What does a Payroll Technician do?

Learn all about Payroll Technician duties, skills and much more. Get expert advice on how to become a Payroll Technician.

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Brenna Goyette
Certified Professional Resume Writer, Career Expert

Published 3 min read

A payroll technician is responsible for processing employee payroll and ensuring that employees are paid accurately and on time. They may also be responsible for preparing payroll reports and resolving any payroll discrepancies.

Payroll Technician job duties include:

  • Verify timekeeping records and consult with employees to resolve discrepancies
  • Compile data from timekeeping records, benefit plans, and employee tax documents to calculate payroll
  • Prepare payroll checks and direct deposit payments
  • Print and distribute pay stubs or electronic reports
  • Reconcile payroll accounts by researching and correcting errors
  • Update payroll records by entering changes in exemptions, insurance coverage, savings deductions, and job title or department/division transfers
  • Maintain payroll control records by collecting, calculating, and auditing employee timekeeping data
  • Prepare reports by compiling summaries of earnings, taxes, deductions, leave, disability, and non-taxable wages
  • Resolve payroll discrepancies by collecting and analyzing information
  • Provide support to employees by providing accurate information and calculations.

Payroll Technician Job Requirements

Most payroll technicians have at least a high school diploma, although some jobs may require postsecondary education, and most employers provide on-the-job training. Payroll technicians typically need one to three years of experience working in payroll or a related field before being promoted to a payroll technician position. Some employers may require certification from the American Payroll Association.

Payroll Technician Skills

  • Maintaining employee records
  • Calculating wages
  • Processing payroll
  • Administering benefits
  • Preparing tax documents
  • Answering employee questions
  • Resolving payroll discrepancies
  • Auditing payroll
  • Maintaining confidentiality
  • Updating payroll records
  • Generating reports

Related: Top Payroll Technician Skills: Definition and Examples

How to become a Payroll Technician

A payroll technician is responsible for ensuring that employees are paid accurately and on time. They may also be responsible for preparing tax documents and other financial reports. Payroll technicians typically work in the accounting or human resources departments of organizations.

To become a payroll technician, you will need to have at least a high school diploma or equivalent. Some employers may prefer candidates who have completed some college coursework in accounting or business. You will also need to have strong math skills and be detail-oriented. Experience with bookkeeping or accounting software can be helpful.

If you are interested in becoming a payroll technician, contact your local community college or university to inquire about relevant coursework. You can also search for entry-level positions on job websites like or Once you have secured a position, be sure to perform your duties accurately and efficiently to build a good reputation in the field.

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