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Does It Pay to Get a Job in the Payroll Field?

Does It Pay to Get a Job in the Payroll Field?

A new year means new opportunities for many individuals, both those already working and look to change jobs, along with those seeking to find work for the first time.

While there are careers aplenty out there, some provide better opportunities for pay and advancement. For job seekers, the goal is to find something that offers challenging work and decent pay.

One field that always seems to need workers is payroll, specifically payroll clerks. The individuals who oversee such an important company function can find themselves with steady work if they have the experience and desire to succeed.

For those individuals thinking about getting into payroll, consider a few factors:

* Personality – If you’re looking for a job where you will have little or no interaction with other workers, then shy away from payroll. Payroll personnel often times deal with co-workers and their questions over compensation, benefits, time off and more. They also have regular interaction with management (especially those who end up handling payroll at the executive level), so a person in this line of work should have a good interpersonal skill set. If you are someone who can handle stress and oftentimes meet tight deadlines, are good with numbers (including understanding the different tax rates for workers), and know your way around a computer (including operating Excel spreadsheets and MS Office documents), then you can succeed at this position;

* Organization – One of the keys to being successful in the payroll field is being organized. Keep in mind that you may deal with a handful or hundreds of employees on a monthly basis, so being able to organize and formulate a schedule is important. Sometimes payroll can be running late, so expect at times to work overtime, meaning the job isn’t done until payroll is met for the workers relying on you for their checks and direct deposits. Attention to detail is critical in that records are properly maintained, as mistakes can cost the company time and money. While more companies have swung to automation and electronic recording of worker hours, some still rely on punch and time cards, so bear in mind that you are likely to be dealing with a sizable amount of paperwork;

* Experience – If you are looking to the payroll field for your first or next job, take note of what are typical educational requirements. Many companies like it that payroll clerks have at minimum a high school degree, with high ranks in mathematics and computer skills. For those who are in college and looking to enter the payroll field upon graduation this year, doing an internship within the payroll field at a local company certainly helps. Like many fields, being an intern in a payroll department can open up the door to possible full-time work with the company upon graduation. If it doesn’t, at least you have dabbled in the field, giving you some additional work experience to put on your resume;

*  Jobs – Finally, payroll clerk and payroll executive jobs are oftentimes advertised on different online job sites and newspapers. Another way to find such work is by promoting your skills on sites such as LinkedIn, along with social media giants Facebook and Twitter. As social media sites become even bigger networking venues these days, reach out to employers to see what openings are available. If you are using LinkedIn, make sure your resume data is up to date, and that you provide pertinent contact information so prospective employers can reach out to you.

If a career in payroll is on your schedule for 2013, make it pay off beginning today.

About the Author: With 23 years of experience as a writer, Dave Thomas covers a wide

array of career small business topics, including payroll outsourcing.


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