Popular Careers

Career Development

Career development resources for aspiring professionals.

Career Change Center

Career change guides, tutorials and resources for professionals in transition.

Job Search Resources

Job search resources, websites, guides and directories for job seekers.

Career and Education Opportunities for Payroll Bookkeepers in Vancouver, Washington

For those living in the Vancouver, Washington area, there are many career and education opportunities for payroll bookkeepers. There are currently 3,860 working payroll bookkeepers in Washington; this should grow by 16% to 4,460 working payroll bookkeepers in the state 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.

A person working as a payroll bookkeeper can expect to earn about $18 hourly or $39,060 yearly on average in Washington and about $16 per hour or $34,810 per year on average in the U.S. as a whole. Payroll bookkeepers earn more than people working in the category of Clerical generally in Washington and more than people in the Clerical category nationally.

The Vancouver area is home to forty-eight schools of higher education, including five within twenty-five miles of Vancouver where you can get a degree as a payroll bookkeeper. 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 Vancouver 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.
  • Front Desk Manager. Accommodate hotel, motel, and resort patrons by registering and assigning rooms to guests, issuing room keys, transmitting and receiving messages, keeping records of occupied rooms and guests' accounts, making and confirming reservations, and presenting statements to and collecting payments from departing guests.
  • 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.
  • Store Clerk. Receive, store, and issue sales floor merchandise. Stock shelves, racks, and tables with merchandise and arrange merchandise displays to attract customers. May periodically take physical count of stock or check and mark merchandise.
  • 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

Clark College - Vancouver, WA

Clark College, 1933 Fort Vancouver Way, Vancouver, WA 98663-3598. Clark College is a large college located in Vancouver, Washington. It is a public school with primarily 2-year programs and has 10,378 students. Clark College has a one to two year and an associate's degree program in Accounting Technology/Technician and Bookkeeping which graduated three and twelve students respectively in 2008.

Mt Hood Community College - Gresham, OR

Mt Hood Community College, 26000 SE Stark St, Gresham, OR 97030. Mt Hood Community College is a medium sized college located in Gresham, Oregon. It is a public school with primarily 2-year programs and has 7,251 students. Mt Hood Community College has a one to two year and an associate's degree program in Accounting Technology/Technician and Bookkeeping which graduated four and four students respectively in 2008.

Portland Community College - Portland, OR

Portland Community College, 12000 SW 49th Avenue, Portland, OR 97219-7132. Portland Community College is a large college located in Portland, Oregon. It is a public school with primarily 2-year programs and has 26,657 students. Portland Community College has a less than one year and an associate's degree program in Accounting Technology/Technician and Bookkeeping which graduated zero and twenty-five students respectively in 2008.

Clackamas Community College - Oregon City, OR

Clackamas Community College, 19600 Molalla Ave, Oregon City, OR 97045-8980. Clackamas Community College is a medium sized college located in Oregon City, Oregon. It is a public school with primarily 2-year programs and has 6,701 students. Clackamas Community College has a one to two year program in Accounting Technology/Technician and Bookkeeping which graduated five students in 2008.

Everest College-Portland - Portland, OR

Everest College-Portland, 425 SW Washington, Portland, OR 97204-2296. Everest College-Portland is a small college located in Portland, Oregon. It is a private for-profit school with primarily 2-year programs. It has 764 students and an admission rate of 49%. Everest College-Portland has a less than one year program in Accounting Technology/Technician and Bookkeeping which graduated two 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: Vancouver, Washington

Vancouver, Washington
Vancouver, Washington photo by Matthiasb

Vancouver is located in Clark County, Washington. It has a population of over 163,186, which has grown by 13.7% in the past ten years. The cost of living index in Vancouver, 98, is near the national average. New single-family homes in Vancouver are priced at $95,700 on average, which is far less than the state average. In 2008, two hundred eighty new homes were built in Vancouver, down from four hundred twenty the previous year.

The three most popular industries for women in Vancouver are health care, educational services, and accommodation and food services. For men, it is construction, computer and electronic products, and accommodation and food services. The average travel time to work is about 23 minutes. More than 21.7% of Vancouver residents have a bachelor's degree, which is lower than the state average. The percentage of residents with a graduate degree, 7.4%, is lower than the state average.

The unemployment rate in Vancouver is 7.8%, which is less than Washington's average of 8.7%.

The percentage of Vancouver residents that are affiliated with a religious congregation, 27.9%, is less than both the national and state average. The most prominent religious groups are the Catholic Church, the LDS (Mormon) Church and the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America.

Vancouver is home to the Vancouver Square and the Vancouver Plaza as well as Leverich Park and Wintler Park. Shopping malls in the area include Arbours Shopping Center, Millport Shopping Center and Vancouver Village Shopping Center. Visitors to Vancouver can choose from Comfort Suites Vancouver, Homewood Suites Portland-Vancouver and Best Western Hotel and Suites Vacouver Mall Dr for temporary stays in the area.