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Payroll specialists, also known as payroll clerks, perform a very important role in a business. After all, everyone needs to receive their paycheck—accurately and on time! If you’re well-organized with keen attention to detail, a job as a payroll specialist may be the perfect choice for you.

Roles and Responsibilities

As a payroll specialist, you’ll need to perform many different tasks associated with managing employees’ time and payment records. These tasks may include:

  • Compiling and verifying employees’ time sheets.
  • Calculating payments (either weekly, bi-weekly or monthly, depending on how often paychecks are issued).
  • Making pay adjustments based on taxes and other deductions.
  • Maintaining employee records in the payroll database.
  • Staying compliant with payroll regulations.
  • Issuing paychecks.

Education and Experience

Most payroll specialists require a high school education. You may also be able to take a certification program through a community college. You’ll need to be familiar with topics such as accounting fundamentals, local payroll laws and how to use accounting and bookkeeping software. Many employees will include this as part of your on-the-job training.

Salary and Employment Trends

As of May 2013, the mean annual wage for timekeeping clerks was $39,850, as reported by the Bureau of Labor Statistics. This differs widely based on the industry in which you are employed. The highest paid payroll clerks work as agents for artists, athletes and entertainers, and earn an average of $67, 650 per year. Those who work for the postal service earn the second-highest average annual pay at $54, 990 per year. Payroll specialists can work in virtually any industry. Other high-paying options include support activities for water transportation, information services, and oil and gas extraction.

Frequency of Job Openings

As you might expect, larger cities offer greater job opportunities for payroll specialists. The following states offer more payroll specialist positions, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics: California, Texas, Illinois, Minnesota, New York, Massachusetts, Pennsylvania, Georgia and Florida.

Looking for Your Next Payroll Specialist Position?

Then look no further than Accountable Search. We provide employment for payroll specialists in the Chicago area. If you’re a payroll professional looking for your next job, we can work with you for placement that suits your education and experience. To learn more, contact Accountable Search today.

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