Payroll Clerk


Payroll Clerk Training

If you're good with numbers, have strong organizational skills, and want to play a vital role in whatever company you work for, our online Payroll Clerk Training Program can help you prepare to take the first steps toward a new career today. With flexible, online courses, you'll learn how to become a payroll clerk and build essential industry skills on your schedule, from home.

  • Can prepare students for an entry-level career as a payroll clerk in a variety of industries.
  • Online payroll courses cover essential topics like how to report financial transactions, update statements, check financial records for accuracy, and more.
  • Graduates are eligible to sit for the National Association of Certified Public Bookkeepers (NACPB) Payroll Certification Exam, which can help your resume stand out when you're applying for jobs.
  • Our online programs are flexible enough for you to finish them at a pace that works for you, based on how much time you can dedicate to your coursework each week.
Self Paced

Save up to $190 Ends 4/30/2024

Cost of Program


$989 Save $190


$59/month, Start for as low as $20

1-800-471-3232 (9AM - 9PM ET)

payroll clerk working at a computer.

What You Will Learn

  1. How to track employee time and differentiate between types of employee compensation.
  2. How to identify, track, and account for all required employee deductions associated with benefits and all required wage taxes.
  3. How to properly classify workers, differentiating employees and private contractors based on the common law rule.
  4. How to understand the payroll outsourcing process and the pros and cons of outsourcing payroll.
Full Program Goal & Outcomes

Payroll Clerk Career Outcomes

Bookkeeping, Accounting, and Auditing Clerks





Our online Payroll Clerk Career Diploma can help students prepare to qualify for entry-level payroll clerk jobs in a variety of industries. Most payroll clerks will work in the accounting department of a company, though some may find jobs in human resources departments. After graduating from the program, students are eligible to sit for the National Association of Certified Public Bookkeepers (NACPB) Payroll Certification Exam to become a certified payroll clerk.

State Licensing Requirements

Licensing and/or certification requirements for jobs in certain fields are not the same in every state and may include educational, testing, and/or experiential requirements beyond those offered by your Penn Foster Program. You should contact the state professional licensing board or similar regulatory body in the state(s) where you plan to work to determine their requirements before enrolling in your program. See the State Licensing page for contact information for state licensing/regulatory boards and certain industry licensing information.

Online Payroll Course Curriculum

  • 15.4 continuing education units (CEUs)
  • 4 courses
  • 10 exams
  • 1 graded project

Estimated completion time:

  • Fast track = 2 months
  • Average time = 3 months

With Penn Foster, you can learn at whatever pace works best for you. Some learners will be more comfortable moving faster, and dedicating more time, and the fast track estimate will apply to them. The average track will apply to most learners who can dedicate a few hours per week to completing their coursework. The estimated completion times are based on completion times for learners enrolled in this program from May 2021 - April 2022, excluding withdrawals.

As part of our Payroll course curriculum, you'll learn the skills and knowledge essential to working in an entry-level role as a payroll clerk. Your online courses include:

  • Introduction to Payroll and Employees
  • Deductions and Payments
  • Payroll Accounting and Controls

Show Full Curriculum

Payroll Clerk Student Success Stories

Penn Foster’s Payroll Clerk Training Program can help prepare you for the first step in your career in accounting and bookkeeping. This program has helped recent graduates find new jobs or start their own businesses while learning at their own pace. Learn more about Penn Foster graduates' experiences and how Penn Foster worked for them.
View Student Success Stories
quote icon

Gabriella M.

Penn Foster Graduate, 2020

“I learned a lot in this course and it was easy to maneuver.”

Need to provide training for your workers?

Penn Foster currently works with hundreds of leading employers to meet their unique organizational needs.
Employbridge, VCA & Guild logos.
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Online Payroll Training Tuition

Take the first steps toward a new career with our online Payroll Clerk Career Training. Simply choose from one of our low-cost customized payment plans below and get started today!

Option 1: Pay in full

Save up to $190 Ends 4/30/2024

Cost of Program


$989 Save $190

  • Best price. Best value.
  • Pay the full cost today
  • No monthly payments
Enroll Now

Option 2: Monthly Auto Pay Plan

Cost of Program


  • Pay $59 per month
  • Start for $20 down
  • All major credit and debit cards accepted
Enroll Now

Option 3: Monthly Mail Pay Plan

cost of program


  • Pay $59 per month
  • Start for $39 down
  • Mail your payments
Enroll Now

California residents please click here for Required California Disclosures.

Need more info or ready to enroll?

Looking for more information on transfer credits, military benefits, or our refund policy? Find this information and more about tuition and enrollment here.

Tuition & Payment Options

We're here to help. Call 1-800-471-3232 (9AM - 9PM ET)

Request Info

Our Proven Payroll Clerk Learning Model

Empowering students to reach their professional goals


  • Start anytime
  • No exam due dates
  • Self-paced


  • Digital study guides
  • Self-check quizzes
  • Simulations and videos


  • 24/7 access to online resources
  • Online student community
  • Dedicated Learner Center


  • Expert faculty
  • Dedicated student services
  • Robust learning resources

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Payroll Clerk Program FAQs

Where can I work as a payroll clerk?

Many employers recognize the need for well-trained, detail-oriented payroll clerks to help their businesses be successful. The largest employers of payroll clerks include those in the professional services, retail and wholesale trade, and finance and insurance industries.

How do I become a certified payroll clerk?

In order to become a certified payroll clerk, you need education, on-the-job training, and successful completion of an industry-recognized certification exam. Through Penn Foster's Payroll Clerk Program, you'll get online training and learn essential skills relevant to the job. Upon graduation, you will be eligible to sit for the National Association of Certified Public Bookkeepers (NACPB) Payroll certification exam.

What are the job duties and responsibilities of a payroll clerk?

Payroll clerks compile and process employee payroll and timecard data, ensuring that workers are paid appropriately. Responsibilities include:

  • Calculating wages and deductions for paychecks.
  • Reviewing timesheets, work charts, wage computation, and other information to detect and reconcile payroll discrepancies.
  • Compiling employee time, production, and payroll data from timesheets and other records.
  • Processing paperwork for new employees and entering employee information into the payroll system.

What skills do you need to work as a payroll clerk?

Successful payroll clerks have a variety of skills. They should be detail-oriented, analytical, and organized in order to complete their daily tasks accurately and efficiently.

What is the difference between a payroll clerk and a bookkeeper?

Payroll clerks most often work in an accounting department, focusing on processing employee pay and paperwork. Bookkeepers, on the other hand, are responsible for the overall finances of a business, ensuring that revenue, spend, and more are recorded for accurate financial record-keeping.