How to become a payroll administrator
You can get into this job through:
- a college course
- an apprenticeship
- working towards this role
- applying directly
You could do a college course which will give you some of the skills you’ll need to apply for a trainee payroll position or an apprenticeship. Some of the courses that are available include:
- computerised payroll
- a T Level in accounting
Some courses can be studied at college or by distance learning. Speak to your chosen college to find the right level of course for you.
Entry requirements for these courses vary.
4 or 5 GCSEs at grades 9 to 4 (A* to C), or equivalent, including English and maths for a T Level
You could apply for a Payroll Administrator Level 3 Advanced Apprenticeship.
If you want to train for management, you could do a Payroll Assistant Manager Level 5 Higher Apprenticeship.
These apprenticeships are offered by commercial companies and public sector organisations, and take around 2 years to complete.
You'll usually need:
- 5 GCSEs at grades 9 to 4 (A* to C), or equivalent, including English and maths, for an advanced apprenticeship
- 4 or 5 GCSEs at grades 9 to 4 (A* to C) and A levels, or equivalent, for a higher or degree apprenticeship
You may be able to join a payroll department as an assistant or take on payroll responsibilities while working in a related role like human resources or finance. You could then do on-the-job training through a professional body, such as:
Courses are available from introductory level to foundation degree and higher.
You could apply directly for jobs. Employers will expect you to have GCSEs at grades 9 to 4 (A* to C), or equivalent, including maths.
While experience in payroll is not always essential to start, a background in bookkeeping or accounts could help improve your job prospects.
You’ll get training in payroll software when you start a job but good computer skills, especially with spreadsheets, will give you an advantage when looking for work.
You can find out more about careers in payroll from The Chartered Institute of Payroll Professionals.