Skip to the main content
This website uses cookies to give you a better online experience. By using this website or closing this message, you are agreeing to our cookie policy. More information
Alberta Supports Contact Centre

Toll Free 1-877-644-9992


The COVID-19 pandemic has impacted legislation and services. Information on this website may not reflect the current situation in Alberta. Please visit for up-to-date information about these impacts.

Payroll Administrator

Payroll administrators process payroll information. They determine pay and benefit entitlements and source deductions for employees in organizations of all types and sizes.

  • Avg. Salary $56,608.00
  • Avg. Wage $29.35
  • Minimum Education 2 years post-secondary
  • Outlook below avg
  • Employed 5,800
  • In Demand Lower
NOC Codes

In Canada, the federal government groups and organizes occupations based on a National Occupational Classification (NOC) system. This alis occupation may not reflect the entire NOC group it is part of. Data for the NOC group can apply across multiple occupations.

The NOC system is updated every 5 years to reflect changes in the labour market. Government forms and labour market data may group and refer to an occupation differently, depending on the system used. Here is how this occupation has been classified over time:

  • 2006 NOC: Payroll Clerks (1432) 
  • 2006 NOC-S: Payroll Clerks (B532) 
  • 2011 NOC: Payroll clerks (1432) 
  • 2016 NOC: Payroll administrators (1432) 
Skills Shortage

Employers that Recruited in the Last 2 Years

Average Wage
  • Certification Not Regulated
  • Strength Required Lift up to 5 kg
Interest Codes
The Payroll Administrator is part of the following larger National Occupational Classification (NOC).
Payroll Clerks

Interest in compiling information for statistical reports, statements and summaries; in preparing T4 statements and other statements; and in maintaining records of employee attendance, leave and overtime


Interest in operating computerized systems to keep records and prepare and balance period-end reports


Interest in speaking with employees to provide information on payroll matters, benefit plans and collective agreement provisions

Reading Interest Codes
A Quick Guide

The interest code helps you figure out if you’d like to work in a particular occupation. 
It’s based on the Canadian Work Preference Inventory (CWPI), which measures 5 occupational interests: Directive, Innovative, Methodical, Objective and Social.

Each set of 3 interest codes is listed in order of importance.

A code in capital letters means it’s a strong fit for the occupation.

A code in all lowercase letters means the fit is weaker.

Learn More

Updated Mar 31, 2020

Payroll administrators interpret, analyze, and comply with federal, provincial, and territorial legislation and regulations. They must have a good grasp of employment contracts, collective agreements, corporate policies, and third-party contracts.

Duties and responsibilities vary depending on the size and nature of the organization. In general, payroll administrators:

  • Verify and process required documents when a new employee is hired
  • Create and maintain database records of contact information, hours worked, pay, bonuses, and commissions, and other taxable and non-taxable benefits (such as health and life insurance) for full-time, part-time, and seasonal employees and contractors
  • Prepare and verify pay statements, which provide information about each employee’s gross and net earnings, tax deductions, union dues, and contributions to Canada Pension Plan, Employment Insurance, and company benefit plans
  • Comply with government remittance requirements and legislated employment and labour standards
  • Create and analyze system-generated reports, such as labour distribution and vacation time or pay, and resolve any discrepancies
  • Ensure payments are made, either by electronic funds transfer or cheque
  • Complete, verify, and process documentation for administered leaves of absence, shared savings, employment, health insurance, and pension plans
  • Process terminations, calculate termination or severance pay, and prepare Records of Employment (ROEs)
  • Perform or help with year-end activities, such as annual regulatory filings, remittance reconciliation, and processing of tax slips
  • Ensure the safeguarding and release of personal information complies with Freedom of Information and Privacy (FOIP) regulations, provincial legislation, and company policies
  • Provide information about tax regulations and respond to employee questions about statements, benefit plans, and collective agreements
  • Prepare payroll-related statistical reports, statements, and summaries
  • Prepare and balance period-end reports and reconcile payrolls to bank statements
  • Communicate with internal clients, management, and service providers such as payroll service agencies, group insurance carriers, or government bodies

Payroll administrators may be in charge of flexible work-hour agreements, wellness programs, or other creative benefit programs. They may oversee charitable donation or savings programs, ensuring contributions are deducted from employee paycheques as authorized. They may present pay and benefit information to senior managers.

Some large organizations divide payroll tasks among several people. In small organizations, payroll administrators may have other responsibilities related to human resources management. For more information, see the Human Resources Professional occupational profile.

Working Conditions
Updated Mar 31, 2020

Payroll administrators work with computers in offices. Most work standard weekday hours. They may work overtime for specific periods, such as month-end or year-end.

Working with firm deadlines and dealing with complaints can be stressful.

  • Strength Required Lift up to 5 kg
Skills & Abilities
Updated Mar 31, 2020

Payroll administrators need:

  • The ability to deal with details carefully and accurately
  • A commitment to trustworthiness
  • Organizational skills
  • Problem-solving and decision-making skills
  • The ability to work independently and with others in a team environment
  • The ability to work under pressure and meet deadlines
  • Verbal and written communication and customer-service skills
  • The ability to keep personal information about employees and others confidential
  • Tact and confidentiality when dealing with sensitive employee issues
  • A strong aptitude for math

They should enjoy using computer systems. They should be comfortable compiling, interpreting, and providing information about payroll matters, benefit plans, and collective agreement provisions.

