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 Manager

Payroll managers lead payroll operations in organizations. They work with all departments and provide advice on payroll matters. They help develop and implement payroll and benefit policies.

  • Avg. Salary $70,530.00
  • Avg. Wage $36.08
  • Minimum Education 2 years post-secondary
  • Outlook below avg
  • Employed 6,600
  • In Demand Medium
Also Known As

Compensation Manager, Paymaster, Supervisor (Pay and Benefits / Payroll)

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: Supervisors, Finance and Insurance Clerks (1212) 
  • 2006 NOC-S: Supervisors, Finance and Insurance Clerks (B412) 
  • 2011 NOC: Supervisors, finance and insurance office workers (1212) 
  • 2016 NOC: Supervisors, finance and insurance office workers (1212) 
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 Manager is part of the following larger National Occupational Classification (NOC).
Supervisors, Finance and Insurance Clerks

Interest in co-ordinating the work of clerks and activities with other units and departments; and in submitting progress reports, in ensuring smooth operation of computer systems and equipment and in arranging for maintenance and and repair work


Interest in supervising the activities of workers; and in implementing efficient working processes, identifying training needs, resolving work-related problems, establishing work schedules and procedures, and authorizing routine payments, credits, deposits and withdrawals


Interest in training workers in job duties and company policies

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 12, 2021

Payroll managers lead and provide strategic direction for payroll staff, such as payroll administrators. They ensure employees receive company pay accurately and on time. To supervise the day-to-day operation of their unit, they:

  • Coordinate tasks among staff
  • Develop and manage the annual budget for the unit
  • Train unit staff
  • Resolve conflicts
  • Provide support and motivation
  • Complete payroll administration tasks when staff is absent
  • Ensure their unit follows occupational health and safety policies

In general, payroll managers:

  • Calculate and process monthly and annual taxes
  • Manage employee benefit programs
  • Advise employees about benefits, pensions, and retirement eligibility
  • Ensure the effective processing of payroll and benefits
  • Advise on payroll process improvement and execution
  • Implement changes to payroll and benefits processes
  • Ensure the company meets audit requirements
  • Help to develop payroll-specific and statistical reports
  • Manage month-end and year-end payroll reporting requirements

Payroll managers need to understand employment legislation to:

  • Ensure the company’s pay policies and processes meet legislated requirements
  • Make sure wage-related government forms, such as T4 slips, are accurate

Payroll managers act as a liaison between other departments. They:

  • Help divisional staff implement collective agreements and employment legislation
  • Advise other departments on payroll policies related to their areas

Some payroll managers perform other roles in human resources or accounting. This typically happens in small- to medium-sized organizations. For details about these other occupations, see the Human Resources Professional, Accountant, and Accounting Technician occupational profiles.

Working Conditions
Updated Mar 12, 2021

Payroll managers typically work in offices.

Work is usually full time within a regular workweek. They may need to work overtime during busier periods.

  • Strength Required Lift up to 5 kg
Skills & Abilities
Updated Mar 12, 2021

Payroll managers need:

  • Attention to detail
  • Professionalism
  • Verbal and written communication skills
  • Leadership skills
  • Time-management skills
  • The ability to multitask
  • The ability to work under pressure
  • The ability to maintain confidentiality

Payroll managers should enjoy:

  • Finding efficient ways to do tasks
  • Having clear rules and organized methods
  • Developing processes and procedures
  • Submitting reports

They should be comfortable supervising, training, and motivating their staff.

Educational Requirements
Updated Mar 12, 2021

Payroll managers must have at least a college diploma in accounting, bookkeeping, or a related subject. However, more employers now require a university degree in finance, human resources, or business administration.

Payroll managers need to have knowledge of standard office software. They also need to understand:

  • Payroll policies and regulations
  • Tax laws
  • Other relevant Canadian legislation for union and non-union environments

The Canadian Payroll Association has a database of approved schools and courses.

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

Cambrooks College - Downtown Campus

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 - Edmonton City Centre

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

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

Robertson College - Calgary

Robertson College - Edmonton

Southern Alberta Institute of Technology

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

Certification Requirements
Updated Mar 12, 2021

Some employers require payroll certification, especially when managing larger teams. Having multiple certifications is an asset.

The designation of Certified Payroll Manager (CPM) is available from the Canadian Payroll Association (CPA). To obtain the CPM, candidates need to have:

  • Certification as a Payroll Compliance Practitioner (PCP)
  • At least 2 years’ experience in a position of responsibility for payroll
  • Completion of the CPA’s educational requirements

For more information, visit CPA.

The designation of Certified Human Resources Professional (CHRP) is available from the Human Resources Professional Association (HRPA). To obtain the CHRP, candidates need to have:

  • Membership with HRPA that is in good standing
  • Completion of Educational requirements
  • Completion of Employment law and knowledge exams
  • Completion of Job ready program

For more information, visit HRPA.

Employment & Advancement
Updated Mar 12, 2021

Payroll managers work for organizations in the public and private sectors.

Generally, payroll managers start as payroll administrators. Prospective managers typically need at least 5 or 6 years of payroll experience.

Payroll managers are part of the larger 2011 National Occupational Classification 1212: Supervisors, finance and insurance office workers. In Alberta, 76% of people employed in this occupational group work in the following industries:

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

  • Trends and events that affect overall employment (especially in the industries listed above)
  • Location in Alberta
  • Employment turnover (work opportunities that come up when people leave existing positions)
  • Occupational growth (work opportunities that come up when new positions are created)
  • Size of the occupation

In Alberta, the 1212: Supervisors, finance and insurance office workers occupational group is expected to have a below-average annual growth of 1.5% 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.

Wage & Salary
Updated Mar 12, 2021

Payroll managers are part of the larger 2011 National Occupational Classification 1212: Supervisors, finance and insurance office workers. For data on how much those from this occupational group earned last year in Alberta or throughout Canada, visit the Canada Job Bank.

Supervisors, finance and insurance office workers

Survey Methodology

Survey Analysis

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 $15.00 $51.11 $29.50 $27.88
Overall $18.00 $72.12 $36.08 $31.25
Top $24.24 $120.17 $43.54 $33.17

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
Educational Services
Public Administration
Finance, Insurance, Real Estate, Leasing
Transportation and Warehousing
Information, Culture, Recreation
Professional, Scientific & Technical Services
Health Care & Social Assistance
Retail Trade

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 12, 2021

Canada Job Bank website:

The Canadian Payroll Association website:

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

Updated Mar 12, 2021. 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?