These Are The 10 States With The Highest Payroll Specialist Salaries For 2017

Chris Kolmar
by Chris Kolmar
Rankings, Salaries - 10 months 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. Georgia
  2. Illinois
  3. Wyoming
  4. Texas
  5. Michigan
  6. Kansas
  7. Iowa
  8. Tennessee
  9. Washington
  10. Virginia

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 2016 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 $48160, so our index value would be:

$48,160 * (100 / 135.9) = $35,437

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 Georgia $48,194 $44,050 91.4
2 Illinois $47,558 $44,990 94.6
3 Wyoming $46,775 $42,940 91.8
4 Texas $46,571 $42,240 90.7
5 Michigan $45,730 $40,700 89.0
6 Kansas $45,606 $41,000 89.9
7 Iowa $45,571 $41,470 91.0
8 Tennessee $45,525 $40,700 89.4
9 Washington $45,437 $47,800 105.2
10 Virginia $45,426 $45,790 100.8
11 Minnesota $45,059 $45,420 100.8
12 Kentucky $44,994 $40,720 90.5
13 Delaware $44,861 $45,490 101.4
14 Indiana $44,480 $39,810 89.5
15 Ohio $44,307 $41,560 93.8
16 Wisconsin $44,090 $42,680 96.8
17 Utah $43,946 $40,870 93.0
18 Colorado $43,574 $45,230 103.8
19 Mississippi $43,259 $37,160 85.9
20 Oklahoma $42,713 $38,100 89.2
21 North Carolina $42,502 $39,910 93.9
22 Alabama $42,291 $38,570 91.2
23 Nebraska $41,888 $38,370 91.6
24 Pennsylvania $41,785 $42,370 101.4
25 Missouri $41,648 $37,650 90.4
26 Arkansas $41,343 $36,010 87.1
27 Nevada $41,239 $42,600 103.3
28 Idaho $40,977 $37,740 92.1
29 New Mexico $40,860 $39,430 96.5
30 Florida $40,854 $40,160 98.3
31 Louisiana $40,843 $38,720 94.8
32 North Dakota $40,824 $40,580 99.4
33 Arizona $40,704 $39,890 98.0
34 Montana $40,000 $40,320 100.8
35 South Carolina $39,768 $39,450 99.2
36 New Jersey $39,261 $47,860 121.9
37 Oregon $38,944 $45,020 115.6
38 Alaska $38,344 $50,270 131.1
39 New Hampshire $37,940 $44,390 117.0
40 Connecticut $37,862 $48,350 127.7
41 Maryland $37,737 $47,360 125.5
42 Rhode Island $37,116 $44,800 120.7
43 Massachusetts $36,161 $48,240 133.4
44 New York $35,862 $46,980 131.0
45 Vermont $35,747 $43,290 121.1
46 California $35,437 $48,160 135.9
47 West Virginia $35,310 $32,980 93.4
48 Maine $35,045 $38,830 110.8
49 South Dakota $33,963 $35,220 103.7
50 Hawaii $25,485 $42,790 167.9