Payroll administrator

payroll officer payroll clerk
Financial services

Career outlook for payroll administrator

UK Salary Ranges





Currently employed in Scotland


Salary information is provided by the "National Careers Service". "Oxford Economics" supplies job forecasts and employment figures. Due to COVID-19 the jobs market is constantly changing. Some of the information may not reflect the current situation.

What's it like?

Payroll administrators are responsible for processing peoples wages.  In this job, you’d create, store and maintain employee payroll records which details things like their attendance or timesheets, as well as the hours they work and the pay grade they’re on.

Mainly working on a computer, you'd keep records up-to-date to make sure all employees are paid the correct amount on time.

It's important to be very thorough in this kind of work and incredibly organised and timely as they work to strict deadlines. It's also necessary to have to have good numeracy and ICT skills.

What you might do:

  • Prepare and process monthly or weekly payroll for employees
  • Keep payroll records for each employee with up-to-date and accurate information
  • Review any approved expenses or overtime pay that an employee may be entitled to
  • Update employee records with any changes that might include maternity pay, sick pay or new work patterns that might affect their pay
  • Communicate any payroll updates or changes to managers or colleagues
  • Answer staff queries about their pay slips and resolving any issues where possible
  • Create financial reports
  • Calculate tax and national insurance and process salaries accordingly
  • Issue employees with their P45, tax forms and any other necessary documents

Working conditions


Working hours can vary, but usually full-time hours will be Monday to Friday and around 37-40 hours per week. This might change depending on where you work or who you work for, or during busier periods such as Christmas.


You’ll usually be office based and the size of the team you're part of will depend on the size of the business you work for.

UK employment status





Self employed


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Here are some of the skills needed for this job. Sign in to see how your skills match up.

  • Written communication
  • Problem solving
  • Working with numbers
  • Attention to detail
  • Sorting
  • Developing a plan
  • Time management
  • Reliable
  • Analysing
  • Understanding

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Getting in

Entry requirements for courses can change. Always contact the college, university or training provider to check exactly what you'll need.


There are no fixed entry routes to this job but most employers would prefer a selection of subjects at National 4/5 or above level including maths and English.

Most employers look for relevant experience - this could be gained through college or university courses such as NQ, HNC, HND in business, accounting or finance, or through work based experience and qualifications.

Useful subjects

Many colleges and universities will have required subjects that you must have for entry. They might also highlight additional subjects that they would value. Have a look at individual institutions websites for specific entry information.

Useful subjects would be:

  • Maths focussed subjects
  • ICT subjects
  • Administration or business

Helpful to have

Not all employers list specific qualification requirements but they might ask for relevant (usually work based) experience that demonstrates a range of transferable skills.

Having or working towards professional qualifications in IT or finance, such as AAT qualifications (Association of Accounting Technicians) are highly valued.

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