How to Become a Payroll Manager?

Are you thinking of becoming a Payroll Manager or already started your career and planning the next step? Learn how to become a Payroll Manager, what skills you need to succeed, how to advance your career and get promoted, and what levels of pay to expect at each step on your career path. Explore new Payroll Manager job openings and options for career transitions into related roles.

Steps to Become a Payroll Manager

If you're considering starting your Payroll Manager career path, it's important to note the skills, qualifications, and time it takes to become a professional Payroll Manager and how to advance your career path. Below are the steps generally required to begin and advance your Payroll Manager career.

Earn a Degree

To begin your Payroll Manager career path, a Bachelor's Degree in Business or a related field is usually necessary in order to remain a competitive option for employers. Focus on industry-specific skill development during your education in order to be properly equipped when applying for entry-level positions and entering the job force. A Payroll Manager internship may be required to earn your Bachelor's Degree and acquire necessary on-the-job skills before entering the workforce.

What type of degree should you pursue to become a Payroll Manager?

99% of people working as a Payroll Manager earned a Bachelor's Degree

What skills do you need to be a Payroll Manager?

  • Oracle HCM Cloud
  • Excellent Customer Service
  • Microsoft Office Suite
  • Powerpoint
  • PeopleSoft HCM
  • Written Communication
  • Microsoft EXCEL
  • Excellent Communication
Based on resume data from Glassdoor users who reported working as a Payroll Manager in the United States.

Choose a Specialty in Your Field

As an Payroll Manager, you may be required to choose a specialty within your field. Determine which part of the Payroll Manager field you feel strongest in, and continue taking active steps toward growing in your chosen Payroll Manager specialty.

Get an Entry-Level Position as a Payroll Manager

Once you've acquired a Bachelor's Degree in Business or a related field, you'll typically begin your career as an entry-level Payroll Manager. In general, you can become a Payroll Manager after completing your 4 year Bachelor's Degree in a related discipline. Depending on the type of Payroll Manager role you’re pursuing, you may want to explore certification in certified payroll professional.

Advance in Your Payroll Manager Career

Following entry-level, there are several Payroll Manager career path levels to advance into. It can take 2 years as an entry-level Payroll Manager to progress to the senior payroll manager position. Each advanced Payroll Manager position requires approximately 2 years of experience at each level to advance in your Payroll Manager career path. It may be necessary to receive additional education, an advanced degree such as a Master's Degree in a related field, or special certifications in order to advance your Payroll Manager career path.

Continued Education for Your Payroll Manager Career Path

Not all industries and companies require continued education to advance your Payroll Manager career path. However, earning this degree may help you advance to higher-earning positions more quickly. Earning a Graduate Degree in Business can take 4 years to complete. People that have earned their Graduate Degree typically make $114,371 compared to $51,565 for those without that type of degree.

Payroll Manager Career Path

Payroll Manager

2 - 4Years of Experience
$123K - $123K /yrAvg. Annual Salary
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Senior Payroll Manager

2 - 4Years of Experience
Not Enough Salary Reports
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Lead Payroll Manager

5 - 7Years of Experience
Not Enough Salary Reports
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Salary Trajectory

Payroll Manager Career Path

Payroll Manager
Payroll Assistant Supervisor
Senior Payroll Manager
Lead Payroll Manager
Principal Payroll Manager
Associate Director of Payroll
Director of Payroll
Senior Director of Payroll

Related careers in the Human Resources Industry

Interested in other Human Resources careers? Below are occupations that have high affinity with Payroll Manager skills. Discover some of the most common Payroll Manager career transitions, along with skills overlap.

Payroll Specialist
63% skills overlap
55% transitioned to Payroll Specialist