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Payroll Representative Careers

As a payroll representative, you'll perform one of the key roles for any organization. Your main responsibility will be to ensure that everyone gets the pay they deserve. Payroll representatives can perform a range of functions, depending on the size and structure of the company. Generally speaking, these representatives are in charge of answering employee inquiries about salaries and benefits, preparing and processing requests, and resolving issues and concerns.

Other tasks that payroll representatives may perform include tracking employee work hours, processing payroll tax returns including year-end w-2's, updating payroll records by entering changes in exemptions, insurance coverage, savings deductions, and resolving payroll discrepancies by collecting and analyzing employee information.

To perform this job well, payroll representatives must be detail-oriented individuals with superb data entry skills. They must also excel at analyzing information. They must also respect employee confidentiality. Many employers look for payroll clerks with at least an Associate's degree or certificate in bookkeeping or payroll administration. Certification is available through the American Payroll Association (APA).

There is more than meets the eye when it comes to being a payroll representative. For example, did you know that they make an average of $19.87 an hour? That's $41,334 a year!

Between 2018 and 2028, the career is expected to grow 5% and produce 72,100 job opportunities across the U.S.

What Does a Payroll Representative Do

There are certain skills that many payroll representatives have in order to accomplish their responsibilities. By taking a look through resumes, we were able to narrow down the most common skills for a person in this position. We discovered that a lot of resumes listed communication skills, math skills and organizational skills.

When it comes to the most important skills required to be a payroll representative, we found that a lot of resumes listed 39.5% of payroll representatives included payroll, while 6.2% of resumes included data entry, and 5.5% of resumes included high volume. Hard skills like these are helpful to have when it comes to performing essential job responsibilities.

When it comes to searching for a job, many search for a key term or phrase. Instead, it might be more helpful to search by industry, as you might be missing jobs that you never thought about in industries that you didn't even think offered positions related to the payroll representative job title. But what industry to start with? Most payroll representatives actually find jobs in the health care and retail industries.

How To Become a Payroll Representative

If you're interested in becoming a payroll representative, one of the first things to consider is how much education you need. We've determined that 40.1% of payroll representatives have a bachelor's degree. In terms of higher education levels, we found that 4.2% of payroll representatives have master's degrees. Even though some payroll representatives have a college degree, it's possible to become one with only a high school degree or GED.

Choosing the right major is always an important step when researching how to become a payroll representative. When we researched the most common majors for a payroll representative, we found that they most commonly earn bachelor's degree degrees or associate degree degrees. Other degrees that we often see on payroll representative resumes include high school diploma degrees or master's degree degrees.

You may find that experience in other jobs will help you become a payroll representative. In fact, many payroll representative jobs require experience in a role such as payroll administrator. Meanwhile, many payroll representatives also have previous career experience in roles such as customer service representative or accounts payable clerk.

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Average Salary
$41,334
Average Salary
Job Growth Rate
5%
Job Growth Rate
Job Openings
5,652
Job Openings

Payroll Representative Career Paths

Top Careers Before Payroll Representative

Top Careers After Payroll Representative

What is the right job for my career path?

Tell us your goals and we'll match you with the rights job to get there.

Average Salary for a Payroll Representative

Payroll Representatives in America make an average salary of $41,334 per year or $20 per hour. The top 10 percent makes over $53,000 per year, while the bottom 10 percent under $31,000 per year.
Average Salary
$41,334

Best Paying Cities

City
ascdesc
Average Salarydesc
Irvine, CA
Salary Range37k - 53k$45k$45,164
Charlotte, NC
Salary Range27k - 40k$33k$33,494
$27k
$53k

Recently Added Salaries

Job TitleCompanyascdescCompanyascdescStart DateascdescSalaryascdesc
Payroll Representative
Payroll Representative
A-Line Staffing Solutions
A-Line Staffing Solutions
03/29/2021
03/29/2021
$35,47903/29/2021
$35,479
Internal Payroll Representative-Direct
Internal Payroll Representative-Direct
Aerotek
Aerotek
01/27/2021
01/27/2021
$37,10701/27/2021
$37,107
Payroll Representative
Payroll Representative
Aerotek
Aerotek
10/27/2020
10/27/2020
$35,47910/27/2020
$35,479
Payroll REP IV
Payroll REP IV
Geologics
Geologics
10/09/2020
10/09/2020
$37,56610/09/2020
$37,566
Payroll REP IV
Payroll REP IV
Geologics
Geologics
09/25/2020
09/25/2020
$55,61909/25/2020
$55,619
See More Recent Salaries

