Payroll Clerks prepare payrolls and related records for employee salaries and statutory record-keeping purposes.

A Certificate II or III, or at least 1 year of relevant experience, is usually needed. Even with a qualification, further experience or on-the-job training is sometimes required.

Tasks

  • creating files for new employees to record payroll data
  • maintaining and updating files for existing employees to record information such as employee contact details, leave taken, overtime, promotions, transfers, tax deductions, health insurance payments and superannuation
  • preparing payroll data from time sheets and other payroll and personnel records
  • processing payment of wages and salaries
  • issuing and recording adjustments to employees' pay
  • interpreting industrial awards
  • providing information to employees and managers about payroll matters such as tax issues, benefits and deductions
  • finalising files and arrangements when employees retire, resign or transfer
  • may be in involved in maintaining superannuation and other deduction and contribution records

Job Titles

  • Payroll Clerk, Pay Clerk, or Payroll Officer

    Fast Facts

    • Avg. Weekly Pay

      $1,054 Before Tax
    • Future Growth

      stable
    • Skill Level

      Certificate II or III
    • Employment Size

      32,700
    • Unemployment

      below average
    • Male Share

      15.6%
    • Female Share

      84.4%
    • Full-Time Share

      62.8%

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    This is a large occupation employing 32,700 workers. The number of workers has fallen over the past 5 years.
    Over the next 5 years (to May 2022) the number of workers is expected to stay about the same at 32,500. Around 13,000 job openings are likely over this time from workers leaving and new jobs being created (a small number for an occupation of this size).

    • Payroll Clerks work in most parts of Australia.
    • They work in many industries. Some of the main industries are: Public Administration and Safety; Health Care and Social Assistance; and Construction.
    • Full-time work is fairly common. Full-time workers, on average, work 36.9 hours per week (compared to the all jobs average of 40 hours).
    • Average earnings for full-time workers are around $1,054 per week (below the all jobs average of $1,230). Earnings tend to be lower when starting out and higher as experience grows.
    • The average age is 44 years (compared to the all jobs average of 40 years) and around 5 in 10 workers are aged 45 years or older.
    • Around 8 in 10 workers are female.
    • In 2016, the unemployment rate was below average.

    Employment Outlook

    Number of Workers

    Source: ABS Labour Force Survey, Department of Jobs and Small Business trend data to May 2017 and Department of Jobs and Small Business projections to 2022.
    YearNumber of Workers
    200731600
    200834600
    200934900
    201036100
    201136300
    201237400
    201341600
    201434200
    201539100
    201638600
    201732700
    202232500

    Weekly Earnings

    Full-time Earnings

    All Jobs Average

    Weekly Earnings (Before Tax)

    Source: Based on ABS Characteristics of Employment survey, August 2015, Cat. No. 6333.0, Customised Report. Median earnings are before tax and do not include superannuation. Earnings can vary greatly depending on the skills and experience of the worker and the demands of the role. These figures should be used as a guide only, not to determine a wage rate.
    EarningsPayroll ClerksAll Jobs Average
    Full-Time Earnings10541230

    Hours

    Full-Time and Part-Time Status (% Share) and Average Weekly Hours (Full-Time)

    Source: Based on ABS Labour Force Survey, annual average 2016, Cat. No. 6291.0.55.003: Customised Report. Hours actually worked by people who usually work full-time, and share of employment by full-time and part-time status, for this job compared to the all jobs average.
    CategoryPayroll ClerksAll Jobs Average
    Full-time62.868.4
    Part-time37.231.6
    Average Weekly Hours (full-time)36.940

    Main Industries

    Top Industries

    Main Employing Industries (% Share)

    Source: Based on ABS Labour Force Survey, annual average 2016, Cat. No. 6291.0.55.003: Customised Report. Industries are based on the Australian and New Zealand Standard Industrial Classification (ANZSIC 06).
    Main Employing IndustriesIndustry (% share)
    Public Administration and Safety12.1
    Health Care and Social Assistance11.5
    Construction10.8
    Administrative and Support Services10.2
    Other Industries55.4

    States and Territories

    • NSW

    • VIC

    • QLD

    • SA

    • TAS

    • NT

    • ACT

    Employment by State and Territory (% Share)

    Source: Based on ABS Labour Force Survey, annual average 2016, Cat. No. 6291.0.55.003: Customised Report. Share of workers across Australian States and Territories, in this job compared to the all jobs average.
    StatePayroll ClerksAll Jobs Average
    NSW29.531.8
    VIC26.625.5
    QLD21.419.8
    SA4.36.8
    WA13.211.2
    TAS2.12
    NT1.81.1
    ACT1.11.8

