what is a payroll administrator?

As a payroll administrator, you work in an organisation's human resources (HR) or accounts department. You make sure every employee receives accurate pay and is paid on time. Since you oversee all activities associated with payroll management systems, your job includes administrative duties. For instance, you collect all the personal information of employees and track the hours worked in every payroll cycle. After collecting the data, you organise, tabulate and use it to calculate the compensation package for the week or month based on the company's hourly rates or salary policy.

Most experts in payroll departments need a finance and accounting degree or industry certification in payroll. You also need computation skills and attentiveness to details to avoid making mistakes when calculating and allocating salaries.

As a payroll administrator, you work alongside HR professionals in various business sectors, including information technology (IT), retail, sales and marketing or construction. When working in a small organisation, your duties include other human resource functions, like hiring employees or training and development. You work alongside other HR professionals and payroll specialists in large companies. Hence, your role involves handling payroll matters only. When working for an HR consultancy, you work with various companies that outsource payroll instead of focusing on a specific company.

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average payroll administrator salary

According to Payscale, the average salary of a payroll administrator is ₹319,616 per year. The entry-level salary in the position is ₹171,000 per year. With extensive experience, you take home over ₹699,000 per year. Your education level and years of experience greatly impact your salary. The experience level determines your skills and expertise, so you can negotiate a higher salary if you have several years of experience. Having additional qualifications also boosts your earning potential significantly.

The location also influences your earnings as a payroll administrator. Metropolitan areas attract higher salaries due to the higher cost of living and increased demand for payroll professionals. For instance, payroll administrators in Bangalore, Karnataka, earn 54.6% more than the average salary. You also earn a higher salary in New Delhi, Delhi or Chennai, Tamil Nadu. Cities with the lowest salaries include Hyderabad, Andhra Pradesh and Pune, Maharashtra.

The company size and your employer also affect your salary. Working in a large company attracts a higher salary than working in a small organisation. The complexity of the duties and unlimited resources in large organisations increases the earning prospects.


types of payroll administrators

The types of payroll administrators depend on the size of the company and the roles performed. They include:

  • junior payroll administrator: as a junior payroll administrator, you perform administrative tasks in the payroll department. For instance, you verify staff information and working hours before computing their salaries. You also disburse the salaries and handle tax deductions according to the statutory requirements. You can work with other payroll specialists and report to the lead administrator.
  • lead payroll administrator: as the lead payroll administrator, you supervise other payroll specialists and organise work schedules. You also audit payroll reports and deal with salaries for higher managers in the organisation. Sometimes, you formulate payroll policies for the organisation.
  • external payroll administrator: when you work for an HR consultancy, you perform payroll activities for various companies. You calculate the payroll and statutory deductions for your clients without visiting their premises.

working as a payroll administrator

Becoming a payroll administrator involves processing employee salaries and other administrative duties. Discover more about a payroll administrator's typical tasks and work schedule.


education and skills

To start your career as a payroll administrator, you require a business degree or HR qualifications to learn the necessary skills associated with the role. You can pursue a bachelor of commerce, bachelor of science in accounting or bachelor of arts in HR management. To qualify for these degree courses, you should take entrance exams from various institutions. Some of the entrance examinations include the Common Admission Test (CAT) and Management Aptitude Test (MAT).

Aside from gaining educational qualifications, you require extensive work experience in entry-level HR and payroll positions. Pursuing a master's degree improves your job prospects and gives you promotion opportunities.

payroll administrator skills and competencies

Some of the skills and competencies for payroll administrators include:

  • problem-solving skills: as a payroll administrator, you handle multiple issues relating to compliance, taxes and miscalculations. You need exceptional problem-solving skills to deal with these issues, both logically and competently. It is also important to anticipate any potential payroll problems that could arise.
  • computer and software proficiency: as a payroll administrator, you use various software to record employee data and work hours and process payroll. Proficiency in using payroll-related software and computer skills makes your work easier.
  • mathematical skills: to excel in the role, you should be good with numbers. You need exceptional numerical skills to handle complex data, numbers and calculations. Maths aptitude also helps you avoid mistakes when calculating deductions and preparing tax reports.
  • organisational skills: as a payroll administrator, you have many tasks to complete for every pay cycle. Organisational skills help you stay on schedule with employees' pay and meet tax deadlines to avoid penalties.

FAQs about working as a payroll administrator

Here, you will find the answers to the most frequently asked questions about the profession of a payroll administrator.

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