Ashworth College Blog

How Do You Become a Payroll Clerk?

Written by Autumn Granza on Tuesday, 26 November 2019. Posted in Career

Woman working on computer.

To become a payroll clerk, the first thing you need is a high school diploma or GED. You should also have an attention to detail and organizational skills. Training as a payroll clerk may give you an advantage when you’re entering the field. Here’s how Ashworth’s Payroll Clerk Career Diploma program can help you prepare for work.

What is the role of a payroll clerk?

Payroll clerks are responsible for collecting timekeeping information, noting deductions into payroll, and issuing paychecks to employees. Payroll clerks are valued employees, and large and small businesses alike look for trained, detail-oriented individuals to fill this role. In Ashworth’s Payroll Clerks Career Diploma program, you’ll learn time tracking, wage taxes, and more. You’ll complete lessons such as

  • Employee Benefits. In this lesson, you’ll be introduced to a range of employee benefits, and the wage implications and taxability of each type.
  • Tax and Employee Payments. You’ll learn how and when federal, state, and local payroll taxes are paid to the appropriate tax agency, and the rules and process associated with deposit schedules. This lesson also covers the types of manual and electronic methods for the distribution of employee compensation.
  • Measurements and Outsourcing. In this lesson, you’ll learn the calculations and measurements used to monitor and improve the payroll process. You’ll also learn how to supply data used to manage human capital.

Our Payroll Clerk Career Diploma program also includes the cost of the National Bookkeepers Association Payroll Certification Exam,* practice test, and your official certificate.

>What qualifications do you need to be a payroll clerk?

Ashworth’s self-paced program can help you earn your career diploma in as little as four months. Choosing to become certified may give you an advantage when entering the job field. You must be self-motivated and work well with deadlines. Other qualities of a payroll clerk include

  • Computer skills. You need to be comfortable and confident using a computer, especially software needed to perform your duties.
  • Integrity. As a payroll clerk, you’ll have insight into your coworker’s and company’s financial records. You must keep financial information confidential.
  • Math skills. Since you’ll be dealing with numbers, you should be familiar with basic arithmetic.

How much does a payroll clerk make a year?

In 2018, payroll clerks earned a median salary of $40,240 according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. The lessons you learn may help you gain experience as a payroll clerk. After completing the payroll clerk program you should be able to properly classify workers, track employee time and differentiate between types of compensation, and understand the payroll outsourcing process.

Enroll today

Start preparing for work you enjoy with Ashworth. To start your journey towards becoming a payroll clerk, call an Admissions Advisor at or enroll online today.

*Certification Exam Requirements: Certification exam prerequisites vary. Please check with NBA for their requirements.

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