1
30 Arizona $43,438 $42,570 98.0
31 Florida $43,255 $42,520 98.3
32 South Carolina $41,703 $41,370 99.2
33 New Hampshire $41,529 $48,590 117.0
34 Connecticut $41,511 $53,010 127.7
35 Louisiana $41,402 $39,250 94.8
36 Maryland $41,123 $51,610 125.5
37 New Mexico $40,466 $39,050 96.5
38 Oregon $40,328 $46,620 115.6
39 Alaska $40,320 $52,860 131.1
40 Montana $39,246 $39,560 100.8
41 New Jersey $38,925 $47,450 121.9
42 Massachusetts $38,860 $51,840 133.4
43 Rhode Island $38,699 $46,710 120.7
44 West Virginia $38,072 $35,560 93.4
45 California $37,910 $51,520 135.9
46 New York $36,610 $47,960 131.0
47 Maine $36,462 $40,400 110.8
48 Vermont $36,374 $44,050 121.1
49 South Dakota $36,113 $37,450 103.7
50 Hawaii $27,998 $47,010 167.9
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