Payroll and Timekeeping Clerk

What is a Payroll and Timekeeping Clerk?

Payroll and timekeeping clerks are human resource professionals who are responsible for gathering employee data on hours worked and payroll compensation. They will calculate things such as overtime pay, holiday pay, vacation pay, and other special considerations to ensure that employees receive appropriate compensation for the time they contribute. In the event of a paycheck error, the payroll and timekeeping clerk will review the employee’s logged hours and other variables to pinpoint the issue and correct the problem. 

Job Responsibilities:

  • Calculating employee earnings 
  • Verifying days in attendance and hours worked 
  • Ensuring checks are properly signed 
  • Distributing paychecks to employees 
  • Resolving issues with inaccurate pay 
  • Stopping paycheck cycles as appropriate after employee termination 
  • Calculating deductions such as insurance, union dues, Social Security, and income tax withholdings 
  • Handling wage garnishment for IRS intervention or child support 
  • Managing employee compensation 
  • Distributing and collecting timecards 
  • Managing 401(k) contributions 
  • Distributing bonuses 
  • Calculating commissions 
  • Verifying invoices for independent contractors 

What is the Job Outlook for Payroll and Timekeeping Clerks?

Although the Bureau of Labor Statistics does not directly report for payroll and timekeeping clerks, similarly financial clerk statistics show about 116,600 openings for financial clerks are projected each year, on average, over the decade. All of those openings are expected to result from the need to replace workers who transfer to other occupations or exit the labor force, such as to retire. Employment of billing and posting clerks is expected to rise in fast-growing healthcare industries. 

With a background as any type of financial clerk, you’ll be well-positioned to seek employment in similar fields if you find the job opportunities for payroll and timekeeping clerks slim in your area. The states with the highest employment levels for payroll and timekeeping clerks are California, Texas, New York, Pennsylvania, and Florida. However, the highest concentration of these jobs per thousand is in Oklahoma, California, Louisiana, North Dakota, and Kansas. 

Where Do Payroll and Timekeeping Clerks Work?

Payroll and timekeeping clerks typically work in an office environment, logging regular weekday hours. Job opportunities are most common in large companies and enterprises or specialized businesses that provide payroll and timekeeping services on an outsourced basis to a number of clients. Elementary and secondary schools, employment services, and the local government also employ a large number of professionals in this field. 

What Education is Required to Become a Payroll and Timekeeping Clerk?

Payroll and timekeeping clerks need a minimum of a high school diploma. The limited number of job openings in this field could lead to stiff competition. You can increase your employability as a payroll and timekeeping clerk by pursuing continuing education. An AAS Human Resource Specialist Degree will help equip you for a position in this and other human resource positions. 

This degree program at Bryant & Stratton College requires just 39 credit hours. Courses cover accounting principles, business law and ethics, employment law and labor relations, organizational behavior and leadership, and more. These subjects will give you a well-rounded education with a strong emphasis on human resources. You’ll be equipped for a position not only as a payroll and timekeeping clerk, but in many other related areas as well. 

What Can I Do with an AAS Human Resource Specialist Degree?

An AAS Human Resource Specialist degree will equip you for a variety of jobs in human resources. You can become a financial clerk specializing in payroll and timekeeping or you might choose a different specialty such as brokerage, procurement, new accounts, insurance claims and policy processing, credit authorization, or billing and posting. 

Jobs in this area can go by many titles. Some other positions that you might want to look into include: 

  • Account clerk 
  • Payroll clerk 
  • Checkman 
  • Bookkeeper 
  • Fiscal technician 
  • Paymaster 
  • Payroll administrator 
  • Personnel technician 
  • Timekeeper 
  • Time clerk 
  • Employment coordinator 
  • Employment specialist 
  • Human resources coordinator 
  • Personnel coordinator 
  • Employee benefits manager 
  • Employee relations manager 

With an AAS Human Resource Specialist degree, you’ll be well-equipped for any of these or similar jobs in the field of human resources. This is a diverse career area where you can find many opportunities in companies of all sizes. 

For more information on how an AAS Human Resource Specialist degree can help you in your future career, visit the human resource section of our blog. You’ll find a wealth of information to give you deeper insights into this field of study and the careers associated with it.

While these projections can help career-minded people evaluate potential employment fields, it is important to note that job market data from the US Bureau of Labor Statistics Occupational Handbook is only intended to provide insight on occupational opportunities. It should not be construed as a guarantee of salary or job title. Neither BLS nor Bryant & Stratton College can guarantee employment in any field.

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