What does a payroll administrator do?

Payroll administrators, also referred to as payroll managers, are specialists within the human resources field who oversee the daily payroll processes of an organization, and organize the compensation of employees for the time they have worked.

Their responsibilities include issuing employee paycheques, recording leaves of absence, verifying number of hours worked and keeping records of changes in employment.

As a payroll administrator, you will perform most of your work with computers and must keep track of employee information using accounting, database and spreadsheet software programs. Some general job responsibilities include:

  • Prepare for periodic tax reporting slips such as T4
  • Compliance with labor standards and regulations, as well as government payroll remittance requirements
  • Ensure employees are paid on time
  • Prepare payroll related reports and statements
  • Liaise with third party service providers such as insurance carries and government agencies
  • Prepare direct deposits and flexible spending accounts
  • Issue Benefits withholding, payroll deduction, garnishments and levies
  • W-2s processing

If you enjoy working with numbers, enjoy working in an office environment and have a rigorous principle for work, payroll administration might just be the perfect fit for you!


How much does a payroll administrator make?

According to Payscale Canada, the average pay for a Payroll Administrator is C$46,317 per year. Salary increases modestly for the first five to ten years in this position. A skill in Benefits Administration is associated with high pay for this job. The annual salary for payroll administrators in Canada ranges from $35,859 to $59,697, with a possible maximum bonus of $5918 and a possible maximum profit sharing of $5.918. 

Some of the most popular skills employers look for when hiring payroll administrators include: Accounts Payable, Accounting, ADP Payroll system, Microsoft Excel, and Payroll administration. When moving forward the payroll career ladder, some immediate higher-level positions include Payroll & Benefits Administrator, Payroll Supervisor, Payroll Manager, Payroll Coordinator and Payroll specialist. After that, some professionals take up occupations such as HR manager, HR Coordinator, and Payroll & Benefit Manager.


What kind of education and skills do I need?

When hiring a payroll administrator, employers usually look for candidates who has a post-secondary education or work experience, or combination of both in the fields of Accounting, business administration, commerce, human resources, or other payroll-related industries.

The Payroll Compliance Practitioner (PCP) certification, designated through Canadian Payroll Association (CPA), is not a mandatory requirement in the payroll accounting industry, but a visible number of employers may be more favourable towards candidate who is certified or are currently working towards the designation.

Good communication, organizational and analytical skills, knowledge of Microsoft Office programs as well as Automatic Data Processing programs, including W-2 processing, audits, terminations and wage reports are also some essential skills most employers look for in their candidates.

At Academy of Learning College, we feature a professionally designed Payroll Administrator program that provides students with the necessary skills and knowledge required to perform payroll administrative responsibilities in the payroll department and to be able to apply payroll legislation. Students become familiar with basic payroll practices and procedures, and are eligible to apply to the Canadian Payroll Association (CPA) for Payroll Compliance Practitioner (PCP) certification. In addition to accounting and payroll expertise, students gain skills and experience in word processing, spreadsheet applications, telephone communication skills and performing a job search.

 As the largest career college in Canada with 50 campuses across the country, Academy of Learning College attributes the growth in our success to identifying the gap between the formal education available and the realities of the working world. We fulfill the needs of learners by developing customized programs for each student, while meeting the requirements for convenient and effective training at an affordable cost. Browse our program list by province and find the best program that suits your needs!