How To Become A Payroll Clerk
Career Video: Payroll Clerk
Do you love to crunch numbers? Do you pay attention to details and are highly organized? If the answer to both these questions is yes then you can consider a career as a payroll clerk. In this profession, your main role is to keep records of the hours worked by each employee, verify their accuracy and ensure that employees receive their pay on time.
As a payroll clerk, gathering the work hours of all employees is a major part of your work. Accuracy is very important here since this record will form the basis of the pay they will receive. In addition to the number of hours worked, you must also see to it that all commissions they have earned are properly calculated and credited to their accounts. They also factor in any bonuses received by the employee.
In addition to gathering information on the number of hours worked and posting commissions and bonuses to employee records, you will also be responsible for computing the deductions that must be taken from the pay of employees. These include income tax that must be withheld, Social Security and 401k contributions, premiums for health and other types of insurance and any dues for union membership. You may also process garnishments ordered by the court for child support payments and unpaid taxes.
As a payroll clerk, you will be using computer software to enter, keep and calculate information and prepare the payroll. You will then print and issue paychecks and distribute them to the employees. In case there are complaints regarding the calculations, you will see to it that these are promptly addressed.
To succeed as a payroll clerk, you need to have excellent number crunching abilities. Although you will be using computers in performing calculations, you also need to be good at manual computations so that you can immediately see discrepancies just by looking at the figures. You should also be highly-organized so that you can find files quickly. Since you will need to talk to colleagues and explain to them issues related to their paychecks, you need to have good communication skills as well.
Why Become A Payroll Clerk
A career as a payroll clerk is suited for those who want to work in an office setting. Those who want a job that would put their math skills to good use will also find satisfaction in this career. It is also a good choice for those who want to have a career that pays well but does not need extensive educational preparation.
Payroll Clerk Work Environment
Payroll clerks can be found in a variety of offices and industries. Most of them, however, are employed by companies doing business in the credit intermediation and related activities and insurance industries. The healthcare industry also hires a lot of payroll clerks. The work is typically fulltime and done in an office setting. Clerks report to work during regular business hours.
Payroll Clerk Salary
The U.S. Occupational Employment and Wages report of the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics revealed that the mean annual wage of payroll and timekeeping clerks is $40,910. This is higher than the average yearly wage of financial clerks which is $35,770.
Payroll Clerk Career Outlook
There will be good job prospects for payroll clerks. In the period covering 2012 to 2022, the employment rate of payroll and timekeeping clerks is set to rise 13 percent, a rate that is as fast as the average for all job types. Companies will continue to hire them but their growth will be limited because software programs now enable employees to input their timekeeping information.
Payroll Clerk Degree
The minimum educational requirement to become a payroll clerk is a high school diploma. Most employers will provide on-the-job training. However, those who have taken college courses or have a bachelor’s degree will have an edge over others.