Payroll and timekeeping clerks
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Overview
Financial clerks do administrative work for many types of organizations. They keep records, help customers, and carry out financial transactions.
Predicted employment growth
Over the next decade, jobs for payroll and timekeeping clerks are expected to shrink by 1%, and should have about 16,100 job openings a year.
Safety from automation
Payroll and timekeeping clerks are more likely to be automated than 91% of other careers.
Workforce size
Payroll and timekeeping clerks, with 166,300 workers, form a larger workforce than 76% of careers.
Education
Only 23% of payroll and timekeeping clerks have a bachelor's degree or higher.
Education attained by payroll and timekeeping clerks
High School
Some College
Bachelor's Degree
Master's Degree
Doctorate
Context: workers with bachelor's degrees
This is near the middle of all careeers' percentages of bachelor's holders.
Salaries
The median (middle) salary for 55% of all other jobs is higher than the middle salary for payroll and timekeeping clerks. The graph shows inflation-adjusted salaries for most payroll and timekeeping clerks.
This job's median $45KAll jobs' median $39K$42K$38K20142015201620172018$0$20K$40K$60K$80K
Context: Median Salary
Gender
Women account for 87% of payroll and timekeeping clerks -- that's a larger percentage than 96% of other jobs.
Gender of payroll and timekeeping clerks
Men
Women
Context: Salary inequity
For each career, we compared the median (middle) men's salary to the median women's salary. For payroll and timekeeping clerks, the median men's salary was 10% more the median woman's salary.
Race/Origin
About 20% of payroll and timekeeping clerks are minority, and 9% are foreign-born.
Race/origin of payroll and timekeeping clerks
White
Black
Pacific Islander
Hispanic
Asian
American Indian
Multiracial
Other
Context: Foreign-born workers (9%)
Where are the most jobs?
We ranked the number of jobs in Payroll and Timekeeping Clerks per thousand workers in each state, DC, and Puerto Rico. The darker the blue, the higher the job density.
AKMEVTNHWAIDMTNDMNMINYMARIORUTWYSDIAWIINOHPANJCTCANVCONEMOILKYWVVAMDDEAZNMKSARTNNCSCDCOKLAMSALGAHITXFLPR
Job benefits
Employer or union-sponsored pension plans are offered to 59% of payroll and timekeeping clerks, and 74% have company-sponsored health insurance (21% have dependents enrolled in their employer's health plan).
Employer-provided health coverage for payroll and timekeeping clerks
100% premiums covered
Partial premiums covered
Plan with no cost sharing
No health insurance
The downside
Some jobs are more stressful than others, and some are just plain dangerous. The following list gives the percentages of payroll and timekeeping clerks who report hazardous or difficult situations typically occurring at least once a week.
  • Time Pressure (86%)
  • Degree of Automation (42%)
  • Frequency of Conflict Situations (41%)
  • Deal With Unpleasant or Angry People (35%)
SOURCES:24.0 O*NET
Salary and diversity
Salary overview
What do payroll and timekeeping clerks earn?

In this section, we want to give you a clear idea of what you can expect to earn in this career. We use two sources of data here: the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), which asks employers to classify their workforce and to report salaries using the SOC-specialty level of reporting, and the American Community Survey (ACS), which asks people to classify their jobs using the broad classifications that ididio uses for career profiles, and to self-report their salaries. For some jobs, the differences in survey approaches between BLS and ACS can paint a very different end-picture. Whenever possible, we provide data from both sources.

