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

    • $1,054 Weekly Pay
    • 45,700 workers Employment Size
    • Moderate Future Growth
    • Lower skill Skill level rating
    • Lower unemployment Unemployment
    • 69.6% Full-Time Full-Time Share
    • 36 hours Average full-time
    • 44 years Average age
    • 85.4% female Gender Share

    The number of Payroll Clerks grew strongly over the past 5 years and is expected to grow over the next 5 years:
    from 45,700 in 2018 to 47,700 by 2023.
    Job openings can come from new jobs being created, but most come from turnover (workers leaving).
    There are likely to be around 21,000 job openings over 5 years (that's about 4,200 a year).

    • Size: This is a large occupation.
    • Unemployment: Unemployment was below average in 2017.
    • Location: Payroll Clerks work in many regions of Australia. Many work in Queensland.
    • Industries: They work in many industries such as Public Administration and Safety; Retail Trade; and Health Care and Social Assistance.
    • Earnings: Full-time workers earn 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.
    • Full-time: Many work full-time (69.6%, similar to the all jobs average of 68.4%).
    • Hours: Full-time workers spend around 36.0 hours per week at work (compared to the all jobs average of 40.0 hours).
    • Age: The average age is 44 years (compared to the all jobs average of 40 years).
    • Gender: 85.4% of workers are female (compared to the all jobs average of 46.7%).

    Employment Outlook

    Number of Workers

    Source: ABS Labour Force Survey, Department of Jobs and Small Business trend data to May 2018 and Department of Jobs and Small Business projections to 2023.
    YearNumber of Workers
    200834300
    200934600
    201035700
    201136200
    201237200
    201341400
    201433100
    201538400
    201637700
    201735600
    201845700
    202347700

    Weekly Earnings

    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

    Main Industries

    Main Employing Industries (% Share)

    Source: Based on ABS Labour Force Survey, annual average 2017, 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 Safety14.5
    Retail Trade12.2
    Health Care and Social Assistance12.1
    Administrative and Support Services8.6
    Other Industries52.6

    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 2017, 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
    NSW26.031.6
    VIC23.226.2
    QLD29.719.7
    SA6.96.7
    WA9.610.8
    TAS2.22.0
    NT0.61.1
    ACT1.81.8

    Age Profile

    Age Profile (% Share)

    Source: Based on ABS Labour Force Survey, annual average 2017, 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
    15-190.7-5.25.2
    20-244.2-9.99.9
    25-3417.6-23.623.6
    35-4431.0-21.721.7
    45-5421.9-20.820.8
    55-5913.2-8.88.8
    60-647.3-6.06.0
    65 and Over4.0-4.04.0

    Education Level

    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.

    Before starting a course, check it will provide you with the skills and qualifications you need.

    • Compare undergraduate and postgraduate student experiences and outcomes on the QILT website.
    • Compare Vocational Education and Training (VET) courses, providers and student outcomes on the My Skills website.
    • You might be interested in Financial Services VET training pathways on the AAPathways website.

    The course listings on this page are provided by Good Education Group.

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

    Knowledge

    These are important topics, subjects or knowledge areas.

    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

    These are kinds of activities workers regularly do in this job.

    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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