How Do I Get into Payroll Administration?

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  • Written By: Tiffany Manley
  • Edited By: A. Joseph
  • Last Modified Date: 17 October 2019
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A payroll administrator usually handles all aspects of a company's employee payroll, such as calculating hourly pay, overtime, bonuses, deductions and taxes. With the broad range of subjects handled, someone hoping to work in payroll administration will benefit from having a variety of skills, such as knowledge of tax laws, bookkeeping skills and analytical skills. Many companies do not require specific degrees or certifications to work in the payroll administration field, but you might pursue a college degree in accounting or finance or attend one of various certification programs available if you are interested in working in the field.

Perhaps one of the easiest ways to get into payroll administration is by working in a related field at a company. You might start as a secretary, as an assistant or in another position, but by showing that you enjoy the company and are a hard worker, you might advance through the company into the payroll department. From there, you can learn as much as possible and might eventually have the opportunity to work directly in payroll administration. This might seem like a longer route than others, but you can become an integral part of the company, learn how it functions, demonstrate your best skills and get to know employees and others, making you a well-rounded employee.


If you would prefer to obtain training in payroll administration so you can attempt to interview directly for positions in this field, you might choose to pursue certification courses. These courses are designed to give a general overview of all aspects of a job in payroll administration within a short period of time, such as 12 months. Specific information for each situation that you might encounter might not be covered in the course, but you will gain a great deal of knowledge about most of the aspects of the job.

Earning a college degree is another option if you would like to get into payroll administration. College degree programs in accounting and finance usually are the most common programs pursued by those who want to work in this field. In both programs, you usually study things such as bookkeeping, tax law, finance and other skills that might be necessary in payroll administration. Some colleges even invite students to shadow or work part-time in college offices related to their field of study. Doing so would give you experience as well as education in this field, which might make you a much more attractive prospect to a potential employer.


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