The BLS-compiled salary data is reported by companies for their employees. This data excludes self-employed workers. We first show the distribution of salaries for payroll and timekeeping clerks, and then we show how the middle (median) salary for payroll and timekeeping clerks compares to the BLS-computed median salaries of other careers.
Distribution: Salaries for payroll and timekeeping clerks (BLS Salary Data)
$45K$0$20K$40K$60K$80K$100K$120K
Context: Median salaries across careers (BLS Salary Data)
$45K$0$20K$40K$60K$80K$100K$120K
We compiled household data from the ACS to determine the salaries that people working at least 35 hours a week report themselves to earn. Unlike the BLS estimates, this data includes self-employed wages. We first show the full salary distribution for all payroll and timekeeping clerks, and then we show how the median (middle) salary for payroll and timekeeping clerks compares to the median ACS-reported salary of other careers.
Distribution: Salaries for payroll and timekeeping clerks (ACS Salary Data)
$41K$0$20K$40K$60K$80K$100K$120K
Context: Median salaries across careers (ACS Salary Data)
$41K$0$20K$40K$60K$80K$100K$120K
Employers and salary
A look at employers and corresponding salaries
The donut shares the break-down of workers by employer type, and following we show the salary distributions for these workers based on those employer types. For some careers, the salaries can be vastly different between private, government, and self-employment. As with our salary overview, we view the both the BLS economists' salary profiles and the household-reported salaries from ACS to get a thorough understanding of where payroll and timekeeping clerks work and for what salary. We have the great faith in the accuracy of economist-vetted BLS data; however, the BLS restrictions on which employers are surveyed skews the data a bit (read more in the sources), and the ACS responses provide different and useful categorizations of employers and salaries.
Employers of Payroll and timekeeping clerks (ACS)
Private for-profit (67.0%)
Private not-for-profit (8.1%)
Local government (12.5%)
State government (6.5%)
Federal government (4.4%)
Self-employed incorporated (1.0%)
Self-employed not incorporated (0.4%)
Working without pay (0.0%)
Distribution: Salaries of payroll and timekeeping clerks by type of employer (ACS data)
Following are the salary distributions by employer type calculated by aggregating individual household survey responses.
$41K$41K$41K$42K$42K$41K$50K$0$20,000$40,000$60,000$80,000Self-employed incorporatedFederal governmentState governmentLocal governmentPrivate not-for-profitPrivate for-profitAll
Distribution: Salaries of payroll and timekeeping clerks by type of employer (BLS data)
Following are the salary distributions by employer type as reported by BLS based on large employer-focused surveys. We note that smaller employer categories are not included by BLS.
$45K$44K$45K$45K$49K$0$20,000$40,000$60,000$80,000Federal governmentState governmentLocal governmentPrivateAll
Age and career advancement
Salary growth for payroll and timekeeping clerks

The biggest take-away from the following two charts is the relationship between salary and experience that we can infer from age. Does this job seem to attract especially younger or older workers? Does it reward experience?

Take a minute a look at how much you might expect your salary to increase with each five years' experience, as well as how the numbers working in this career changes. We only provide this data when there are enough consistent ACS survey responses to allow a reasonable margin of error, so for some careers you will see gaps in our reporting of salary by age.

$45K$41K$43K$37K$35K$44K$40K$43K$26K$0$20K$40K$60K$80KSalary distribution20-2425-2930-3435-3940-4445-4950-5455-5960-64
05K10K15K20K25KNumber employed20-2425-2930-3435-3940-4445-4950-5455-5960-64

Our only sources for career data containing age, gender, or origin/race come from the Census Bureau. To provide these breakdowns, we have aggregated ACS person-level career survey responses by career, gender, race, and age. These graphics reflect the results of our aggregations, and are useful for identifying trends. A careful statistical study of the impact of age, gender, and race on salaries would correct for other factors that could be contributing to salary differences.

Gender and Equity
Payroll and timekeeping clerks and gender

With 87% women, this occupation has a higher percentage of women than 96% of careers.

Context: Women in the workforce
87%0%20%40%60%80%100%
Gender of Payroll and timekeeping clerks
Men (13%)
Women (87%)
Distribution: Salaries by gender

As we'll illustrate at the bottom of this section, the median salary for all full-time male workers in the US exceeds the full-time median salary for women by 20%. The situation is a little better for payroll and timekeeping clerks, with the median salary for men 10% higher than the median salary for women. This chart shows you the salary range for most workers by gender.

