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Become A Payroll Manager

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Working As A Payroll Manager

  • Communicating with Supervisors, Peers, or Subordinates
  • Getting Information
  • Analyzing Data or Information
  • Making Decisions and Solving Problems
  • Establishing and Maintaining Interpersonal Relationships
  • Mostly Sitting

  • Make Decisions

  • $127,510

    Average Salary

What Does A Payroll Manager Do

A Payroll Manager supervises and coordinates the activities of the payroll staff. They pay employees by directing the production and issuance of paychecks or electronic transfers to bank accounts.

How To Become A Payroll Manager

Candidates need a combination of education and related work experience to become a compensation and benefits manager.


Compensation and benefits managers need at least a bachelor’s degree for most positions, and some jobs require a master’s degree. Because not all undergraduate programs offer a degree in human resources, managers often have a bachelor’s degree in business administration, business management, finance, or a related field.

Some employers prefer to hire managers who have a master’s degree, particularly one with a concentration in human resources management, finance, or business administration (MBA).

Work Experience in a Related Occupation

Related work experience is essential for compensation and benefits managers. Managers often specialize in either compensation or benefits, depending on the type of experience they gain in previous jobs. For example, compensation and benefits managers often start out as compensation, benefits, and job analysis specialists. Work experience in other human resource fields, finance, or management is also helpful for getting a job as a compensation and benefits manager.

Licenses, Certifications, and Registrations

Although compensation and benefits managers are not legally required to be certified, certification can show expertise and credibility. Many employers prefer to hire certified candidates, and some positions may require certification.

Certification programs for management positions often require several years of related work experience to qualify for the certifying exam. Many professional associations for human resources workers offer certifications. Some associations, including the International Foundation of Employee Benefit Plans and WorldatWork, offer certification programs that specialize in compensation and benefits. Others, including the HR Certification Institute, offer general human resources credentials.  

Important Qualities

Analytical skills. Compensation and benefits managers must analyze data on salaries and the cost of benefits, and assess and devise programs that best fit an organization and its employees.

Business acumen. Compensation and benefits managers must manage a budget, build a case for their recommendations, and understand how compensation and benefits plans affect the company’s finances.

Communication skills. Compensation and benefits managers must direct staff, give presentations, and work with colleagues. For example, they may present the advantages of a certain pay scale to management and address any concerns.

Decisionmaking skills. Compensation and benefits managers must weigh the strengths and weaknesses of different pay structures and benefits plans and choose the best options for an organization. 

Leadership skills. Compensation and benefits managers must coordinate the work activities of their staff and properly administer compensation and benefits programs, ensuring work is completed accurately and on schedule.

Writing skills. Compensation and benefits managers must prepare clearly written informational materials on compensation and benefits plans for an organization’s employees. They must also clearly convey recommendations in written reports.

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Payroll Manager jobs

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Real Payroll Manager Salaries

Job Title Company Location Start Date Salary
National Tax-Performance & Rewards(P&R)-Payroll Advisory Manager Ernst & Young U.S. LLP McLean, VA Mar 20, 2015 $145,000
Payroll Manager Mosser Companies San Francisco, CA Apr 21, 2016 $142,043
Payroll Manager Rolls-Royce North America Indianapolis, IN Oct 01, 2011 $110,313
Manager, Payroll & Time Solution EPI-Use Labs, LLC Atlanta, GA Oct 01, 2012 $103,200
Senior Talent Manager/Payroll Manager Northgatearinso, Inc. Frisco, TX Aug 22, 2014 $97,822 -
Payroll Manager Mosser Companies, Inc. San Francisco, CA Mar 09, 2016 $87,838
SAP Time & Payroll Manager The AES Corporation Arlington, VA Sep 01, 2010 $85,500 -
Billing/Payroll Manager Act Home Health Service Philadelphia, PA Dec 02, 2010 $69,555
Payroll Manager Mosser Companies, Inc. San Francisco, CA Mar 31, 2014 $63,835
Accounting/Payroll Manager Strive Preparatory Schools Denver, CO Sep 09, 2015 $51,000
Accounting/Payroll Manager Strive Preparatory Schools Denver, CO Apr 07, 2015 $51,000
Office/Payroll Manager Peek Performance Inc. Simpsonville, SC Oct 01, 2010 $50,000
Payroll Manager INEK Technologies LLC Overland Park, KS Mar 01, 2011 $45,000
Payroll Manager INEK Technologies LLC Overland Park, KS Oct 01, 2010 $45,000
Corporate Payroll Manager Vida Y Estilo Corp Miami Beach, FL Sep 15, 2010 $44,544
Payroll Manager Internet Brands, Inc. El Segundo, CA Jun 10, 2011 $43,410 -
Mid-Atlantic Payroll Manager CRS Facility Services MBE, LLC King of Prussia, PA Oct 01, 2010 $43,138

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Top Skills for A Payroll Manager


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Top Payroll Manager Skills

  1. ADP Pcpw
  2. Process Payroll
  3. Payroll System
You can check out examples of real life uses of top skills on resumes here:
  • Project leader for payroll upgrades from Ceridian DOS to ADP PCPW for Windows.
  • Maintain HR database and process payroll for five separate entities using ADP Workforce Now and Enterprise eTime.
  • Direct the implementation of Walker payroll systems and standards at newly acquired or managed projects (Facilities).
  • Completed monthly and quarterly tax reports for Multi-state payroll.
  • Validated payroll general ledger entries and reconciled payroll general ledger accounts as required.

Top Payroll Manager Employers

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