The Payroll Certificate prepares students for entry-level employment as payroll clerks. Payroll clerks are responsible for handling payroll issues, tax preparation, and year-end reporting for organizations and companies. The one-year certificate program is designed to accommodate those who are employed full-time or are attending college on a part-time basis, seeking to upgrade their existing employment skills or begin a job in payroll. This program will also help prepare those students who want to pursue certification credentials through the American Payroll Association.

This program is available to be completed 100% online.

Program contact: Learn more

This certificate will be automatically awarded when the certificate requirements are completed. If you do not want to receive the certificate, please notify the Office of the Registrar at

Learn more here, here, here, here, and here about how certificate credits apply to the related degrees.

Program Admission Requirements

  • High School Diploma/GED not required, but highly recommended.
  • ENG-0995 Applied College Literacies or appropriate score on English Placement Test. 
  • MATH-0955 Beginning Algebra or qualified Math Placement.

Program Learning Outcomes

This program is designed to prepare students to demonstrate the following learning outcomes:

  1. Communicate payroll and related information both verbally and in writing, relative to their knowledge and skill level with internal and external constituents, both inside and outside the field.
  2. Work collaboratively, professionally, ethically, and with fiduciary responsibility to process payroll in a manner that is within the appropriate professional code of conduct.
  3. Accurately record and apply fundamental accounting processes to properly record routine and nonroutine payroll transactions.
  4. Utilize office suite products, including spreadsheets, database, word processing, presentation, and enterprise-wide technology along with proprietary accounting software to record and process payroll transactions.
  5. Be prepared to sit for the Fundamental Payroll certification examination presented by the American Payroll Association.

Suggested Semester Sequence

Plan of Study Grid
First SemesterCredit Hours
ACCT-1041 Individual Taxation 4
ACCT-1311 Financial Accounting 3
BADM-1020 Introduction to Business 3
Select one of the following: 3
College Composition I
Honors College Composition I
Select one of the following: 3
Computer Applications
Honors Computer Applications
 Credit Hours16
Second Semester
ACCT-1030 Payroll 3
ACCT-1520 QuickBooks Immersion 2
BADM-2151 Business Law 3
Select from the following: 3-4
ACCT elective course (see below list) 1
Finance Elective
Select one of the following: 3
Business Communications
Business Communications
 Credit Hours14-15
 Total Credit Hours30-31

ACCT-1020 Applied Accounting cannot be used to fulfill elective requirement.  Students must earn at least 3 credits of Accounting/Finance Elective coursework to meet the minimum credit hour requirement for completing a certificate of proficiency.


Choose one elective from the following courses.

ACCT-1011Business Math Applications3
ACCT-1551Excel for Accountants2
ACCT-2041Business Taxation4
ACCT-1341Managerial Accounting3
ACCT-2310Intermediate Accounting I4
ACCT-2500Governmental/Non-Profit Accounting4
ACCT-2830Cooperative Field Experience2-3
FIN-1061Personal Finance3

MATH-1140, MATH-1141, MATH-1200, MATH-1270, and MATH-1280 can no longer count towards fulfilling the college-level mathematics requirement.  These courses were re-classified as developmental mathematics by the state of Ohio in 2016.  Tri-C established a 5-year transitioning window for students who had completed these courses prior to 2016 to apply them towards meeting graduation requirements, which expired in Summer 2021. It is highly recommended to see a counselor to determine the appropriate math required for your current major.