$41K$45K$0$20K$40K$60K$80K$100KWomenMen
Context: Salary Inequity

Nationwide there are twenty careers for which men do not have a higher median (middle) salary than women. The chart below shows the salary inequity, the percentage by which the median men's salary is higher than the median women's salary, for most jobs. Payroll and timekeeping clerks have one of the smaller percentage increases for men's salary, with the increase the men's median salary over the women's median salary in this job lower than that for 72% of other jobs.

10%0%20%40%60%80%100%

Our only sources for career data containing age, gender, or origin/race come from the Census Bureau. To provide these breakdowns, we have aggregated ACS person-level career survey responses by career, gender, race, and age. These graphics reflect the results of our aggregations, and are useful for identifying trends. A careful statistical study of the impact of age, gender, and race on salaries would correct for other factors that could be contributing to salary differences.

Race/Origin
Race and origin of payroll and timekeeping clerks

The representation of minority and foreign-born workers is quite different between careers, and the relative pay of those workers also varies significantly between careers. The percentage of minority payroll and timekeeping clerks falls in about the middle of all careers' percentages. There is a smaller percentage of foreign-born workers in this career than in most other careers.

Race/origin of payroll and timekeeping clerks
White (77% )
Black (12% )
Asian (4% )
Other (3% )
Multiracial (2% )
Hispanic (1% )
American Indian (1% )
Pacific Islander (0% )
Context: Representation of minorities in the workforce
20%0%20%40%60%80%100%
Context: Representation of foreign-born workers
9%0%20%40%60%80%100%
Distribution: Salaries for payroll and timekeeping clerks by race/origin

For some careers, there is a pay disparity depending on race or origin, though this is not prevalent. We calculate standard errors for all of our calculations, and when the error is high we do not show results. Therefore, for some jobs will have omitted race/origin categories.

$31K$37K$40K$41K$41K$41K$46K$0$20K$40K$60K$80K$100KHispanicOtherMultiracialWhiteBlackAmerican IndianAsian
Distribution: Salaries for payroll and timekeeping clerks by nativity
$41K$42K$0$20K$40K$60K$80KAll native citizensAll foreign-born

Our only sources for career data containing age, gender, or origin/race come from the Census Bureau. To provide these breakdowns, we have aggregated ACS person-level career survey responses by career, gender, race, and age. These graphics reflect the results of our aggregations, and are useful for identifying trends. A careful statistical study of the impact of age, gender, and race on salaries would correct for other factors that could be contributing to salary differences.

Pathways to this career
Education requirements and salary
Education attained by payroll and timekeeping clerks

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), payroll and timekeeping clerks typically hold a high school diploma or equivalent.

Sometimes the typical education identified by the BLS differs a bit from the reality of the how much education current workers actually have. The donut shows the education level held by people currently working as payroll and timekeeping clerks as reported in responses to the American Community Survey. Following, we investigate whether education level influences salary for payroll and timekeeping clerks.

Education attained by payroll and timekeeping clerks
None
High School
Some College
Associate's Degree
Bachelor's Degree
Master's Degree
Professional Deg/Doct
Doctorate
Details: Education and training recommended for payroll and timekeeping clerks

Financial clerks typically need a high school diploma or equivalent to enter the occupation. Employers of brokerage clerks may prefer candidates who have taken some college courses in business or economics and, in some cases, who have a 2- or 4-year college degree.

Distribution: Salary by education level

What level of education is truly needed for payroll and timekeeping clerks? Below we see the distribution of payroll and timekeeping clerks salaries based on the education attained. These comparisons are based on all survey responses by those who identified themselves as payroll and timekeeping clerks, and are not intended as a statistical analysis of salary differences that would correct for non-educational factors that could contribute to high or low earnings.

$39K$40K$42K$41K$42K$45K$0$20K$40K$60K$80K$100KNone (2%)High School (25%)Some College (36%)Associate's Degree (14%)Bachelor's Degree (20%)Master's Degree (3%)
Certificate/degree pathways

The Department of Education recommends the following college degree programs as preparation for this career. You can click the program row to learn more about the program and explore a list of schools that offer the program.

