Payroll managers manage the payroll department within an organisation.
Salary Range: £22,000 to £50,000
How to become a payroll manager
You can get into this job through:
- an apprenticeship
- working towards this role
- applying directly
- specialist training with a professional body
You can start with an advanced apprenticeship as a payroll administrator then move into management as your experience grows.
You’ll usually need:
- 5 GCSEs at grades 9 to 4 (A* to C), or equivalent, including English and maths, for an advanced apprenticeship
You could start as a payroll administrator and get training and experience on the job. You’ll usually need several years’ experience in payroll before moving into management.
You may be able to join a payroll department if you’ve worked as a manager elsewhere, although you will need experience in accounts.
Courses are available from introductory basics through to foundation degree level and higher. It’s recommended that you’re working in a payroll department to do the higher level qualifications.
You’ll need a good understanding of payroll legislation.
You’ll find more advice about careers in payroll from The Chartered Institute of Payroll Professionals.
What it takes
Skills and knowledge
- customer service skills
- leadership skills
- patience and the ability to remain calm in stressful situations
- administration skills
- the ability to accept criticism and work well under pressure
- to be thorough and pay attention to detail
- sensitivity and understanding
- business management skills
- to be able to use a computer and the main software packages competently
What you’ll do
Your day-to-day duties may include:
- supervising and training the payroll team
- creating payroll policies and procedures
- advising on tax and pay laws
- managing computer software and systems
- analysing and reporting on financial data
- checking and auditing payroll to make sure regulations are met
- calculating and issuing pay by cash, cheque or electronic transfer
- deducting tax and national insurance payments
- processing holiday, sick and maternity pay and expenses
- calculating overtime, shift payments and pay increases
You could work in an office.
Career path and progression
With experience, you could work in the finance department of larger companies or public sector organisations like local authorities or the NHS.
You could move into pensions management or do further training to qualify as an accountant.
You could also work for a payroll bureau that provides payroll services to other companies.