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Payroll Administrator Level 3 Apprenticeship Standard

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What is a Payroll Administrator?

Payroll Administrators will, typically, have responsibility for setting up and operating the payroll within the organisation in which they are employed or on behalf of another organisation.  The role may be located within a business / organisation or in a payroll bureau, bookkeeping or accounting practice, or professional services company.  The job may sit within the HR or Finance function.

In medium to large organisations, a Payroll Administrator may work as part of a team, often reporting to a team leader, supervisor or manager.  In smaller organisations, a Payroll Administrator may be a stand-alone role with sole responsibility for the payroll function. Additionally, and depending on their role within the organisation, a Payroll Administrator may also have responsibility for the accurate and timely completion of routine and non-routine payroll-related calculations and other information.

Duties of a Payroll Administrator

  • Gathering, creation and processing of payroll-related information to ensure employees are paid on time and accurately. This will be via payroll software, though it’s use must be accompanied by the ability to perform this manually
  • Compliance with legislative and contractual obligations
  • Internal and external reporting of payroll information to deadlines
  • Effective and appropriate communication with employees and relevant stakeholders
  • Working to relevant ethical and professional standards in a legislative and regulatory environment that is constantly changing

Typical Job Roles for a Payroll Administrator

Payroll Administrator / Payroll Junior / Payroll Assistant / Payroll Officer / Payroll Clerk / Payroll Advisor / Payroll Executive / Payroll Analyst / Reward Administrator / Bureau Administrator / HR and Payroll Officer.

Typical Skills & Behaviours of a Payroll Administrator

Proactive planning and prioritisation, apply analysis skills, demonstrate the use of systems and processes, produces quality and accurate information, works collaboratively in teams, communicates and engages with stakeholders, demonstrates ethics and integrity, adapts positively to changing situations, demonstrates professional scepticism, proactive, enthusiastic and is positive about professional development. 

What Will I Achieve?

  • Payroll Administrator Level 3 Apprenticeship Standard
  • Functional Skills English Level 2 – (If previously not exempt)
  • Functional Skills Maths Level 2 – (If previously not exempt)


  • An apprentice will typically take 18-24 months to complete the Payroll Administrator Level 3 Apprenticeship Standard

Working Hours & Salary

An apprentice will usually work between 30 – 40 hours per week and will earn a minimum of £4.15 per hour. This will vary between different employers and criteria of the apprentice.

Career Progression

Whilst studying this apprenticeship, an Administrator will be eligible for immediate professional body recognition at Student Affiliate level of the Global Payroll Association (GPA).  Also, professional body recognition as a student member at the Chartered Institute of Payroll Professionals (CIPP).  Successful completion of the apprenticeship will provide eligibility to apply for Individual Affiliate membership of the GPA and Associate membership of the CIPP.

Following the completion of the Payroll Administrator Apprenticeship, the Apprentice may consider progression opportunities to more senior positions such as Team Leader, Supervisor or Manager within Payroll, or to move to related roles in departments such as HR, Finance or Pensions.

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