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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.

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) 
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.

Supervisors, Finance and Insurance Clerks
2006 NOC : 1212

Interest Codes

Interest Codes for This NOC Group

METHODICAL

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

DIRECTIVE

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

SOCIAL

Interest in training workers in job duties and company policies

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

Duties
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
  • Strength Required Lift up to 5 kg

Payroll managers typically work in offices.

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

Traits & Skills
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.

Top 10 Skills Employers Are Looking For

Supervisors, finance and insurance office workers
NOC code: 1212

This chart shows which job skills are currently in highest demand for this occupational group. It was created using this occupation's 29 most recent Alberta job postings, collected between Nov 09, 2021 and May 17, 2022.

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.
Prepare and submit reports
Co-ordinate, assign and review work
Train workers in duties and policies
Ensure accuracy of financial transactions
Resolve work related problems
Co-ordinate activities with other work units or departments
Establish work schedules and procedures
Ensure smooth operation of equipment
Requisition or order materials, equipment and supplies
Personal Suitability: Organized
Educational Requirements
Updated Mar 12, 2021
  • Minimum Education 2 years post-secondary

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 Central

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

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 12, 2021
  • Certification Not Regulated

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.

Note
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: Alberta Regional Occupational Demand Outlook

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.

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.

Supervisors, finance and insurance office workers

2016 NOC : 1212
Average Wage
$36.08
Per Hour
Average Salary
$70,530.00
Per Year
Average Hours
37.7
Per Week
Average Months on Payroll
11.7
Survey Methodology Survey Analysis

Source
2019 Alberta Wage and Salary Survey

NOC 1212 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
Starting
Overall
Top
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.

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

Skills Shortage

Employers that Recruited in the Last 2 Years

25%
25%)

Recruiting Employers that Experienced Hiring Difficulties

8%
8%

Employers with Unfilled Vacancies of over 4 Months

2%
2%

Vacancy Rate

2%
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: www.jobbank.gc.ca

The Canadian Payroll Association website: www.payroll.ca

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.

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