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Job Description for a Payroll Coordinator

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A payroll coordinator is in charge of making sure a company's employees and contractors are paid accurately and on time. Payroll coordinators typically work under the supervision of the human resources director, and can have responsibilities other than just managing payroll. Among those varied duties are filling, typing, managing mail, handling phone calls and preparing reports.

Basics

Payroll coordinators examine employees’ time cards, determine gross earnings and make certain taxes are deducted from each check. Sometimes, they approve overtime. They also answer any employees questions may have, as well as inform employees about possible bonuses or incentives. A payroll coordinator also must be prepared to multitask, displaying versatility and fulfilling duties some may consider mundane but are critical to his department and company overall.

Skills

A payroll coordinator should have strong written and verbal communication skills, as she has to answer questions regarding payroll by everyone from upper management to lower-level employees. She should be organized, professional, motivated and a capable problem solver. She also must possess accomplished math skills as well as an understanding of other basics of the job, such as filing, typing and note-taking.

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Background

There are no set requirements to become a payroll coordinator. Most employers seek candidates with at least a high school diploma or the equivalent. Others require a college degree, with an emphasis on courses in business, finance, administration and math. Many payroll coordinators receive their training on the job, and education isn’t always as important as a willingness to learn and strong interpersonal skills. Also, many companies seek payroll coordinators who have previous experience working in an office environment.

Prospects

Jobs for payroll coordinators are expected to be favorable from 2008 to 2018, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS). Although there is expected to be a slight decline during that span, “job openings will arise each year as payroll and timekeeping clerks leave the labor force or transfer to other occupations,” the BLS reported, adding, that those with a certificate or degree “will have an advantage in the job market.” More than 208,000 were employed as payroll clerks in May 2008, according to the BLS.

Earnings

Payroll coordinators earned a median wage of anywhere from $12 to more than $21.49 per hour in February 2010, according to PayScale.com. Much of those numbers were based on the coordinator’s experience, as well as the industry in which he worked. Meanwhile, the BLS reported that payroll coordinators earned a median salary of $34,810 per year in May 2008.

About the Author

Sam Amico is a reporter for NBA.com and worked as a writer and editor at daily newspapers for more than a decade, covering everything from rock concerts to college football to courts and crime. He attended Kent State University and is the author of the book, "A Basketball Summer." He also is the co-host of a nationally-syndicated television show, "The Wine & Gold Zone."

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