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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.

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

  • 1432: Payroll Clerks

2006 NOC-S

  • B532: Payroll Clerks

2011 NOC

  • 1432: Payroll clerks

2016 NOC

  • 1432: Payroll administrators

2021 NOC

  • 13102: Payroll administrators

2023 OaSIS

  • 13102.00: Payroll administrators
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
  • Strength Required Lift up to 5 kg

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.

Interests & Abilities

In Alberta, this occupation is part of 1 or more 2006 National Occupational Classification (NOC) groups. If there are multiple related NOC groups, select a NOC heading to learn about each one.

Payroll Clerks

2006 NOC: 1432

Interest Codes

Interest Codes for This NOC Group

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

Your Interest Codes

To identify or change your interest codes, complete the Interests Exercise in CAREERinsite.

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 for this NOC group 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 About Interests


Typical ability expectations for this NOC group
Your abilities

To fill in or change the values for your abilities, complete the Abilities Exercise in CAREERinsite.

Mental Abilities

General Learning Ability

Verbal Ability

Numerical Ability

Visual Abilities

Spatial Perception

Form Perception

Clerical Perception

Physical Abilities

Motor Coordination

Finger Dexterity

Manual Dexterity

Understanding Abilities

A Quick Guide

You are born with abilities that help you process certain types of information and turn it into action. These abilities influence which skills you can learn more easily.

The abilities or aptitudes shown for this NOC group come from the General Aptitude Test Battery (GATB). The GATB measures 9 aptitudes. It groups them into 3 categories: mental, visual, and physical.

The abilities scores range from 1 to 5, with 5 being stronger.

Learn About Abilities

Traits & Skills
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.

In Alberta, this occupation is part of 1 or more 2016 National Occupational Classification (NOC) groups. If there are multiple related NOC groups, select a NOC heading to learn about each one.

Top 10 Skills Employers Are Looking For

Payroll administrators

2016 NOC: 1432

This chart shows which job skills are currently in highest demand for this occupational group. It was created using this occupation's 105 most recent Alberta job postings, collected between Nov 16, 2021 and May 27, 2024.

Review these skills to learn:

  • Whether or not this occupation matches your skill set
  • What training you may need to get these skills
  • What skills to highlight in your resumé, cover letter, and interview.
Tasks: Maintain payroll
Tasks: Prepare and verify statements of earnings for employees, indicating gross and net salaries and deductions such as taxes, union dues, garnishments and insurance and pension plans
Tasks: Maintain records of employee attendance, leave and overtime to calculate pay and benefit entitlements, using manual or computerized systems
Tasks: Inform employees about payroll matters and benefit plans
Attention to detail
Tasks: Store, update and retrieve financial data
Tasks: Complete, verify and process forms and documentation for administration of benefits such as pension plans, leaves, share savings, employment and medical insurance
Computer and Technology Knowledge: MS Excel
Tasks: Prepare and balance period-end reports and reconcile issued payrolls to bank statements
Tasks: Perform clerical duties, such as maintain filing systems
Educational Requirements
Updated Mar 31, 2020
  • Minimum Education 2 years post-secondary

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 - Calgary Central
Academy of Learning - Edmonton Downtown
Academy of Learning - Edmonton South
Academy of Learning - Edmonton West
Academy of Learning - Medicine Hat
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
CLI College of Business Health & Technology - Calgary
East-West College - Edmonton
East-West College of Business & Technology
East-West College of Business & Technology - Calgary City Centre
Global College of Business & Technology
QCom College of Technology (QCT)
Red Deer Polytechnic
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

To expand or narrow your search for programs related to this occupation, visit Post-Secondary Programs.

Completing a program does not guarantee entrance into an occupation. Before enrolling in an education program, prospective students should look into various sources for education options and employment possibilities. For example, contact associations and employers in this field.

Certification Requirements
Updated Mar 31, 2020
  • Certification Not Regulated

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.

Industry Concentration

This section shows the industries where the majority of people in this occupation work. The data is based on the 2016 Census.

In Alberta, this occupation is part of 1 or more 2016 National Occupational Classification (NOC) groups.

In the 1432: Payroll administrators occupational group, 78.9% of people work in:

Employment Outlook

Employment outlook is influenced by a wide variety of factors including:

  • Time of year (for seasonal jobs)
  • Location in Alberta
  • Employment turnover (when people leave existing positions)
  • Occupational growth (when new positions are created)
  • Size of the occupation
  • Trends and events that affect overall employment, especially in the industry or industries from the previous list

In Alberta, the 1432: Payroll administrators occupational group is expected to have an average annual growth of 2.4% from 2021 to 2025. In addition to job openings created by employment turnover, 281 new positions are forecasted to be created within this occupational group each year.

NOC groups often include several related occupations. Although there is labour market data for the larger NOC group, this occupation makes up only a part of that group. It means data for this occupation may be different than the data shown. For example, only some of the new positions to be created will be for this occupation. It also applies to other data for the NOC group such as number of people employed.

Source: 2021-2025 Alberta Regional Occupational Demand Outlook

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

Related Alberta Job Postings
Wage & Salary
Updated Mar 31, 2020

In Alberta, this occupation is part of 1 or more 2016 National Occupational Classification (NOC) groups. If there are multiple related NOC groups, select a NOC heading to learn about each one.

Payroll administrators

2016 NOC: 1432
Average Wage
Per Hour
Average Salary
Per Year
Average Hours
Per Week
Average Months on Payroll
Survey Methodology Survey Analysis

2021 Alberta Wage and Salary Survey

NOC 1432 Wage Profile

Unless otherwise noted, the data shown here is for all industries and all regions in Alberta.

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.

To see the full survey data for this NOC group, visit the wage profile.

Other wage sources
To make an informed wage and salary decision, research other wage sources [pdf] to supplement this data.

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.

Hourly Wage

For full-time and part-time employees
  • Low
  • High
  • Average
  • Median

Hourly Wage

For full-time and part-time employees
Wages* Low (5th percentile) High (95th percentile) Average Median
Starting $18.00 $40.56 $27.57 $26.44
Overall $20.76 $47.53 $31.75 $31.28
Top $23.65 $53.85 $34.98 $32.94

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.

Pay brackets for hourly wages

  • Starting pay: average pay offered for entry-level positions
  • Overall pay: average pay across all employees in this occupation
  • Top pay: average pay offered to top-paid employees

Industry Information

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

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.

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