What is an ideal Payroll Specialist salary range in Singapore?

By Robert Half on 12 December 2022

Having a top-notch Payroll Specialist on staff is essential for organisations in Singapore.

These professionals can make or break the morale of your other employees — and even their willingness to work for you — by ensuring everybody gets paid accurately and on time.

Or not.

Businesses in many sectors are booming, including real estate, manufacturing, and healthcare, which means increased hiring activity and more employees to pay.

New tax laws and other legislation in Singapore require companies to stay on top of myriad issues related to payroll, benefits, data privacy and more.

Financial software makes it easier than ever to automate processes and analyse data, and employers require tech-savvy professionals to get the most out of online payroll platforms and enterprise resource planning (ERP) systems.

Determining a Payroll Specialist salary range

Whether you need new talent to replace a departing employee or because your payroll department is growing, one thing is clear: You need to offer as competitive a salary as possible to land a top Payroll Specialist in Singapore.

But you can’t just pick a number out of the air. You probably shouldn’t even base it on what the previous employee made to determine the salary range.

On the low end of the scale are candidates who are new to a position and may still be developing their skills.

At the top of the range are professionals with a rich work history and several years of relevant experience. These candidates usually have attained their Certified Payroll Professional (CPP) credential and at least a bachelor’s degree.

Underneath the Payroll Specialist salary range is the midpoint salary for the position in Singapore. This is the standard starting compensation for a candidate with average experience and the necessary skills to get the job done.

The current midpoint salary range for a Payroll Specialist in Singapore is SGD$49,000, according to the Robert Half Salary Guide.

Related: Should I put the salary offer in my job advert?

What qualifications would determine the Payroll Specialist salary range

Employers should thoroughly examine a candidate’s experience, skills and education when considering what Payroll Specialist salary range to offer.

Although hiring managers often prefer candidates with payroll experience, entry-level payroll clerk jobs are available. Candidates need at least a high school diploma and proficiency in Microsoft Office to be considered for an entry-level payroll clerk position.

If the payroll clerk job requires end-to-end payroll processing, employers prefer an associate’s degree in a related field and payroll certification, or equivalent experience.

The education requirements are more stringent. Along with a bachelor’s degree or an associate’s degree and/or Certified Payroll Professional (CPP) designation, candidates should have a keen understanding of payroll software, accounting practices and payroll administration. Employers might relax the education criteria if candidates have significant experience administering payroll and employee benefits.

To work in payroll, candidates need a sharp eye for detail, excellent mathematical and time management skills plus the ability to multitask and work adeptly under pressure. Strong communication, organisational and problem-solving skills are also necessary. Honesty, trustworthiness, and reliability are also key.

What soft skills would impact the Payroll Specialist salary


As technology continues to impact finance operations, the way companies approach payroll and accounting is rapidly evolving. Savvy payroll specialists embrace these changes.

Collaboration and communication

Payroll specialists often work across departments, and communication is key in collaborative efforts. Top candidates should have a history of cross-departmental teamwork and be able to break down complex payroll concepts.


Payroll specialists are among the most in-demand positions in accounting and finance. When hiring payroll specialists, look for individuals with leadership skills who can be groomed to advance within your organisation.

Grace under pressure

Salary and benefits are touchy subjects and can be confusing to some employees. Payroll specialists may often be required to deal with frustrated colleagues. Candidates must be able to maintain their composure and handle these interactions with a delicate touch.


These professionals are privy to private and proprietary data, so standout candidates should be up to date on the latest in data protection and cyber-security.

Related: 4 ways to offer a competitive salary and benefits this year

Extra benefits to offer a Payroll Specialist

Because payroll specialists are in high demand, jobseekers in Singapore know they have choices. They give a high priority to competitive medical benefits, healthy work-life balance and the other extras that make the difference between a good job and a great one.

Benefits (assistance with basic needs)

  • Health insurance
  • Paid time off
  • Gym membership

Perks (privileges sometimes tied to performance or seniority, usually non-monetary)

  • Flexible work schedule
  • Compressed workweek
  • Telecommuting

Incentives (motivational rewards often tied to performance, usually monetary)

  • Annual or biannual bonus
  • Profit sharing plan
  • Sign-on bonus

In an ongoing talent shortage, it’s crucial to keep pace with the competition for talent in Singapore and their compensation packages so you can make an offer that won’t be refused - and ensure current workers don’t leave for greener pastures.

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