Program
Education
Education level of awarded degrees
Less than bachelor's
bachelor's degree
Higher than bachelor's
Gender
Gender of graduates
Men
Women
Race/Origin
Race/origin of graduates
White
Minority
International
Number of degrees awarded in 2017
Accounting Technology/Technician and Bookkeeping
20,884
Switching Careers
Most common new jobs
The most common next careers for payroll and timekeeping clerks

What jobs will most payroll and timekeeping clerks hold next year?

The data in this chart comes from person interviews for the Census Bureau's Current Population Survey. The survey interviews households eight times over a two-year period, allowing us a glimpse into how people move from job to job. You can see more details from the results of the survey in our last tab in this section, and you can read about our methodology in our source descriptions.

Here we see all of the jobs that at least 1% of payroll and timekeeping clerks reported holding in their second year's survey. Is your future job on this list?

Payroll and timekeeping clerksBookkeeping, accounting, and auditing clerksAccountants and auditorsSecretaries and administrative assistantsFirst-line supervisors of office and administrative support workersHuman resources workersBilling and posting clerksGeneral office clerksManagers (specialized areas)Financial managersHuman resources managers
Lateral career moves
Lateral job transitions for payroll and timekeeping clerks

A lateral career transition is a move to a job with similar pay and responsibilities. A move to such a job can offer a change of pace without an increase in stress or a decrease in pay. The following table simply identifies all 6 jobs which were held by at least 1% of survey respondents before working as payroll and timekeeping clerks as well as 1% of respondents after working as payroll and timekeeping clerks. Select a row to investigate the job's full description and determine if it truly offers an opportunity for a lateral transition.

Lateral-move careers for payroll and timekeeping clerks
Annual openings
How many openings are expected each year?
Salary
Salary distribution for people in this occupation. Range is 0-$200,000.
Median
Middle 50%
Middle 80%
Education
High School
Some College
Bachelor's Degree
Master's Degree
Doctorate
Gender
Men
Women
Secretaries and administrative assistants
395,200
$0$200K$36K
General office clerks
356,600
$0$200K$33K
Bookkeeping, accounting, and auditing clerks
188,400
$0$200K$38K
First-line supervisors of office and administrative support workers
153,100
$0$200K$48K
Accountants and auditors
143,000
$0$200K$60K
Human resources workers
64,700
$0$200K$54K
Full prior and next career listings
Prior and next careers for payroll and timekeeping clerks: full listings

What do people typically do before and after they work as payroll and timekeeping clerks? Here are the full lists of all jobs that at least 1% of payroll and timekeeping clerks surveyed reported as holding a year earlier or later.

Choose which type of transition to view
Prior jobs
Next jobs
Prior careers for payroll and timekeeping clerks
Annual openings
How many openings are expected each year?
Salary
Salary distribution for people in this occupation. Range is 0-$200,000.
Median
Middle 50%
Middle 80%
Education
High School
Some College
Bachelor's Degree
Master's Degree
Doctorate
Gender
Men
Women
Percentage Transitioning
What percentage worked in this job the previous year?
Retail salespersons
676,200
$0$200K$31K
1.0%
Secretaries and administrative assistants
395,200
$0$200K$36K
4.6%
Customer service representatives
373,800
$0$200K$32K
2.6%
General office clerks
356,600
$0$200K$33K
2.1%
Bookkeeping, accounting, and auditing clerks
188,400
$0$200K$38K
6.5%
First-line supervisors of retail sales workers
171,800
$0$200K$39K
1.0%
First-line supervisors of office and administrative support workers
153,100
$0$200K$48K
5.2%
Receptionists and information clerks
151,300
$0$200K$27K
1.4%
Accountants and auditors
143,000
$0$200K$60K
6.2%
Shipping, receiving, and traffic clerks
67,300
$0$200K$31K
1.3%
Human resources workers
64,700
$0$200K$54K
3.6%
Production, planning, and expediting clerks
35,500
$0$200K$45K
1.0%
Office and administrative support workers
30,900
$0$200K$40K
1.2%
Payroll and timekeeping clerks
16,100
$0$200K$41K
37.8%
No occupation
5.1%
Read about payroll and timekeeping clerks
Responsibilities and activities
Responsibilities and activities

Financial clerks typically do the following:

  • Keep and update financial records
  • Compute bills and charges
  • Offer customer assistance
  • Carry out financial transactions

Financial clerks give administrative and clerical support in financial settings. Their specific job duties vary by specialization and by setting.

