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Career and Education Opportunities for Payroll Bookkeepers in Huntsville, Alabama

Huntsville, Alabama provides a wide variety of opportunities, both career and educational, for payroll bookkeepers. About 3,410 people are currently employed as payroll bookkeepers in Alabama. By 2016, this is expected to grow by 7% to 3,630 people employed. This is better than the nation as a whole, where employment opportunities for payroll bookkeepers are expected to shrink by about 5.2%. Payroll bookkeepers generally compile and post employee time and payroll data.

Income for payroll bookkeepers is about $14 per hour or $30,600 per year on average in Alabama. Nationally, their income is about $16 hourly or $34,810 per year. Earnings for payroll bookkeepers are better than earnings in the general category of Clerical in Alabama and better than general Clerical category earnings nationally.

There are three schools within twenty-five miles of Huntsville where you can study to be a payroll bookkeeper, among eleven schools of higher education total in the Huntsville area. Given that the most common education level for payroll bookkeepers is a high school diploma or GED, it will take only a short time to learn to be a payroll bookkeeper if you already have a high school diploma.

CAREER DESCRIPTION: Payroll Bookkeeper

Payroll Bookkeeper video from the State of New Jersey Dept. of Labor and Workforce Development

In general, payroll bookkeepers compile and post employee time and payroll data. They also may compute employees' time worked, production, and commission.

Payroll bookkeepers inspect time sheets and other data to uncover and reconcile payroll discrepancies. They also verify attendance and pay adjustments, and post data onto designated archives. Equally important, payroll bookkeepers have to compile employee time and payroll data from time sheets and other archives. They are often called upon to issue and record adjustments to pay pertaining to previous errors or retroactive increases. They are expected to process and issue employee paychecks and statements of earnings and deductions. Finally, payroll bookkeepers compute wages and deductions, and enter data into computers.

Every day, payroll bookkeepers are expected to be able to listen to and understand others in meetings. It is also important that they write clearly and communicate well.

It is important for payroll bookkeepers to keep track of leave time, such as vacation and sick leave, for employees. They are often called upon to conduct verifications of employment. They also keep informed about changes in tax and deduction laws that apply to the payroll process. They are sometimes expected to distribute and collect timecards each pay period. Somewhat less frequently, payroll bookkeepers are also expected to ready and balance period-end reports, and reconcile issued payrolls to bank statements.

Payroll bookkeepers sometimes are asked to post relevant work hours to client files to bill clients properly. and direct special programs. And finally, they sometimes have to complete time sheets showing employees' arrival and departure times.

Like many other jobs, payroll bookkeepers must be thorough and dependable and be reliable.

Similar jobs with educational opportunities in Huntsville include:

  • Broker Assistant. Perform clerical duties involving the purchase or sale of securities. Duties include writing orders for stock purchases and sales, computing transfer taxes, verifying stock transactions, accepting and delivering securities, tracking stock price fluctuations, computing equity, and keeping records of daily transactions and holdings.
  • Payroll Machine Operator. Operate machines that automatically perform mathematical processes, such as addition, subtraction, and division, to calculate and record billing, accounting, and other numerical data. Duties include operating special billing machines to prepare statements, bills, and invoices, and operating bookkeeping machines to copy and post data, make computations, and compile records of transactions.
  • Statistical Clerk. Compile and compute data according to statistical formulas for use in statistical studies. May perform actuarial computations and compile charts and graphs for use by actuaries. Includes actuarial clerks.

EDUCATIONAL OPPORTUNITIES: Payroll Bookkeeper Training

Virginia College-Huntsville - Huntsville, AL

Virginia College-Huntsville, 2800 Bob Wallace Ave, Huntsville, AL 35805-9945. Virginia College-Huntsville is a small college located in Huntsville, Alabama. It is a private for-profit school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 915 students and an admission rate of 83%. Virginia College-Huntsville has a one to two year and an associate's degree program in Accounting Technology/Technician and Bookkeeping which graduated two and five students respectively in 2008.

Snead State Community College - Boaz, AL

Snead State Community College, 220 North Walnut Street, Boaz, AL 35957-0734. Snead State Community College is a small college located in Boaz, Alabama. It is a public school with primarily 2-year programs and has 2,234 students. Snead State Community College has a less than one year program in Accounting Technology/Technician and Bookkeeping which graduated three students in 2008.

J F Drake State Technical College - Huntsville, AL

J F Drake State Technical College, 3421 Meridian St N, Huntsville, AL 35811. J F Drake State Technical College is a small college located in Huntsville, Alabama. It is a public school with primarily 2-year programs and has 780 students. J F Drake State Technical College has a one to two year and an associate's degree program in Accounting Technology/Technician and Bookkeeping which graduated five and eight students respectively in 2008.


Fundamental Payroll Certification: The Fundamental Payroll Certification (FPC) is open to all those who wish to demonstrate a baseline of payroll competency.

For more information, see the American Payroll Association website.


Huntsville, Alabama
Huntsville, Alabama photo by Anivron

Huntsville is located in Madison County, Alabama. It has a population of over 176,645, which has grown by 11.6% over the last ten years. The cost of living index in Huntsville, 82, is well below the national average. New single-family homes in Huntsville are valued at $44,900 on average, which is far less than the state average. In 2008, 1,004 new homes were constructed in Huntsville, down from 1,558 the previous year.

The top three industries for women in Huntsville are health care, educational services, and accommodation and food services. For men, it is professional, scientific, and technical services, public administration, and construction. The average commute to work is about 18 minutes. More than 36.1% of Huntsville residents have a bachelor's degree, which is higher than the state average. The percentage of residents with a graduate degree, 12.7%, is higher than the state average.

The unemployment rate in Huntsville is 7.6%, which is less than Alabama's average of 10.7%.

The percentage of Huntsville residents that are affiliated with a religious congregation, 55.2%, is more than the national average but less than the state average. Whitesburg Church of God, Whitesburg Church and Maple Grove Church are among the churches located in Huntsville. The most common religious groups are the Southern Baptist Convention, the United Methodist Church and the Catholic Church.

Huntsville is home to the Valley Hill Golf and Country Club and the Lowe Industrial Park as well as John H Steigerwood Field and Milton Frank Stadium. Shopping malls in the area include Madison Plaza Shopping Center, Madison Square Mall Shopping Center and Memorial Plaza Shopping Center. Visitors to Huntsville can choose from King's Inn, Candlewood Suites and Economy Inn for temporary stays in the area.