Payroll Administrator Job Description

A Payroll Administrator assists with the payroll process of a company. This includes overseeing all administrative activities related to payroll, processing payroll on a regular basis and sometimes managing benefits, as well.

Payroll Administrators work in conjunction with and support an organization’s human resources department. Typically working in offices, Payroll Administrators can work for major companies in-house as well as staffing agencies.


Payroll Administrator Duties and Responsibilities

In order to process payroll for all employees, a Payroll Administrator performs many different tasks. We analyzed job listings for Payroll Administrators in order to identify these core duties and responsibilities.

Collect Time Records

The Payroll Administrator is responsible for gathering time records from employees and calculating hours worked and pay received for each employee accurately. They are sometimes responsible for ensuring that time records are accurate and that any inconsistencies or errors are resolved.

Transmit Payments

In order to support the payroll department, it is crucial that the Payroll Administrator transmit payments to employees in a timely and accurate manner. Typically, payments are transmitted either weekly, biweekly or monthly depending on the company policy.

Handle Payment Issues

The Payroll Administrator acts as a receptionist to the payroll department. They answer any questions that employees might have about payment and work to resolve any payment issues that arise.

Process Deductions

Payroll Administrators process and maintain records of regular deductions from employee payments. This can include garnishing, parking fees, 401k, healthcare and other deductions. This also includes overseeing tax filings in accordance with local and federal law.


Payroll Administrator Skills

Payroll Administrators are detail-oriented, quantitative thinkers who are adept at noticing errors and spend a lot of time completing calculations. In order to succeed, they must be able to multi-task and prioritize as well as remain highly organized. Because they deal often with confidential information, Payroll Administrators are also highly trustworthy.

Core skills: Based on job listings we looked at, employers want Payroll Administrators with these core skills. If you want to work as a Payroll Administrator, focus on the following.

  • Possessing some Human Resources experience
  • Being proficient in Microsoft Office programs, especially Excel
  • Having knowledge regarding payroll processing
  • Showing ability to work with confidential information
  • Demonstrating an understanding of payroll taxes

Advanced skills: While most employers did not require the following skills, multiple job listings included them as preferred. Add these to your Payroll Administrator toolbox and broaden your career options.

  • Proficiency in a payroll system
  • Bachelor’s degree in related field
  • Experience with multi-state payroll processing
  • Proficiency in a timekeeping system

Payroll Administrator Resources

We searched the Web to find the best industry resources to help you continue exploring a career as a Payroll Administrator. From thought leaders to industry groups, this list is packed with opportunities to learn, connect and engage.

On the Web

The HR Capitalist – Insight from a young HR professional

Fistful of Talent – A blog about leading HR into the modern era

HR Ringleader – A blog from a major HR professional

Industry Groups

Society for Human Resource Management – Leading organization for Human Resource professionals

National Human Resources Association – Society of Human Resources professionals

Academy of Human Resource Development – Society for the study of the Human Resources field

Payroll Administrator Books

The HR Answer Book – A comprehensive guide to human resources

The Essential HR Handbook – A handbook for HR professionals

The Big Book of HR – Information and resources for HR professionals


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