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Payroll administrator Payroll clerk

Payroll administrators make sure employees get paid the right amount on the right date.

Salary, a pound sign Salary: £15,000 to £28,000 average per year
Hours, a clock face Hours: 37.5 per week

1. Entry requirements

There are no set requirements. You’ll be expected to have relevant office skills, like email, using the internet and computer packages like Excel. 

Good maths skills are important, and some employers may also expect you to have GCSEs at grades 9 to 4 (A* to C), or equivalent.

Experience in payroll isn’t always essential, but a background in bookkeeping and accounts could help improve your job prospects. 

The International Association of Book-keepers (IAB) and The Association of Accounting Technicians (AAT) offer introductory courses in bookkeeping and payroll.

You could also get into this job through an apprenticeship.

2. Skills required

You’ll need:

  • confidence with numbers
  • good spoken and written communication skills
  • a high level of accuracy and attention to detail
  • good organisational and time management skills

3. What you'll do

You’ll work in a company’s accounts team, or for a payroll bureau that provides payroll services for other companies. You may work to strict payment deadlines.

Your day-to-day duties will usually include:

  • checking how many hours employees have worked
  • calculating and issuing pay by cash, cheque or electronic transfer
  • deducting tax and national insurance payments
  • processing holiday, sick and maternity pay, and expenses
  • calculating overtime, shift payments and pay increases
  • answering staff queries about timesheets or pay slips
  • issuing P45s and other tax forms
You may also work with your company’s human resources department, and be expected to do general administrative work like filing, photocopying and typing.

4. Salary

Starter: £15,000 to £18,000

Experienced: £20,000 to £26,000

Highly Experienced: £28,000

These figures are a guide.

5. Working hours, patterns and environment

You’ll usually work 9am to 5pm, Monday to Friday. Part-time and temporary work are available.

You’ll usually be based in an office, and spend most of your time working at a computer.

6. Career path and progression

With experience, you could progress to payroll supervisor or manager.

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Last updated: 18 August 2017