The following are examples of types of financial clerks:

Billing and posting clerks calculate charges, generate bills, and prepare them to be mailed to customers. They review documents such as purchase orders, sales tickets, charge slips, and hospital records to compute fees or charges due. They also contact customers to get or give account information.

Gaming cage workers work in casinos and other gaming establishments. The “cage” in which they work is the central depository for money and gaming chips. Gaming cage workers sell gambling chips, tokens, or tickets to patrons. They count funds and reconcile daily summaries of transactions in order to balance books.

Payroll and timekeeping clerks compile and post employee time and payroll data. They verify and record attendance, hours worked, and pay adjustments. They ensure that employees are paid on time and that their paychecks are accurate.

Procurement clerks compile requests for materials, prepare purchase orders, keep track of purchases and supplies, and handle questions about orders. They respond to questions from customers and suppliers about the status of orders. Procurement clerks handle requests to change or cancel orders. They make sure that purchases arrive on schedule and that the items meet the purchaser’s specifications.

Brokerage clerks help with tasks associated with securities such as stocks, bonds, commodities, and other kinds of investments. Their duties include writing orders for stock purchases and sales, computing transfer taxes, verifying stock transactions, accepting and delivering securities, distributing dividends, and keeping records of daily transactions and holdings.

Credit authorizers, checkers, and clerks review the credit history, and get the information needed to determine the creditworthiness, of individuals or businesses applying for credit. Credit authorizers evaluate customers’ computerized credit records and payment histories to decide, based on predetermined standards, whether to approve new credit. Credit checkers call or write credit departments of business and service establishments to get information about applicants’ credit standing.

Loan interviewers, also called loan processors or loan clerks, interview applicants and others to get and verify personal and financial information needed to complete loan applications. They also prepare the documents that go to the appraiser and are issued at the closing of a loan.

New accounts clerks interview people who want to open accounts in financial institutions. They explain the account services available to prospective customers and help them fill out applications. They also investigate and correct errors in accounts.

Insurance claims and policy processing clerks process applications for insurance policies. They also handle customers’ requests to change or cancel their existing policies. Their duties include interviewing clients and reviewing insurance applications to ensure that all questions have been answered. They also notify insurance agents and accounting departments of policy cancellations or changes.

Personality and skills
Personality and skills

Can you see yourself in the ranks of payroll and timekeeping clerks? Here are the skills and traits that could lead to success.

Communication skills
Financial clerks should have good communication skills so that they can explain policies and procedures to colleagues and customers.
Math skills
The job duties of financial clerks includes calculating charges and updating financial records.
Organizational skills
Strong organizational skills are important for financial clerks because they must be able to find files quickly and efficiently.
Trends in employment
Salary trends
Distribution and trends: Salaries for payroll and timekeeping clerks
Choose actual dollars or inflation-adjusted dollars to view
Adjusted for inflation
Historic dollars

In 2018, the median (middle) for 55% of all other jobs were higher than the median (middle) salary for payroll and timekeeping clerks. This graphic shows how the salary distribution (adjusted for inflation) has changed for this job over recent years. The gray line, as a comparison, shows the median salary of all US workers.

This job's median $45KAll jobs' median $39K$40K$38K200420052006200720082009201020112012201320142015201620172018$0$20K$40K$60K$80K
Projected versus actual employment
Exploring actual employment trends versus projected trends

Currently, jobs for payroll and timekeeping clerks are anticipated to shrink by 1%. over the next decade; 80% of jobs are projected to grow more.

