Payroll and Benefits Administrator: Job Description and Requirements

Learn about the education and preparation needed to become a payroll and benefits administrator. Get a quick view of the requirements as well as details about degree programs, job duties and salary expectations to find out if this is the career for you.

Payroll and benefits administrators manage employee records to ensure that they receive the compensation and benefits owed to them. There are no specific education requirements for this position, but computer skills, knowledge of payroll and bookkeeping systems, and proficiency with Microsoft Office applications are required. The job growth outlook for these positions is about as fast as average.

Essential Information

Payroll and benefits administrators oversee the systems of compensation and benefits for a company. Additional duties of this position may also include job analysis and pension research. There are no specific education requirements to hold this job. Some payroll and benefits administrators have high school diplomas or the equivalent, but many others hold associate's and bachelor's degrees in human resources management or another relevant field.

Required Education No specific requirement, but undergraduate degrees in human resources management or related areas are common
Projected Job Outlook (2014-2024)* 5% increase for human resources specialists
Median Salary (2015)* $58,350 for human resources specialists

Source: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS)

Job Description

The payroll and benefits administrator of a company performs duties within the human resources department. This position requires individuals to monitor attendance reports and collect necessary data from employees, such as social security number, job title, and citizenship status. This information is used to fill out appropriate paperwork. Payroll and benefit administrators also impart information regarding benefit plans and worker's compensation. Additional duties may involve supplying employees with manuals, booklets, forms, provider information, and any other relevant information regarding benefits.

The payroll and benefits administrator helps process leave requests from employees, facilitate affirmative action laws, and post state and federal labor regulations. They may also be responsible for employee job descriptions and performance evaluations. In addition, payroll and benefits administrators welcome and provide orientation to new employees while also performing background checks and investigating references. Payroll and benefits administrators must keep meticulous records on each employee in order to prepare checks and deduct taxes.


Requirements for payroll and benefit administrators vary. Educational requirements range from a high school diploma to an associate's or bachelor's degree. College courses in accounting and business may be preferred, and those with degrees have an advantage in the job market. At the undergraduate level, one may concentrate in human resources administration, human resources management, or compensation and benefits.

All jobs require knowledge of computerized payroll and bookkeeping systems and computer skills. It is necessary to be proficient or well versed in Microsoft Office, Microsoft Access, and PowerPoint. Candidates should also be detail-oriented and precise. Communication skills, both written and oral, are also important, as is familiarity with payroll and payroll tax laws. Two or three years of experience in payroll or human resources may also be a qualification for a payroll and benefits administrator position.

Salary and Employment Outlook

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), the median annual salary for human resources specialists, including payroll and benefits administrators, was $58,350 as of May 2015. The BLS projected that employment for human resources specialists would increase by 5% from 2014 to 2024.

Payroll and benefits administrators work in corporate human resource departments. Their duties usually include monitoring time sheets, inputting payroll information, and providing information about benefit plans to employees. While there are no specific educational requirements, having an associate's or bachelor's degree in human resources management or a related area can be advantageous.

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