National Credential
Credential: Certified Payroll Professional (CPP)  In-Demand resource  GI Bill resource
Credentialing Agency: American Payroll Association

The Certified Payroll Professional (CPP) certification is for those who have achieved professional profiency in all aspects of taxation and tax reporting, MIS, human resources, and accounting as each of these relate to the payroll environment. Candidates must meet the experience and/or education requirments as well as pass a written exam.

More information can be found on the certifying agency's website.

Renewal Period: 5 years

Certified Payroll Professional (CPP)

The following Army Occupations provide training and/or experience that contributes to attaining this credential:

Personnel Category Occupation Occupation Type Related As Promotion Points Skill Level Star Proponent Funded Gap Analysis
Enlisted 36B Financial Management Technician MOS some  Promotion Points: This certification has been approved for promotion points. Click for more information.        
Enlisted 6T Military Auditor ASI some          
Enlisted 7F Chaplain Resources Manager ASI other          

Army Table Legend


Related As

The military occupations shown in this table are related to this credential in one of four ways: Most, Some, or Other.

Most: This credential is directly related to most of the major duties associated with the military occupation (at least 80%). Note that the credential may require additional education, training or experience before you are eligible for it.

Some: This credential is related to some tasks associated with the duties of the military occupation (related 80% to at least one or more critical tasks but less than 80% of all of the entire military occupation). Note that the credential may require additional education, training or experience before you are eligible for it.

Other: This credential is related to this military occupation, but is more advanced or specialized and therefore will likely require additional education, training, or experience.

Promotion Points Promotion Points icon

This credential has been approved for promotion points for this MOS towards promotion to Sergeant and Staff Sergeant. Clicking the Promotion Points icon will open a link to the promotion points fact sheet.

Skill Level Designation

Skill Level I: This skill level consists of all Soldiers in the ranks of Private (pay grade E-1) up to Specialist (pay grade E-4). Time in Service (TIS) is generally between initial entry and four Years of Service (YOS). This skill level is Entry-level positions requiring performance of tasks under direct supervision.

Institutional training:

  • Structured Self-Development (SSD) level I
  • Basic Leader Course (BLC)

Skill Level II: This skill level is obtained when promoted to Sergeant (paygrade E-5). TIS is generally between 4-8 YOS. Positions requiring performance of more difficult tasks under general supervision; and in some instances, involving supervision of Soldiers in SL1.

Institutional training:

  • Structured Self-Development (SSD) level II
  • Advance Leader Course (ALC)

Skill Level III: This skill level is obtained when promoted to Staff Sergeant (paygrade E-6). TIS is generally between 8-12 YOS. Positions requiring performance of still more difficult tasks and involving first line supervision of Soldiers in SL1 & SL2.

Institutional training:

  • Senior Leader Course (SLC)
  • Structured Self-Development (SSD) level III

Skill level IV: This skill level is obtained when promoted to the rank of Sergeant First Class (paygrade E-7). TIS is generally between 12-18 YOS. Positions requiring relatively detailed knowledge of all tasks specified for a given MOS, normally involving first-line supervision of Soldiers in SLs 1, 2, and 3, and involving managerial duties.

Institutional training:

  • Master Leader Course (MLC)
  • Structured Self-Development (SSD) level IV
  • Senior Enlisted Joint Professional Military Education (SEJPME) I Course

Skill level V: This skill level is obtained when promoted to the rank of Master Sergeant (paygrade E-8). TIS is generally between 18-22 YOS. Positions requiring direct and indirect leadership roles with expertise in company and battalion-level operations and competency across a given CMF, serving as members of a staff at every level in the Army, with a full understanding of the allocation of resources and their utilization in order to accomplish Army functions and missions.

Institutional training:

  • United States Army Sergeants Major Academy (USASMA)
  • Structured Self-Development (SSD) level V

Skill level VI: This skill level is obtained when promoted to the rank of Sergeants Major (paygrade E-9). TIS is generally between 22-30 YOS. Positions requiring organizational leadership roles with multi-dimensional expertise in units and teams on division, corps, and Army staffs, integrated with Joint, Interagency, Intergovernmental, and Multinational (JIIM) partners with a full understanding of the Force Generation process, operations at all echelons, and how the Army runs.

Star Credential Star icon

Star credentials are MOS enhancing, as designated by the Proponent. MOS enhancing credentials are directly related to an MOS or ASI, are taught either partially or completely as part of a Program of Instruction (POI), and improve the MOS technical proficiency.

Proponent Funded Funded icon

This icon indicates credentials which Soldiers may have funded through their MOS proponent. Some proponents offer credentialing opportunities in conjunction with military training and/or as part of MOS development beyond the training base.

Gap Analysis Has Analysis icon

A detailed analysis comparing the credential requirements to the military occupation has been completed. Click on the gap analysis icon to view the analysis page.

Certified Payroll Professional (CPP)

Eligibility Requirements ()

Note: This credential may have multiple options for becoming eligible. Listed below are the minimum requirements based on the minimum degree required. To view other options, see the Eligibility tab.

  • Credential Prerequisite
  • Experience: 3 years
  • Education
  • Training
  • Membership
  • Other
  • Fee

Exam Requirements ()

  • Written Exam
  • Oral Exam
  • Practical Exam
  • Performance Assessment

Renewal Period: 5 years

  • Continuing Education
  • Exam
  • Continuing Education OR Exam
  • Fee
  • Other

American Payroll Association
660 North Main Avenue
Suite 100
San Antonio, TX  78205-1721
Phone: (210) 226-4600
Fax: (210) 226-4027
Email: APA@americanpayroll.org

Certified Payroll Professional (CPP)

Option 1: Candidates should be directly or indirectly involved with practice of payroll for three out of five years preceding the date of the examination. The practice of payroll is defined as direct or related involvement in at least ONE (1) of the following: 

  • Payroll Production, Payroll Reporting, Payroll Accounting, Payroll Systems, and Payroll Taxation
  • Payroll Administration
  • Payroll Education/Consulting

Option 2: Candidates should be employed in practice of payroll for at least the last 24 months and should have completed, within the last 24 months, ALL of the APA courses listed on the APA Website.

Option 3: Candidates should be directly or indirectly involved with the practice of payroll for at least the last 18 months, should have obtained the Fundamental Payroll Certification (FPC) and completed, within the last 18 months, ALL of the APA courses listed on the APA Website.

Certified Payroll Professional (CPP)

  • Core Payroll Concepts (27%)
  • Compliance/Research and Resources (21%)
  • Calculation of the Paycheck (20%)
  • Payroll Process and Supporting Systems and Administration (9%)
  • Payroll Administration and Management (10%)
  • Audits (7%)
  • Accounting (6%)

There are a number of resources available to help you prepare for the Certified Payroll Professional (CPP) examination:

An additional resource is Safari Books Online, a searchable digital library that provides online access to thousands of books, training videos and conference sessions. See the Educational Resources page here on COOL to learn how to get free access.

Certified Payroll Professional (CPP)

Renewal Period: 5 years

The Certified Payroll Professional (CPP) credential has the following recertification information:

  • CPPs may be recertified by retaking and passing the CPP Examination during the fifth year of their certification period or by earning a minimum of 120 qualified and approved Recertification Credit Hours (RCHs).

Certified Payroll Professional (CPP)

Additional considerations for the Certified Payroll Professional (CPP) include:

  • APA membership is NOT required.
  • Candidates must know all regulations regarding fees and examination scheduling as per the candidate handbook.
  • Fees are non-refundable and non-transferable. If the candidate cannot take a test for any reason the appointment must be changed or canceled to avoid having to pay the exam fee.