If you’re a payroll specialist or just looking to become one, we celebrate you! It’s National Payroll Week from September 4th – 8th which honors the hard work by America’s 150 million wage earners and the payroll professionals who pay them. Together, did you know you contribute, collect, report and deposit approximately $2.2 trillion, or 67 percent, of the annual revenue of the U.S. Treasury? That’s something to be proud of!

As a trusted career partner to thousands of payroll specialists every year, we know how valuable and crucial you are to the success of organizations across the globe. We also know you’ve chosen, or are considering, a profession with a very bright future. In fact, the estimated job growth for 2012-2022 is 13 percent, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.

In honor of the important work payroll specialists tackle every day, Randstad Professionals has compiled five strategies to help you advance your career even further.

1. Consider continuing education.

Although payroll specialists generally don’t need a degree to secure a job, pursuing additional education or training can certainly make you stand out among your peers. Consider taking some courses in accounting and math from a local community college or online institute. Not only will the investment pay off in your skill and knowledge level, but it will help lead to a promotion to payroll accountant or payroll manager down the road.

2. Get certified.

Again, although payroll specialists aren’t often required to have a certification, it can go a long way in giving you a competitive edge. The American Payroll Association (APA) Certified Payroll Professional (CPP) provides certification to individuals with payroll knowledge and experience. And, after at least one year of payroll experience and passing of the Uniform Certified Payroll Specialist examination, you can also become a Licensed Payroll Certification Specialist through the National Association of Certified Public Bookkeepers (NACPB).

3. Stay equipped with latest technologies.

Generally speaking, the more you learn and master emerging technologies, the more you will stand out to your boss. Take advantage of any training offered by your employer. If none is available to you, take to the web to find reasonable outside options to help you learn as many payroll software platforms as possible. For example, your employer may consider switching from QuickBooks to a more modern online payroll solution. If you’re familiar with both, you will be a very valuable asset to your company and more marketable to future ones as well.

4. Brush up on your communication skills.

Payroll can be confusing to co-workers or clients who aren’t familiar with the process. The more adept you are at explaining the inner workings of payroll to employees at every level of the company, the more you will be seen as a leader. Similarly, you will often interact with clients, HR staff and other peers, so brushing up on your customer service skills is key.

5. Demonstrate your initiative.

If you’re looking to move up or secure a raise, you must demonstrate initiative on the job as often as possible. Business leaders need their payroll processes to be as efficient as can be, so look for opportunities to offer solutions and suggestions to streamline or maximize the payroll process. Take part in any cross-departmental committees or initiatives to learn how other areas of the business function. This will help you uncover possible improvements in the payroll process.

National Payroll Week is the perfect time to start furthering your career as a payroll specialist, and rock your job! For more career advice, visit our career resources site. If the payroll specialist profession sounds like it’s up your alley, check out the hundreds of open job opportunities offered by Randstad Professionals. We thank all the payroll specialists for keeping workers paid and businesses running!