    Age Profile

    Age Profile (% Share)

    Source: Based on ABS Labour Force Survey, annual average 2016, Cat. No. 6291.0.55.003: Customised Report. Age profile of workers in this job compared to the all jobs average.
    Age BracketPayroll ClerksAll Jobs AverageAll Jobs Average
    15-190.7-5.45.4
    20-241.8-9.99.9
    25-3423.7-23.423.4
    35-4426.5-21.721.7
    45-5424.8-21.121.1
    55-598.6-8.78.7
    60-6410.6-5.95.9
    65 and Over3.2-3.83.8

    Gender

    Male Share

    Female Share

    Gender (% share)

    Source: Based on ABS Labour Force Survey, annual average 2016, Cat. No. 6291.0.55.003: Customised Report. Male and female share of employment in this job compared to the all jobs average.
    CategoryPayroll ClerksCategoryAll Jobs Average
    Males15.6Males53.6
    Females84.4Females46.4

    Education Level

    Top Education Levels

    Highest Level of Education (% Share)

    Source: ABS, Education and Work (2016). Findings based on use of ABS TableBuilder data. Highest qualification completed by workers in this job (in any field of study). Skill level requirements can change over time, the qualifications needed by new workers might be different from the qualifications of workers already in the job.
    Type of QualificationPayroll ClerksAll Jobs AverageAll Jobs Average
    Post Graduate/Graduate Diploma or Graduate Certificate8.5-8.68.6
    Bachelor degree26.1-17.917.9
    Advanced Diploma/Diploma18.6-10.110.1
    Certificate III/IV11.4-18.918.9
    Year 1222.9-18.718.7
    Years 11 & 109-17.717.7
    Below Year 103.5-8.18.1

    A Certificate II or III, or at least 1 year of relevant experience, is usually needed. Even with a qualification, further experience or on-the-job training is sometimes required.

    If you are interested in this style of work, there are a wide range of training options available that could lead to this or a similar job.
    The pathway that is right for you will depend on your skills and interests.

    It is a good idea to speak to industry bodies, employers, and workers to learn more about the skills and qualifications you will need.

    Employers look for Payroll Clerks who have strong attention to detail, communicate clearly with others and have sound computer skills.

    Knowledge

    The topics, subjects, or knowledge areas workers rate as most important are shown below.

    1. Clerical

      83% Important

      Word processing, managing files and records, stenography and transcription, designing forms, and other office work.

    2. English Language

      78% Important

      English language including the meaning and spelling of words, rules of composition, and grammar.

    3. Mathematics

      74% Important

      Arithmetic, algebra, geometry, calculus, or statistics.

    4. Customer and Personal Service

      72% Important

      Customer and personal services. This includes understanding customer needs, providing good quality service, and measuring customer satisfaction.

    5. Personnel and Human Resources

      64% Important

      Recruiting and training people. Managing pay and other entitlements like sick and holiday leave. Negotiating pay and conditions.

    Occupational Information Network
    O*NET is a trademark of the U.S. Department of Labor, Employment and Training Administration.
    The importance ratings on this page are derived from the US Department of Labor O*NET Database Version 21.2, 43-3051.00 - Payroll and Timekeeping Clerks.

    Learn about the daily activities, and physical and social demands faced by workers. Explore the values and work styles that workers rate as most important.

    Activities

    The work activities workers rate as most important are shown below.

    1. Getting Information

      92% Important

      Looking for, getting and understanding different kinds of information.

    2. Processing Information

      89% Important

      Compiling, coding, categorizing, calculating, tabulating, auditing, or checking information or data.

    3. Interacting With Computers

      84% Important

      Using computers and computer systems (including hardware and software) to program, write software, set up functions, enter data, or process information.

    4. Documenting/Recording Information

      84% Important

      Entering, transcribing, recording, storing, or maintaining information in written or electronic/magnetic form.

    5. Performing Administrative Activities

      84% Important

      Doing day-to-day office work such as filing and processing paperwork.

    Occupational Information Network
    O*NET is a trademark of the U.S. Department of Labor, Employment and Training Administration.
    The importance ratings on this page are derived from the US Department of Labor O*NET Database Version 21.2, 43-3051.00 - Payroll and Timekeeping Clerks.

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