Payroll and Time Keeping Clerk – Occupation Outlook

Payroll and Timekeeping Clerks

Nature of Work

Payroll and timekeeping clerks compile and maintain data relating to employee time and payroll. One of their main functions is to ensure that employees are accurately paid and paid on time.  More basic information on Payroll from wikipedia.

Training, Qualifications and Advancement

There is no special training for payroll or timekeeping clerks as they usually learn and are trained on the jog.  Employers would however, prefer to employ candidates who have at least completed high school and who exhibit good computer skills.

Payroll Certification and Study Guides –  Payroll Professional (CPP) and Fundamental Payroll Certification (FPC).

Employment Opportunities

As of 2008, about 208,700 people were employed as payroll clerks. That figure is however expected to drop by 5% to 197,000 in 2008.

This expected reduction is attributed to rise in the use of payroll computer software that allows employers and employees to automatically record and update their own payroll and timekeeping data. Employment opportunities for payroll clerks are expected to continue to slowly decline as more and more businesses start using such software.

However, Payroll Service Bureaus are a fast growning business in this sector.

Job Prospects for payroll clerks

Despite the fact that the total number of jobs is expected to decline, favorable job opportunities still exist. This is because of expected job replacement opportunities that are expected every year as payroll clerks transfer to other fields. Clerks who have been able to attain a little more education or who have undergone certification programs that enable them to handle relatively more complex payroll matters definitely have an advantage and better job prospects.


As of May 2008, the average wages earned by payroll and timekeeping clerks annually was $24,810.

More information on current wage and salary data can be gotten from the Occupational Employment Statistics Program under the occupational profile for payroll clerks.

Other occupations related to payroll clerks 

  • Bill and account collectors
  • Machine operators
  • Billing and posting clerks
  • Accounting clerks
  • Bookkeeping clerks
  • Auditing clerks

Relevant additional Information sources

American Payroll Association:

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