MerSETA Payroll Manager Jobs & Courses

How to Become a Payroll Manager in South Africa: Qualifications, Jobs and Salary

Payroll Managers are responsible for overseeing the regular payroll processes for an organization and its employees. Their duties also include checking timesheets, the accuracy of pay computations, and ensuring all necessary documents are processed on time.  

A Payroll Manager requires a solid set of skills and qualifications that result from mandatory Payroll Manager courses and apprenticeships. Proper learning and training provide future professionals with essential knowledge of how to manage payrolls within a company.

Payroll Manager jobs in South Africa pay a reliable salary. This specialization comes with essential benefits and good prospects for qualified labourers. Furthermore, they can apply for Payroll Manager positions in various sectors, such as large companies, and government institutions.

Payroll Manager

What Qualifications Do You Need to Become a Payroll Manager?

Manufacturing, Engineering and Related Services Sector Education and Training Authority

About the accreditation, courses & Seta


NQF Levels: NQF 4    

SAQA Code:

97388   – Occupational Certificate

Payroll Managers must have an excellent understanding of business and accounting. They must also have excellent interpersonal skills. Lastly, they make sure that all the employees in an organization receive their salaries according to their contracts.

To work as a Payroll Manager, one must have a Matric Grade 9 certificate confirming the completion of the studies period. Some employers may require higher certifications. Registered operators in this field have to gain their skills and knowledge from short courses and training before they are eligible to earn an entry-level salary.

The job of a Payroll Manager in South Africa is part of the MerSETA (Manufacturing Engineering and Related Services Sector Education and Training Authority) environment.

Payroll Manager

To be able to apply for this position, you must:

  • Be at least 16 years old.
  • Have a bachelor’s degree in business administration, finance, accounting, or a related field.
  • Computer Literacy at NQF level 4
  • Mathematical Literacy at NQF level 4
  • Communications at NQF level 4
  • Possess outstanding knowledge of business, personnel management, and accounting.
  • Have a national certificate that shows you have completed Payroll Manager courses.

Besides these mandatory qualifications, a Payroll Manager must also prove the following traits:

  • Be physically fit to work in various organizational environments.
  • Be mentally strong to handle the pressure that comes from dealing with people every day.
  • Be able to work for long hours.
  • Enjoy accounting and other business calculations.
  • Possess a thorough knowledge of business and employee management.
  • Be able to complete payroll management reports.
  • Have a strong sense of practicality.

According to the South African Qualifications Authority (SAQA), having a Payroll Manager job also implies these requirements:

  • An in-depth understanding of health and safety compliance rules in the workplace.
  • Have above-average mathematical, accounting, and computer abilities.
  • Have excellent interpersonal skills.
  • Be precise and reliable.
  • Show confidence, persuasiveness, and resilience.
  • The ability to work well with others.
  • A great set of communication skills.
  • Be proficient in speech and writing.
  • Be analytically-orientated.
  • Be transparent, fair, and trustworthy.

What is a Payroll Manager’s Job?

Expert Payroll Managers have a broad range of mathematical, computing, and communication abilities, which they gain from study and hands-on experience.

Payroll Managers use their knowledge and skills to organize a company’s payroll and ensure that it meets the legal payment obligations for its employees. Also, they have to mediate salary issues that may arise from employee requests and contractual regulations.

Being a Payroll Manager comes with very few occupational hazards and dangers. Such professionals rarely have to travel outside their office. Also, they work independently and without the need for supervision.

A Payroll Manager’s main duties include:

  • Managing and ensure that an organization meets its payment obligations towards its employees.
  • Checking the accuracy of timesheets and pay computations.
  • Answering any questions regarding timekeeping and payroll.
  • Helping workers with their requests for payroll-related issues.
  • Ensure that all the payroll-related documents get processed in time.

Payroll Manager

After finishing Payroll Manager courses and four years as an apprentice, one can begin a career as a drafter in sectors like:

  • Government departments
  • Municipalities
  • Large companies
  • Manufacturers
  • Suppliers and distributors
  • Private firms

How Much Does a Payroll Manager Earn in a Year?

A proper set of mathematics and accounting skills together with the obligatory Payroll Manager studies can help a professional earn an above-average salary in South Africa.

At the moment, the average hourly pay for Payroll Managers is R225. Depending on your level of abilities and experience, you can earn between R122 and R380 per hour. In addition, you may also receive a bonus ranging between R16,000 and R80,000 for an entire year.

As a student or apprentice, you may earn only the minimum rate at first. However, in time, you can earn an average of R431,825 per year. The most that you can make within 12 months of working as a Payroll Manager in South Africa is R719k, which is well above the average wage.

How to Work as a Payroll Manager in South Africa

South Africa has a broad market for Payroll Manager jobs. There is substantial demand for such professionals in several industries and sectors, with more than 110 listings currently available. Candidates that meet the mandatory qualifications and expert skills have several directories available to apply for this specialization.

Payroll Manager courses give you an in-depth understanding of what this vocation requires. They help you acquire skills and experience that are impossible to obtain through other learning methods. By having a certificate that proves you had training in the field, you have an immediate advantage over other candidates for the same job. 

Working as a Payroll Manager in South Africa gives you the freedom to pick a field of work from numerous industries and job sites. Additionally, with enough experience and knowledge, you can start your payroll manager business and practise the trade privately.