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

Also known as: Pay Clerk, or Payroll Officer.

You can work as a Payroll Clerk without formal qualifications, however, they may be useful. VET (Vocational Education and Training) and university are both common study pathways for Payroll Clerks.

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

All Payroll Clerks

  • $1,442 Weekly Pay
  • Moderate Future Growth
  • Lower unemployment Unemployment
  • 45,700 workers Employment Size
  • Lower skill Skill level rating
  • 66% Full-Time Full-Time Share
  • 41 hours Average full-time
  • 44 years Average age
  • 86% female Gender Share

The number of people working as Payroll Clerks (in their main job) 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 2018.
  • Location: Payroll Clerks work in many regions of Australia.
  • Industries: They work in many industries such as Public Administration and Safety; Health Care and Social Assistance; and Administrative and Support Services.
  • Earnings: Full-time workers on an adult wage earn around $1,442 per week (similar to the average of $1,460). Earnings tend to be lower when starting out and higher as experience grows.
  • Full-time: Many work full-time (66%, similar to the average of 66%).
  • Hours: Full-time workers spend around 41 hours per week at work (compared to the average of 44 hours).
  • Age: The average age is 44 years (compared to the average of 40 years).
  • Gender: 86% of workers are female (compared to the average of 48%).

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 Survey of Employee Earnings and Hours (cat. no. 6306.0), May 2018, Customised Report. Median weekly total cash earnings for full-time non-managerial employees paid at the adult rate. Earnings are before tax and include amounts salary sacrificed. 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 Earnings14421460

Main Industries

Main Employing Industries (% Share)

Source: Based on ABS Census 2016, Customised Report. Industries are based on the Australian and New Zealand Standard Industrial Classification (ANZSIC 06).
Main Employing IndustriesIndustry (% share)
Public Administration and Safety14.1
Health Care and Social Assistance12.9
Administrative and Support Services9.4
Retail Trade9.1
Other Industries54.5

States and Territories

  • NSW

  • VIC

  • QLD

  • SA

  • TAS

  • NT

  • ACT

Employment by State and Territory (% Share)

Source: Based on ABS Census 2016, Customised Report. Share of workers across Australian States and Territories, in this job compared to the all jobs average.
StatePayroll ClerksAll Jobs Average
NSW31.131.6
VIC25.625.6
QLD19.820.0
SA7.47.0
WA11.010.8
TAS2.12.0
NT1.11.0
ACT2.01.9

Age Profile

Age Profile (% Share)

Source: Based on ABS Census 2016, Customised Report. Age profile of workers in this job compared to the all jobs average.
Age BracketPayroll ClerksAll Jobs AverageAll Jobs Average
15-190.5-5.05.0
20-243.8-9.39.3
25-3421.2-22.922.9
35-4425.7-22.022.0
45-5427.7-21.621.6
55-5910.8-9.09.0
60-646.8-6.06.0
65 and Over3.5-4.24.2

Education Level

Highest Level of Education (% Share)

Source: ABS Census 2016, Customised Report. Highest qualification completed by workers in this job (in any field of study). 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 Certificate5.4-10.110.1
Bachelor degree15.8-21.821.8
Advanced Diploma/Diploma15.3-11.611.6
Certificate III/IV15.4-21.121.1
Year 1226.6-18.118.1
Year 117.6-4.84.8
Year 10 and below13.8-12.512.5

You can work as a Payroll Clerk without formal qualifications, however, they may be useful. VET (Vocational Education and Training) and university are both common study pathways for Payroll Clerks.

Thinking about study or training?

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

  • Search and compare thousands of higher education courses, and their entry requirements from different institutions across Australia at Course Seeker website.
  • 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.

Or check out related courses on Job Outlook.

Useful links and resources


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.

Filter Skills & Knowledge

Knowledge

These are important topics, subjects or knowledge areas.

  1. Clerical

    77% Skill level

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

  2. Customer and Personal Service

    56% Skill level

    Understanding customer needs, providing good quality service, and measuring customer satisfaction.

  3. English Language

    55% Skill level

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

  4. Mathematics

    53% Skill level

    Arithmetic, algebra, geometry, calculus, or statistics.

  5. Computers and Electronics

    50% Skill level

    Circuit boards, processors, chips, electronic equipment, and computer hardware and software, including applications and programming.

Occupational Information Network
O*NET is a trademark of the U.S. Department of Labor, Employment and Training Administration.
The skills and 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.

Filter Work Environment

Demands

The physical and social demands workers face most often are shown below.

  1. Telephone

    99% Important

    How often do you talk on the telephone?

  2. Repeating Same Tasks

    98% Important

    How important is it to repeat the same tasks or activities (e.g., key entry) over and over, without stopping?

  3. Electronic Mail

    98% Important

    How often do you use electronic mail?

  4. Being Exact or Accurate

    97% Important

    How important is being very exact or highly accurate?

  5. Face-to-Face Discussions

    92% Important

    How often do you talk with people face-to-face?

Occupational Information Network
O*NET is a trademark of the U.S. Department of Labor, Employment and Training Administration.
The skills and 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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