- Work in a payroll, finance or HR department to make sure employees are paid correctly and on time
- You'll need excellent accuracy, administrative skills and the ability to work to deadlines
- Progress to supervisory or payroll management roles
- 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 time-sheets 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
As a payroll administrator, 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.
To be a payroll administrator, you'll need thoroughness and attention to detail, administration skills, the ability to work well with others as well as on your own, sensitivity and understanding, maths knowledge, the ability to remain calm in stressful situations, and knowledge of English language.
There are no set requirements, so you could apply directly for job vacancies, but some employers will expect you to have GCSEs at grades 9 to 4 (A* to C), or equivalent, including maths. Experience in payroll isn't always essential, but a background in bookkeeping and accounts might help your job prospects.
The International Association of Bookkeepers (IAB) and The Association of Accounting Technicians (AAT) offer introductory courses in bookkeeping and payroll that can be studied at a college or by distance learning. Courses include the IAB Level 1 Certificate in Payroll, IAB Level 1 Award in Bookkeeping, or the AAT Certificate in Bookkeeping.
You could also get into this job through an advanced apprenticeship as a payroll administrator.
Alternatively, you could also do qualifications offered by The Chartered Institute of Payroll Professionals.
With experience, you could progress to payroll supervisor or manager.