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Job Description

Payroll assistants will either work for an organisation in their accounts department or for a payroll bureau that provides payroll services for other organisations.  They will check employees hours, calculate pay including overtime, commission (if applicable), expenses and pay increases and generally ensure that employers get paid the right amount on the right day.

Entry Requirements

You can get into this job through:


You can get into this job through an advanced apprenticeship as a payroll administrator.

You'll usually need 5 GCSEs at grades 9 to 4 (A* to C), or equivalent, including English and maths, for an advanced apprenticeship.

Click here to search for an apprenticeship.

Direct Application

You could apply directly for job vacancies. Some employers will expect you to have GCSEs at grades 9 to 4 (A* to C), or equivalent, including maths.

While experience in payroll isn't always essential, a background in bookkeeping and accounts could help improve your job prospects.

Other Routes

You can do qualifications offered by The Chartered Institute of Payroll Professionals to help get into this job. Qualifications vary from introductory courses to postgraduate level.

Career Tips

You can find out more about careers in payroll from The Chartered Institute of Payroll Professionals.

The International Association of Book-keepers (IAB) and The Association of Accounting Technicians (AAT) offer introductory courses in bookkeeping and payroll.

Career Path and Progression

With experience, you could progress to payroll supervisor or manager.

Related careers you may be interested in:

  • Accounting technician
  • Bookkeeper
  • Data entry clerk
  • Payroll manager

Required Skills

  • Good numerical and IT skills
  • A methodical approach
  • Strong analytical and problem solving skills 
  • Good organisational and time management skills

Salary Range

£15,000 to £28,000

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