Payroll Administrator

Average Salary: £19,000 - £24,000
Competition: MID
Years Experience: 1-4 years

Job Summary

Pay day. The most important day for many of us. And who makes that happen? Payroll Administrators. These absolute legends are responsible for making sure that all employees in the organisation go home with their bank accounts full with their hard-earned wages. Only to spend it all the next day.


You’d be wrong to think that organising employees’ wages would be a straightforward task. But given the importance of people getting their money on time and the number of calculations that need to be made, such as deductions for pensions, National Insurance etc, it’s a job that calls for someone with immense accuracy. Here’s a list of the duties that you could do as a Payroll Administrator:

  • Collecting records of hours worked from employees
  • Calculating how much pay each individual receives, including additions and deductions such as expense claims and pension contributions
  • Organising distribution of payments to employees in a timely manner
  • Dealing with any ad-hoc payment issues as they arise
  • Managing the payroll system ensuring that data is kept up-to-date
  • Producing payroll reports for managerial purposes

Key Skills & Characteristics

A Payroll Administrator should:

  • Have excellent written and verbal communication skills
  • Be accurate and have an attention to detail
  • Maintain confidentiality at all times
  • Possess strong numerical and IT skills
  • Be organised, timely and able to prioritise effectively

Entry Routes

What employers want is an individual that has demonstrated a high level working with numbers. Although a degree is not a necessity, completing a degree in Accounting, Business or Maths could give you the edge over other candidates. The bare minimum would be getting good grades in GCSE Maths and English. But just having good grades in GCSE Maths and English won’t make you stand out from the crowd. Having a background in bookkeeping and accounts could better your chances even further and it may be worth completing courses from The International Association of Bookkeepers (IAB) or The Association of Accounting Technicians (AAT).

The job itself may require you to use systems such as SAP or Sage Payroll. Learning either one of these systems can be a winner for employers. Some will only recruit individuals who have been exposed to either one of these systems.

Job Progression

Payroll Administrator

Payroll Supervisor

Payroll Manager

Advice From Our Experts

The Good

  • Hours – It’s a standard 9-to-5 job, so you’re able to have a work-life balance
  • Routine – Not everyone likes all their work to be unpredictable and sometimes it’s really good to know exactly what you have to do
  • Resolving Issues – Probably the best part of the job, knowing that you solved someone else’s difficulty

The Bad

  • Repetitive – Tasks can be quite repetitive at times. So if you’re a creative individual this role might not be for you
  • Stress – Because you’re dealing with people’s salaries there’s a lot of pressure to make sure everything is processed to the tight deadlines
  • Always Sitting – You’re always at your desk, which is not great for some people