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Payroll Representative Demographics

Gender

female

75.9 %

male

20.3 %

unknown

3.8 %

Ethnicity

White

63.4 %

Hispanic or Latino

18.9 %

Black or African American

9.5 %

Foreign Languages Spoken

Spanish

82.8 %

Portuguese

10.3 %

Italian

3.4 %
See More Demographics

Payroll Representative Education

Majors

Business
33.2 %

Degrees

Bachelors

40.1 %

Associate

24.4 %

Certificate

21.9 %

Top Colleges for Payroll Representatives

1. University of Pennsylvania

Philadelphia, PA • Private

In-State Tuition
$55,584
Enrollment
10,764

2. Northwestern University

Evanston, IL • Private

In-State Tuition
$54,568
Enrollment
8,451

3. University of Southern California

Los Angeles, CA • Private

In-State Tuition
$56,225
Enrollment
19,548

4. SUNY at Binghamton

Vestal, NY • Public

In-State Tuition
$9,808
Enrollment
13,990

5. Villanova University

Villanova, PA • Private

In-State Tuition
$53,308
Enrollment
6,819

6. San Diego State University

San Diego, CA • Public

In-State Tuition
$7,488
Enrollment
30,018

7. Bentley University

Waltham, MA • Private

In-State Tuition
$49,880
Enrollment
4,177

8. SUNY Farmingdale

Farmingdale, NY • Public

In-State Tuition
$8,306
Enrollment
9,394

9. Boston University

Boston, MA • Private

In-State Tuition
$53,948
Enrollment
17,238

10. SUNY Stony Brook

Stony Brook, NY • Public

In-State Tuition
$9,625
Enrollment
17,407
See More Education Info
Job type you want
Full Time
Part Time
Internship
Temporary

Top Skills For a Payroll Representative

The skills section on your resume can be almost as important as the experience section, so you want it to be an accurate portrayal of what you can do. Luckily, we've found all of the skills you'll need so even if you don't have these skills yet, you know what you need to work on. Out of all the resumes we looked through, 39.5% of payroll representatives listed payroll on their resume, but soft skills such as communication skills and math skills are important as well.

Best States For a Payroll Representative

Some places are better than others when it comes to starting a career as a payroll representative. The best states for people in this position are New Jersey, Minnesota, California, and Oregon. Payroll representatives make the most in New Jersey with an average salary of $50,731. Whereas in Minnesota and California, they would average $46,907 and $46,814, respectively. While payroll representatives would only make an average of $46,213 in Oregon, you would still make more there than in the rest of the country. We determined these as the best states based on job availability and pay. By finding the median salary, cost of living, and using the Bureau of Labor Statistics' Location Quotient, we narrowed down our list of states to these four.

1. Minnesota

Total Payroll Representative Jobs:
127
Highest 10% Earn:
$66,000
Location Quotient:
1.12
Location Quotient is a measure used by the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) to determine how concentrated a certain industry is in a single state compared to the nation as a whole. You can read more about how BLS calculates location quotients here

2. New Jersey

Total Payroll Representative Jobs:
144
Highest 10% Earn:
$76,000
Location Quotient:
1.07
Location Quotient is a measure used by the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) to determine how concentrated a certain industry is in a single state compared to the nation as a whole. You can read more about how BLS calculates location quotients here

3. Oregon

Total Payroll Representative Jobs:
86
Highest 10% Earn:
$63,000
Location Quotient:
1.22
Location Quotient is a measure used by the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) to determine how concentrated a certain industry is in a single state compared to the nation as a whole. You can read more about how BLS calculates location quotients here
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Top Payroll Representative Employers

1. Automatic Data Processing
4.7
Avg. Salary: 
$50,595
Payroll Representatives Hired: 
74+
2. Staples
4.6
Avg. Salary: 
$48,924
Payroll Representatives Hired: 
17+
3. UBS
4.8
Avg. Salary: 
$68,478
Payroll Representatives Hired: 
11+
4. Paychex
4.5
Avg. Salary: 
$39,755
Payroll Representatives Hired: 
9+
5. United
4.7
Avg. Salary: 
$38,398
Payroll Representatives Hired: 
8+
6. General Electric
4.7
Avg. Salary: 
$58,716
Payroll Representatives Hired: 
6+
Updated October 2, 2020