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Payroll Clerk Profile


This Section of the site details information that you might find useful if you are looking to secure employment or require further details regarding working as a Payroll Clerk. This page details the following Information:-

  • Finding Suitable Work as a Payroll Clerk
  • Working Duties Expected
  • Hours and Environment
  • Working Skills Required
  • Training Requirements
  • Salary Expectations
  • Trade Information
  • Other useful Payroll Clerk Work Information

Finding Suitable Work

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Working Duties Expected

Payroll clerks, also known as payroll administrators, work for companies or bureau services, to ensure that staff are paid the right amount on the right day. The work could involve:

  • calculating and issuing pay by cash, cheque or electronic transfer
  • making sure tax and national insurance payments are deducted correctly
  • creating records for new staff
  • paying staff who are leaving and issuing P45 forms
  • processing and recording holiday, sick and maternity pay and expenses
  • calculating overtime and shift payments
  • implementing pay increases
  • liaising with the personnel department
  • general clerical and computer work.

Hours and Environment

Most payroll clerks work a standard 37 hour week, Monday to Friday. Some flexibility or longer hours may be required at busy times.

They work at a desk in an office with other members of the payroll team.

Skills and Interests

To be a payroll clerk you should:

  • be numerate
  • be a clear and logical thinker
  • possess good IT skills
  • have good communication skills
  • be able to work in a team
  • be able to work to deadlines
  • be well organised and pay attention to detail.


There are no minimum entry requirements, but most employers would look for some GCSEs grades (A-C)/S grades (1-3), particularly in English and maths.

There is no upper age limit for entry, and you will be at an advantage if you have experience or qualifications in a related field like administration, book keeping or accounts. The IPPM Foundation in Payroll Administration is a useful qualification to acquire.


You would usually start work as a trainee, helping more experienced staff and doing routine clerical and computer work. You will do some training on the job, but there is also a clearly defined system of qualifications to help you gain promotion.

NVQs/SVQs in Payroll Administration are available at Levels 2 and 3. They are a formal recognition of the skills you use in your job. When you successfully complete both levels at NVQ/SVQ, you will automatically become an Affiliate of the Association of Accounting Technicians (AAT).

The Institute of Payroll and Pensions Management (IPPM) Foundation in Payroll Administration is a qualification for people who are new to work in payroll, or who want to translate their experience into a professional qualification. The Foundation in Payroll Administration certificate is comparable to NVQ level 3.

If you decide to progress to more advanced study, IPPM also offers further qualifications:

Supervision and Team Leading Certificates in Payroll or Pensions (equivalent to NVQ level 4)
Diploma in Local Government Pensions Management
Diploma in Payroll Management (equivalent to NVQ level 5) - completion of the Foundation and/or Supervisory and Team Leading Certificates will exempt you from parts of this qualification.
You can complete IPPM courses by distance learning. There are also weekend schools, which will give you the chance to revise, talk to tutors, take a mock exam, and meet other students. Alternatively, twelve-week fast-track study is possible for the Foundation and Diploma qualifications, at one of the twelve regional training centres in England, Scotland and Northern Ireland. See the IPPM website for details.


Payroll clerks are employed in all kinds of large organisations including local authorities, retail chains, manufacturers, airlines, banks and hospitals. There are also payroll bureaux which look after the payrolls of a number of client companies.

Promotion to payroll supervisor or payroll manager is possible, with experience and further qualifications.

Annual Income

These figures are intended as a guideline only:
The starting salary for a payroll clerk starts at around £9,000.
With more experience you could earn £13,500.
A senior payroll clerk can earn up to £18,000.

Further information

Association of Accounting Technicians
154 Clerkenwell Road
Tel: 020 7837 8600

Institute of Payroll and Pensions Management
Shelly House
Farmhouse Way
West Midlands
B90 4EH
Tel: 0121 712 1000

The accountancy profession carries a wide and varied selection of different job roles. Here are some examples of related job positions in the accountancy sector:

• Analyst
• Auditor
• Company Secretary
• Cost Accountant
• Director
• Finance Manager
• Financial Controller
• Forensic Accountant
• Interim Manager
• Life Accountant
• Management Accountant
• Practice Manager
• Practice Partner
• Project Accountant
• Syndicate Accountant
• Systems Accountant
• Tax Accountant
• Trust Accountant
• Accounts Admin
• Assistant Accountant
• Credit Controller
• Graduate Trainee
• Ledger Clerk
• Legal Cashier
• Part Qualified
• Accounts Payroller
• Practice Accountant.

Other Useful Payroll Clerk Work Information

We have a section available at this site on Payroll Clerk job interview tips that you may find of interest should you wish to brush up your skills in this area and we also have number of career articles that may also be of use to you from within our guides and documents section.

Locations where we feature Jobs include:-
Aberdeen, Berkshire, Aberdeen, Bath, Bedfordshire, Berkshire, Birmingham, Bradford, Bristol, Cambridgeshire, Cardiff, Central London, Cheltenham, Cornwall, Coventry, Derby, Devon, Docklands, Dorset, Dundee, Durham, East Midlands, East Sussex, Edinburgh, Essex, Glasgow, Gloucester, Hampshire, Hertfordshire, Kent, Lancashire, Leeds, Leicester, Leicestershire, Lincolnshire, Liverpool, London, Manchester, Middlesbrough, Midlands and in various parts of the West Midlands

Details of other Payroll Clerk Jobs can also be found in other UK wide areas including:-
Milton Keynes, Newcastle, Newcastle Upon Tyne, Norfolk, North London, North Midlands, Northampton, Northamptonshire, Northern Ireland, Northumberland, Norwich, Nottingham, Nottinghamshire, Oxford, Oxfordshire, Plymouth, Salisbury, Scotland, Sheffield, Shropshire, Somerset, South East, South London, South Midlands, Southampton, Staffordshire Surrey, Swansea, Swindon, Telford, Wales, Warwickshire, West End, West London, West Midlands, Worcestershire, York and throughout Yorkshire.

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