The projected employment for payroll and timekeeping clerks is the best guess created by talented economists and statisticians at the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS). However, as you look through several careers you'll notice that the projections are heavily influenced by past performance and may miss current trends. No one can tell the future, and as new information and better techniques are developed, actual counts and future projections may change. Here's a glimpse at the actual counts versus the projections over time.

20002010202020300100,000200,000300,000
Employment counts
Actual measured employment
BLS 10-year predictions
Variation by state
Employment
State-by-state employment numbers

Some careers tend to be centered in specific parts of the country. For example, most jobs in fashion are in New York or California. Let's see if your dream job is easy to find in your dream location! We have a few choices for viewing the data that can help you get a full employment picture.

Job density versus job count

Which states hire the most payroll and timekeeping clerks? We wonder if that's a fair question since states come in all sizes, so instead let's start with the question of which states have the highest density of people working as payroll and timekeeping clerks. You can choose to view the number of jobs per state if you prefer.

BLS vs ACS data

This map defaults to employment information from the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), which provides job totals carefully compiled for accuracy and with a primary focus on how employers describe their workers. The BLS job totals do not count self-employed workers. We've also compiled totals using the Census Bureau's American Community Survey (ACS) which are based on how workers describe themselves. Sometimes ACS results are quite a bit different from the employer-based BLS data.

Choose the metric to review
Jobs per 1000 working
Number of jobs
Use this data source
BLS
Number of Payroll and Timekeeping Clerks per 1,000 workers (BLS)
Select a state to see local area details
AKMEVTNHWAIDMTNDMNMINYMARIORUTWYSDIAWIINOHPANJCTCANVCONEMOILKYWVVAMDDEAZNMKSARTNNCSCDCOKLAMSALGAHITXFLPR
0.00.51.01.5
Salary
Salaries by state
Let's get a feel for where payroll and timekeeping clerks earn the highest salaries. There are several choices for which data we consider and how we view that data, and each can lead to different conclusions, so please read on...
Median salary versus state ratio

We use two methods to compare salaries across states:

  • In-state comparisons: the ratio of median (middle) salaries for payroll and timekeeping clerks compared to the median salary for all people working in each state, or
  • Median salary: the unaltered median salaries for payroll and timekeeping clerks.

We hope the ratio allows perspective about how salaries may compare to the regional cost-of-living.

BLS vs ACS data

We have two sources for statewide salary information with important distinctions. The BLS data is created by surveying companies, missing individuals who are self-employed or work for smaller companies. The ACS data is compiled from multi-faceted household surveys and may reflect the inconsistencies that people may have in reporting information.

Choose the metric to review
In-state comparisions
Median salary
Use this data source
BLS
Median salary ratio: Payroll and Timekeeping Clerks to all workers (BLS)
The darkest shading corresponds to states in which payroll and timekeeping clerks earn the highest salary when compared to other jobs in the state. We think this ratio might be a better indicator than the actual salary for your buying power as a state resident.
Select a state to see local area details
AKMEVTNHWAIDMTNDMNMINYMARIORUTWYSDIAWIINOHPANJCTCANVCONEMOILKYWVVAMDDEAZNMKSARTNNCSCDCOKLAMSALGAHITXFLPR
0.00.51.01.5
Compare to similar jobs

If this job interests you, then use the dots below to find other jobs you might like. The dots closer to the top represent jobs that are like Payroll and timekeeping clerks (shown with a blue star). Look for the dots to the right to find the best salaries! (We pulled salary data from BLS, and they give a top salary value of just over $200K to protect privacy, so our graph would go much higher if the salaries were not top coded.)

How should the career similarity be computed

There are a number of ways to measure the similarity of jobs, here are a few we provide:

  • Interests: Also known as a Holland Code - Are you a thinker? A helper? What fits your personality?
  • Environment: Are there hazards? Will you be comfortable? Will it be stressful?
  • Knowledge: What do you need to know the most about?
  • Physical Abilities: Do you need to especially strong or coordinated?
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