Hotel Payroll Specialist: Job Description, Duties and Requirements

Apr 22, 2021

A hotel payroll specialist needs to have a high school diploma. Completing a certificate program in payroll accounting or a similar field is recommended. Certification is optional, but may increase job prospects.

Essential Information

Hotel payroll specialists manage the compensation process for all of a hotel's employees. They must work with and communicate with other hotel employees to ensure that all payroll information is accurate. Employers may prefer to hire candidates with some postsecondary education and professional certification, but they often only require a high school diploma.

Required Education A high school diploma; completion of a certificate program in payroll accounting or a similar field is recommended
Other Requirements Knowledge of human resources, mathematics, computers and economics; professional certification is recommended
Projected Job Growth (2019-2029)* -4% (payroll and timekeeping clerks)*
Median Salary (2021)* $49,871 annually (payroll specialist)**

Source: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics **

Job Description of a Hotel Payroll Specialist

Hotel payroll specialists track hours and wages of hotel employees, process new staff members and manage payroll software. The job of a hotel payroll specialist infuses accounting and office management skills. In addition to keeping accurate payroll records, they must be aware of staff changes, maintain payroll software and coordinate special compensation, such as raises, overtime and bonuses, with hotel supervisors.

Job Duties of a Hotel Payroll Specialist

Hotel payroll specialists typically go over time sheets and paperwork to make sure the information is correct and consistent with actual hours worked by employees. They make adjustments and deductions for each employee and manage payroll-related benefits, like vacations and sick days. Some might use manual systems, though they could need to know a particular payroll software specific to the hotel industry. They need to stay updated on payroll tax laws and adjust a system, as necessary. They could issue payroll checks, submit data to a third-party company for direct deposit or transfer wages directly to employees' banks.

Requirements of Hotel Payroll Specialists


While some companies might hire high school graduates as hotel payroll specialists and conduct their own training, there are postsecondary education programs that can be very useful in acquiring this type of position. A number of technical and community colleges offer certificate programs in payroll accounting that usually take less than a year to complete. Detailed coursework varies, but the core subject material generally involves an introduction to computers and a series of accounting classes, including principles of accounting, computerized accounting and payroll accounting.


In addition to completing formal education, aspiring hotel payroll specialists can increase employment opportunities by earning the Certified Payroll Professional credential offered by the American Payroll Association. Eligibility for the certification exam requires a combination of experience and training provided by the organization. Certification is valid for five years, and payroll professionals must complete continuing education to renew the credential.


In addition to the accounting and payroll skills taught in collegiate payroll accounting specialist programs and APA coursework, a hotel payroll specialist must possess knowledge of human resources, mathematics, computers and economics. A hotel payroll specialist must be able to work with other lodging staff members, communicate on a professional level and maintain strong interpersonal relationships with all hotel staff, including management, maintenance and customer service employees.

Employment Outlook and Salary Information

The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) expects a decline of 4% for payroll and timekeeping clerks, including payroll specialists, over the 2019-2029 decade. reported that salaries for payroll specialists ranged from $37,000 to $66,000 in April 2021, with the median salary being $49,871 annually.

Hotel payroll specialists handle payroll for all of a hotel's employees. Interpersonal skills, along with math and computer abilities, are important for professionals in this field. A high school diploma is required and Certified Payroll Professional certification may help be helpful for career advancement.

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