Career and Education Opportunities for Payroll Bookkeepers in Anchorage, Alaska
If you want to be a payroll bookkeeper, the Anchorage, Alaska area offers many opportunities both for education and employment. Currently, 570 people work as payroll bookkeepers in Alaska. This is expected to grow 3% to 590 people by 2016. This is better than the national trend for payroll bookkeepers, which sees this job pool shrinking by about 5.2% over the next eight years. Payroll bookkeepers generally compile and post employee time and payroll data.
Payroll bookkeepers earn approximately $18 hourly or $39,290 annually on average in Alaska. Nationally they average about $16 hourly or $34,810 yearly. Compared with people working in the overall category of Clerical, people working as payroll bookkeepers in Alaska earn more. They earn more than people working in the overall category of Clerical nationally.
There are four schools of higher education in the Anchorage area, including one within twenty-five miles of Anchorage where you can get a degree to start your career as a payroll bookkeeper. Payroll bookkeepers usually hold a high school diploma or GED, so you can expect to spend only a short time training to become a payroll bookkeeper if you already have a high school diploma.
CAREER DESCRIPTION: Payroll Bookkeeper
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 Anchorage 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.
- Correspondence Clerk. Compose letters in reply to requests for merchandise, damage claims, credit and other information, delinquent accounts, or unsatisfactory services. Duties may include gathering data to formulate reply and typing correspondence.
- Courtroom Clerk. Perform clerical duties in court of law; prepare docket of cases to be called; secure information for judges; and contact witnesses, attorneys, and litigants to obtain information for court.
- File Clerk. File correspondence, cards, and other records in alphabetical or numerical order or according to the filing system used. Locate and remove material from file when requested.
- Human Resources Administrator. Compile and keep personnel records. Record data for each employee, such as address, weekly earnings, absences, amount of sales or production, supervisory reports on ability, and date of and reason for termination. Compile and type reports from employment records. File employment records. Search employee files and furnish information to authorized persons.
- Insurance Claims Processor. Obtain information from insured or designated persons for purpose of settling claim with insurance carrier.
- Insurance Processing Clerk. Process applications for, changes to, and cancellation of insurance policies. Duties include reviewing insurance applications to ensure that all questions have been answered, compiling data on insurance policy changes, changing policy records to conform to insured party's specifications, compiling data on lapsed insurance policies to determine automatic reinstatement according to company policies, canceling insurance policies as requested by agents, and verifying the accuracy of insurance company records.
- License Clerk. Issue licenses or permits to qualified applicants. Obtain necessary information; record data; advise applicants on requirements; collect fees; and issue licenses. May conduct oral, written, or performance testing.
- Mail Clerk. Prepare incoming and outgoing mail for distribution. Use hand or mail handling machines to time stamp, open, and route incoming mail; and address, seal, and affix postage to outgoing mail or packages. Duties may also include keeping necessary records and completed forms.
- Municipal Clerk. Draft agendas and bylaws for town or city council; record minutes of council meetings; answer official correspondence; keep fiscal records and accounts; and prepare reports on civic needs.
- Office Clerk. Perform duties too varied and diverse to be classified in any specific office clerical occupation, requiring limited knowledge of office management systems and procedures. Clerical duties may be assigned in accordance with the office procedures of individual establishments and may include a combination of answering telephones, bookkeeping, typing or word processing, stenography, office machine operation, and filing.
- Order Clerk. Receive and process incoming orders for materials, merchandise, or services such as repairs, installations, or rental of facilities. Duties include informing customers of receipt, prices, and delays; preparing contracts; and handling complaints.
- 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.
- Procurement Clerk. Compile information and records to draw up purchase orders for procurement of materials and services.
- Receptionist. Answer inquiries and obtain information for general public, customers, and other interested parties. Provide information regarding activities conducted at establishment; location of departments, offices, and employees within organization.
- 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.
- Weighter. Weigh, measure, and check materials, supplies, and equipment for the purpose of keeping relevant records. Duties are primarily clerical by nature.
EDUCATIONAL OPPORTUNITIES: Payroll Bookkeeper Training
University of Alaska Anchorage - Anchorage, AK
University of Alaska Anchorage, 3211 Providence Drive, Anchorage, AK 99508. University of Alaska Anchorage is a large university located in Anchorage, Alaska. It is a public school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 16,649 students and an admission rate of 68%. University of Alaska Anchorage has a less than one year program in Accounting Technology/Technician and Bookkeeping which graduated three students 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.
LOCATION INFORMATION: Anchorage, Alaska
Anchorage is located in Anchorage Municipality County, Alaska. It has a population of over 279,243, which has grown by 7.3% in the past ten years. The cost of living index in Anchorage, 89, is well below the national average.
The top three industries for women in Anchorage are health care, educational services, and public administration. For men, it is construction, public administration, and accommodation and food services. The average travel time to work is about 20 minutes. More than 28.9% of Anchorage residents have a bachelor's degree, which is higher than the state average. The percentage of residents with a graduate degree, 10.2%, is higher than the state average.
Anchorage is home to the Chugach and the Black Bear Campground as well as Baxter Bog Park and Alaska Railroad Power Reserve. Visitors to Anchorage can choose from Courtyard Anchorage, Creekwood Inn and The Voyager Hotel for temporary stays in the area.