We Recruit Payroll Administrator’s
If you’re good with numbers and would like an important role in an office, this job could suit you.
As a payroll administrator or clerk, it would be your job to make sure that people are paid correctly and on time.
In this job you’ll need good general office skills, such as IT skills. Your organisational and time management skills will be very important in ensuring people get paid on time. You’ll also need to pay close attention to detail and work accurately.
To get into this job it will help if you have previous experience of book-keeping, accounts or other types of office work.
As a payroll administrator or clerk, it would be your job to make sure that people are paid correctly and on time. You might work in a company’s finance department, or for a bureau that provides payroll services for other companies.
Your work would typically include:
- checking how many hours employees have worked
- calculating and issuing pay by cash, cheque or electronic transfer
- deducting tax and national insurance payments
- creating records for new staff
- processing holiday, sick and maternity pay and expenses
- calculating overtime, shift payments and pay increases
- issuing P45s and other tax forms
- working closely with personnel departments.
In some jobs you might also do general administrative work such as filing, photocopying and typing.
In a full-time job you would typically work standard office hours, Monday to Friday. Part-time and temporary work are both widely available.
You would be office-based and spend a lot of your time working at a computer.
- Starting salaries are typically between £13,000 and £18,000 a year
- This can rise to between £20,000 and £25,000, with experience and responsibility.
Figures are intended as a guideline only.
You will find it helpful to have previous experience of book-keeping, accounts or other types of office work. Computer experience is also useful, particularly in using spreadsheets and databases.
You don’t always need specific qualifications, but you should feel comfortable with maths. However, you may have an advantage with a qualification in book-keeping or basic accounting, and some employers may prefer you to have some GCSEs (A-C) including maths.
You may be able to get into this job through an Apprenticeship scheme. The range of Apprenticeships available in your area will depend on the local jobs market and the types of skills employers need from their workers. To find out more about Apprenticeships, visit the Apprenticeships website.
Training and development
You will usually develop your skills on the job whilst helping experienced staff with routine clerical and computer work. Your training may include the use of specialist payroll and accounting software such as Sage or Pegasus.
You may have the opportunity to study for qualifications whilst you are working, such as:
- Association of Accounting Technicians (AAT) Certificate in Payroll Administration
- Institute of Payroll Professionals (IPP) National Payroll Certificates
- International Association of Book-keepers (IAB) Certificate and Diploma in Payroll or Computerised Payroll.
See the AAT, IAB and IPP websites for more information about the qualifications and where to study.
With greater experience and responsibility, you could take more advanced qualifications from IPP, including:
- IPP Foundation Degree in Payroll Management (which includes the Practitioner Certificate in Payroll in year one, the Advanced Practitioner Certificate in year two, and the Diploma in Payroll Management in year three)
- IPP Advanced Diploma in Applied Payroll Management, including BA Hons degree.
You should continue to develop your skills and keep up to date with payroll law throughout your career. The IPP offers a range of short courses to help you achieve this – see their website for details.
Skills and knowledge
As a payroll administrator you should have:
- confidence in working with numbers
- good IT skills
- good spoken and written communication skills
- a high level of accuracy and attention to detail
- the ability to work well as part of a team
- good organisational and time management skills, for meeting strict deadlines
- respect for confidential information.
You could work for large companies or public sector organisations like local authorities or the NHS. Alternatively, you might be employed by a payroll bureau.
With experience, you could progress to payroll supervisor or manager.
Jobs may be advertised in the local press, through Jobcentre Plus and by recruitment agencies.
The financial services industry is represented by the Financial Skills Partnership (FSP) which includes the following activities:
- Banking – for individuals and businesses to manage their money, access loans, buy property, exchange currencies and many other activities. It is organised into three core categories: Retail; Corporate; and Wholesale banking.
- Investments – managing and growing the wealth of individuals and organisations
- Insurance – covers a huge variety of risks, from cars and houses to ships, planes and satellites.
- Financial Advice – about working with people to plan their financial goals, based on their current situation and looking at the best ways they can achieve their financial objectives, such as helping someone to choose a mortgage, invest their savings or plan for their retirement.
Almost 1.2 million staff in 34,000 workplaces constitute the UK’s financial services sector, from online car insurers to retail banking giants, and from self‐employed independent financial advisers (IFAs) to global investment banks. Operating under a regulatory framework unique to the UK, the sector facilitates the allocation of capital, promotes confidence and continuity in life and business by managing risk and maintains the transaction systems that the rest of the economy relies on to conduct its business.
