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Career as Payroll Specialist

Last Updated On 23 Jul, 2020

How to Become a Payroll Specialist

About Payroll Specialist

A Payroll Specialist is a person who maintains the employee database regarding the pay cut and salary. He will be responsible for calculating the salary of the employees based on the days and hours they worked. Payroll Specialist also resolves the concerns and complaints of the employees regarding their salary. Candidates who are looking for a career in Payroll should have knowledge of the wage and hour laws, union contracts, tax laws and common fiscal procedures. Besides this, he should have good communication skills along with computer skills. He is supposed to have a clear understanding of budgetary activities. A good Payroll Specialist should be able to do multitasking operations and manage time in a fast-paced environment.

Responsibilities of a Payroll Specialist

Check some of the major responsibilities of a Payroll Specialist provided below.

  • Collecting important information such as working hours and days of the employee

  • Preparing and processing the final payment

  • Resolving the queries of the employees regarding the salary

  • Coordinating with the senior management before finalizing the payment

  • Calculating benefits, wages, commissions, tax deductions etc.

Eligibility to become Payroll Specialist

Check the minimum eligibility criteria for a career as a Payroll Specialist provided below.

  • BA/ BSc in accounting/ business or any other relevant field

  • At least 2-3 years of work experience in payroll 

  • Knowledge of payroll practices and basic accounting principles

  • Hands-on experience with some software such as Payforce, Kronos and Microsoft Office

Apart from educational qualification, he should have a good understanding of Microsoft Excel. Some additional skills are required for Payroll Specialists such as excellent communication abilities, time management skills, strong organizational skills, problem-solving skills and computer skills. Those who are looking for admission in any course such as Bsc in Business Management required for career as a Payroll Specialist may fill the Common Admission Form

Types of Job Roles Payroll Specialist

You will be required to start your career as a Payroll Clerk before applying for a job as a Payroll Specialist. After that, you will be working independently in preparing final payment report, verifying employment verification forms and coordinating with the managers. Job roles of a Payroll Specialist will depend on the experience and skills in computers and other accounting software. Some job profiles available for Payroll Specialist are provided below.

  • Payroll clerk

  • Payroll administrator

  • Payroll data analyst

  • Payroll manager

  • Payroll director

You can also apply for other job profiles such as HR Manager, HR Consultant and HR Analyst. You can further ask questions at Collegedekho QnA zone.  

Employment Opportunities for Payroll Specialist

Payroll Specialist can apply for a job in many industries from small businesses to large organizations. Almost every type of industry hires a Payroll Specialist to manage his payroll activities. Some employment opportunities available for a Payroll Specialist are provided below.

  • Corporate businesses

  • Public sector organizations

  • Advertising

  • Education

  • Airline industry

Top Recruiting Agencies for Payroll Specialist

Some of the major recruiting companies for Payroll Specialist are listed below.

  • Amazon

  • Honeywell

  • Dynata

  • Thoughtspot

  • MAQ Software

  • Electronic Arts

  • Capgemini

  • Maersk Group

  • EPiq

Planning to choose Payroll Specialist as your career?

Pay Scale/Salary of Payroll Specialist

The average salary of a Payroll Specialist who has a work experience of 2-3 years can go up to 7 lakh per annum. Besides this, you can also get a bonus of INR 30,000-40,000 depending on your work experience and performance. The table provided below will provide you with the average salary of all levels of Payroll Specialist. 


Starting Salary per annum (in INR)

Mid Level Salary per annum (in INR)

Senior Level Salary per annum (INR)

Payroll Specialist




Books & Study Material to Become Payroll Specialist

A Payroll Specialist should have a good knowledge of Payroll Processing and software like Payforce and Kronos. There are many books available in the market that can help the Payroll Specialist to know more about payroll management. Some of the recommended books for Payroll Specialist are provided below.



Payroll Management

Steven M. Bragg

Essentials of Payroll

Steven M. Bragg

Payroll in 90 Minutes

Robert Leach

Payroll Accounting 

Jeanette Landin and Paulette Schirmer

Success In the Payroll Management Business

Vincent, Gabriel

Pros of becoming a Payroll Specialist

  • A career as a Payroll Specialist offers flexible scheduling and the option to work from home

  • You will get to work on a variety of tasks daily

  • You can easily advance your career in the payroll department using some additional certifications and training

  • A career as a Payroll Specialist is very interesting and it allows you to choose any type of industry

Cons of becoming a Payroll Specialist

  • Payroll Specialist is a job which requires you to sit for long hours.

  • Sometimes, deadlines can be really strict.

  • A career as a Payroll Specialist is not suitable for candidates who like to work with design and technology.

  • This job requires experience in accounting and payroll software.

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FAQs about Payroll Specialist

What is the difference between Payroll Specialist and Payroll Administrator?

Payroll Administrator oversees the work of the Payroll Specialist. You will have to complete some years of work experience as a Payroll Specialist before applying for the Payroll Administrator.

How much does a Payroll Specialist make?

A Payroll Specialist can earn up to 7 lakh per annum if he has a work experience of 2-3 years.

What kind of reports should a Payroll Specialist prepare?

Report of a Payroll Specialist should include overtime, total hours work, bonus, pay cut, total payment and salary analysis.

Who is a Payroll Specialist?

Payroll Specialist is a person who manages the payroll of the employees. He is also responsible for resolving the queries related to payroll and pay cut.

What is the best software for Payroll?

There are many software available for Payrolls such as Gusto, QuickBooks Payroll, OnPay, Paychex and Wave Payroll. Every software has its own advantages and disadvantages.

How can I apply for a job as a Payroll Specialist?

You can check the job description of the profile to know the eligibility requirements. If you satisfy all the requirements, you can apply for a job as a Payroll Specialist.

What profiles are available for Payroll Specialist?

Some of the job profiles available for Payroll Specialist are Payroll Clerk, Payroll Administrator, Payroll data analyst, Payroll Manager and Payroll Director.

What are the best books for Payroll management?

Some of the best books available for Payroll management are Essentials of Payroll by Steven M. Bragg, Payroll Accounting by Jeanette Landin and Paulette Schirmer.

What is the eligibility criteria to work as a Payroll Specialist?

You must have completed a bachelor's degree in accounting or business in order to apply for the Payroll Specialist.

What are the cons of a career as Payroll Specialist?

You will have to take care of the deadline given to you. Besides this, you will be held responsible if there is any error in the final payroll.

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