Educational Requirements
Updated Mar 31, 2020

Most employers require payroll administrators to have related post-secondary education or work experience, or both. Some only seek applicants with a diploma or degree related to accounting, business administration, commerce, human resources, industrial relations, or psychology.

Payroll administrators need to stay up to date with evolving technologies.

Before enrolling in an education program, prospective payroll administrators should discuss their training options with potential employers.

Related Education

The following schools offer programs or courses that are related to this occupation but are not required to enter the field.

Academy of Learning - Brooks

Academy of Learning - Calgary South

Academy of Learning - Edmonton Downtown

Academy of Learning - Edmonton South

Academy of Learning - Edmonton West

Academy of Learning - Medicine Hat

Academy of Learning Airdrie

Alberta Business & Health Institute

Alberta Business and Health Institute

Cambrooks College - Downtown Campus

Canadian Health & Business College

Canford Institute of Technology

CDI College of Business, Technology and Health Care - Calgary City Centre

CDI College of Business, Technology and Health Care - Calgary North

CDI College of Business, Technology and Health Care - Calgary South

CDI College of Business, Technology and Health Care - Edmonton City Centre

CDI College of Business, Technology and Health Care - Edmonton North

CDI College of Business, Technology and Health Care - Edmonton South

CDI College of Business, Technology and Health Care - Edmonton West

City College of Management

East-West College - Edmonton

East-West College of Business & Technology

East-West College of Business & Technology - Calgary City Centre

Global College of Business & Technology

Northern Alberta Institute of Technology

Peerless Training Institute

QCom College of Technology (QCT)

Reeves College - Calgary City Centre

Reeves College - Calgary South

Reeves College - Edmonton

Reeves College - Lethbridge

Reeves College Edmonton South

Robertson College - Calgary

Robertson College - Edmonton

Saskatchewan Polytechnic

Sundance College - Edmonton

For a broad list of programs and courses that may be related to this occupation try searching using keywords.

Certification Requirements
Updated Mar 31, 2020

Employers may require applicants for payroll administrator positions to be certified by the Canadian Payroll Association (CPA) or willing to become certified within a specified period of time. To become a certified Payroll Compliance Practitioner (PCP), CPA members must have at least 1 year of work experience, have successfully completed an introductory, post-secondary accounting course, and have completed CPA’s Payroll Compliance Practitioner Certification courses. These include Payroll Compliance Legislation and Payroll Fundamentals (levels 1 and 2). The courses are offered in Alberta by the following post-secondary schools:

Employment & Advancement
Updated Mar 31, 2020

Payroll administrators work for all types of public and private sector organizations. They also work for payroll service providers, which contract their services to organizations without internal payroll departments.

In larger organizations, experienced payroll administrators may advance to supervisory or management positions. The Canadian Payroll Association offers a Certified Payroll Manager program. This allows people already employed in the field to take courses online or through post-secondary schools.

Payroll administrators are part of the larger 2011 National Occupational Classification 1432: Payroll clerks. In Alberta, 83% of people employed in this classification work in the following industries:

The employment outlook [pdf] in this occupation is influenced by a wide variety of factors including:

  • Trends and events affecting overall employment, especially in the industries listed above
  • Location in Alberta
  • Employment turnover (when people leave existing positions)
  • Occupational growth (when new positions are created)
  • Size of the occupation

In Alberta, the 1432: Payroll clerks occupational group is expected to have a below-average annual growth of 1.7% from 2019 to 2023. In addition to job openings created by employment turnover, 97 new positions are forecasted to be created within this occupational group each year.

Employment turnover is expected to increase as members of the baby boom generation retire over the next few years.

Wage & Salary
Updated Mar 31, 2020
Overall Wage Details
Average Wage
Average Salary
Hours Per Week

Hourly Wage
For full-time and part-time employees
  • Low
  • High
  • Average
  • Median
Wages* Low (5th percentile) High (95th percentile) Average Median
Starting $17.07 $36.22 $25.37 $25.00
Overall $20.67 $41.96 $29.35 $28.20
Top $21.63 $45.90 $32.41 $30.93

Swipe left and right to view all data. Scroll left and right to view all data.

* All wage estimates are hourly except where otherwise indicated. Wages and salaries do not include overtime hours, tips, benefits, profit shares, bonuses (unrelated to production) and other forms of compensation.

A: High Reliability
Data Reliability Code Definition

High Reliability, represents a CV of less than or equal to 6.00% and 30 survey observations and/or represents 50% or more of all estimated employment for the occupation.

Industry Information
Public Administration
Oil & Gas Extraction
Educational Services
Professional, Scientific & Technical Services
Finance, Insurance, Real Estate, Leasing
Wholesale Trade
Transportation and Warehousing
Business, Building and Other Support Services
Retail Trade
Health Care & Social Assistance
Other Services (Repair, Personal Services and Related)
Accommodation & Food Services
Information, Culture, Recreation

Skills Shortage

Employers that Recruited in the Last 2 Years


Recruiting Employers that Experienced Hiring Difficulties


Employers with Unfilled Vacancies of over 4 Months


Vacancy Rate

Related Post-Secondary Field of Study
  • Business, Management and Administrative Studies
  • Clerical and Administrative Support
Other Sources of Information
Updated Mar 31, 2020

Canadian Payroll Association website:

Get information and referrals about career, education, and employment options from Alberta Supports.

Updated Mar 31, 2020. The information contained in this profile is current as of the dates shown. Salary, employment outlook, and educational program information may change without notice. It is advised that you confirm this information before making any career decisions.

Was this page useful?