- 47% of firms employ 250 people.
- Employment is dominated by a handful of large employers, most notably the high street retail banks, e.g. Barclays, HSBC.
- 29 % of the financial services workforce is employed in administrative or secretarial roles.
- About a quarter of the workforce is in associate professional and technical roles.
- Managerial roles, including owners in private companies and the self‐employed, account for 37% of the workforce.
- Employment growth in UK financial services has been weak when compared with other countries, notably the US
- Recently, there have been notable declines in employment numbers because of the recession
- Staff turnover has declined, as fewer vacancies and concerns about the recession may be deterring people from changing jobs
Jobs in the industry range from:
- Insurance – underwriting, broking, customer services, sales, risk management, compliance, training, actuarial and administrative roles
- Investments – asset management (sometimes called fund management), product development, product management, investment analysis, relationship management
- Banking – retail banking (customer services, customer advice, financial advice, foreign exchange and branch management); corporate banking (corporate advice, relationship management, small business management and corporate management); and wholesale banking (mergers and acquisitions, research, sales and trading, and corporate finance)
- Financial advice – mortgage adviser, independent financial adviser, compliance practitioner, pensions adviser
National and regional data
East Midlands – retail banking dominates financial services employment in the East Midlands. Women make up 53% of the workforce and 51% of workers are aged 35‐59. Full‐time employees account for 73% of the workforce and the average salary is £29,383.
East of England – insurance and insurance broking make up the most important parts of the financial service economy in this region, with Norwich a main centre. The region employs 12% of the country’s financial services workforce, with the majority, 88%, full‐time. Men make up 56% of employees, with 57% of workers aged 35‐59. Average earnings are £34,433.
London – this is the major centre of the UK’s financial services industry, centering on the City and Canary Wharf. Wholesale banking and insurance, investments and exchange markets are all well represented here. Almost of quarter of the workforce; 24% is based in London. Men make up 66% of the workforce and most jobs are full‐time, 94%. The majority of employees; 49% are aged 20‐34 and the average salary is £86,779 although this is heavily skewed by the number of high‐earning posts in the City. For most, the average is much lower.
North East – insurance broking and banking are the most important financial services in the region, with Newcastle the main centre of activity. Around 3% of the UK workforce is based in the region. Women form 66% of the workforce and 63% of workers are full‐time. Employees aged 34‐59 make up the largest share of the workforce at 52%, and the average salary is £27,219.
North West – Manchester is the biggest centre in the region but Chester, Macclesfield and Stockport are important clusters. Banking and general insurance form the bulk of businesses. The region employs 9% of the UK’s financial services workforce, with women making up 56% of employees, and most jobs are full‐time, 80%. Workers aged 34‐59 form the largest section of the workforce at 57%. The average salary in the region is £28,416.
South East – the region is second only to London in size, taking up 15% of the workforce. The gender split between men and women is fairly even at 54% and 46%, respectively, and 60% of all employees are aged 34‐59. Most people are employed full‐time, 84% and the average earnings are £37,298.
South West – The main centres for financial services in this region are Bristol, Bournemouth, Gloucester and Swindon. The sector here makes up 7% of the UK’s sector total. Women form 59% of the workforce and the majority of jobs are full‐time, 75%. People aged 34‐59 form the largest share of the workforce. Average salary for the sector is £34,910.
West Midlands – the region employs around 6% of the UK’s workforce, with the majority centred on Birmingham. Banking, general insurance and credit are the most important sub‐sectors here. Men make up 52% of employees, with 72% of jobs overall being full‐time. Workers aged 34‐59 are in the majority at 52%. The average salary is £29,014.
Yorkshire and the Humber – the emphasis across the region is on retail banking and makes up 7% of the country’s workforce. There are slightly more women than men working in the sector at 51%, and 81% of jobs are full‐time. Once again, the 34‐59 age range is most common among employees, accounting for 51%. Average earnings are £27,481.
Scotland – financial services in Scotland range from retail banking to pensions and car insurance, with centres of activity in and around Edinburgh, Glasgow and Dunfermline. Over 2,100 companies are directly involved in the industry, providing 7% of the UK’s financial services workforce. The most common age range of employees is 34‐59, and most people work full‐time, 81%. The average salary for the sector as a whole is £35,016.
Originally from national careers service