How to Become a Payroll Supervisor

A Payroll Supervisor is responsible for what might be considered the most important part of someone’s job?the paycheck.

They make sure all employees at an organization receive accurate payment for their hard work and have to handle all payroll responsibilities in a timely manner so that all employees get paid on time with no hassles.

These professionals have to use and maintain employees’ personal private information and are therefore required to be highly trusted individuals.

A Payroll Supervisor is also responsible for managing two or more Payroll Practitioners while also working under the guidance of a Payroll Manager or Director.

Depending on the size of an organization, a payroll department might be structured in this manner from highest to lowest position:

  • Director/Vice President of Payroll
  • Payroll Manager/Director
  • Payroll Supervisor
  • Payroll Practitioner

Depending on the size of a company, Payroll Supervisors can work in a specific specialty in payroll.

One specialty manages the unit that is responsible for processing and preparing payroll while the other unit handles tax records and reporting as well as the administration of benefits and payroll systems.

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Interested individuals who want to become a Payroll Supervisor should have some inherent skills such as:

  • Organization
  • Ability to work under pressure and meet deadlines
  • Provide confidentiality for employee information
  • Ability to communicate effectively
  • Proficiency with computers and software applications

Education Requirements to Become a Payroll Supervisor

In addition to having a minimum of an Associate’s degree, employers look for candidates with at least 3 to 5 years of experience in payroll administration.

Those who want to become a Payroll Supervisor should begin their career by seeking licensure in combination with an Associate’s degree.

Candidates can focus on a curriculum in business, accounting or finance.

Candidates can also major in one of these specialties at an accredited four year college in order to become a Payroll Supervisor.

In order to have a competitive background in the field, candidates should seek licensure in order to strengthen their background.

The American Payroll Association offers training and licensure for Certified Payroll Professionals.

Visit their website for more information regarding requirements to take this exam: APA Certification Requirements.

The website also provides information regarding training programs and educational information.

Payroll Supervisor Job Description

The main duty a Payroll Supervisor needs to fulfill is the management and organizing of payroll in order to secure the timely payment of wages for employees.

They will achieve this by implementing their knowledge of payroll and accounting principles, practices and procedures.

Payroll Supervisors use a handful of skills that should include mathematical knowledge, use of computerized equipment and payroll software as well as the comprehensive understanding of common tax forms and privacy laws.

A Payroll Supervisor can find work at an organization that specializes in payroll or at companies that are large enough to house a payroll department.

Candidates can find employment as Payroll Supervisors in several types of industries.

Companies with their own payroll department can be a part of many industries such as healthcare, retail, government, education or manufacturing firms.

Some other skills that Payroll Supervisors should have in order to succeed in this profession include:

  • Ability to meet tight deadlines
  • Proficiency with computer applications
  • Strong attention to detail
  • Ability to follow laws and regulations
  • Ability to secure confidential information
  • Experience using payroll applications
  • Knowledge of tax forms and regulations
  • Ability to use data spreadsheets
  • Strong organizational and communication skills: oral and written

Payroll Supervisor Salary and Career Path

The Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that employment for Payroll Supervisors is expected to grow at 7% to 13% through the year 2018.

Individuals who want to become a Payroll Supervisor can expect their duties to change because of the frequent and popular use of technological programs and software.

The national average salary for Payroll Supervisors is approximately $30,000 to $40,000 per year.

Salary will determine on a variety of factors including geographical location, years of experience and educational background.

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