APA’s PayTrain® College & University program consists of two courses: PayTrain Level 1 and PayTrain Level 2. These live, instructor-led classes are offered by colleges and universities across the U.S. as non-credit, continuing education courses.

Course One: PayTrain Level 1

The PayTrain Level 1 course teaches the fundamental payroll calculations, completion of forms, and applications providing students with the essential knowledge, skills, and abilities required to maintain your organization’s payroll compliance while preventing costly penalties. This course is ideal for new payroll professionals, those who support the payroll industry, and those who are preparing for the FPC exam. PayTrain Level 1 is a prerequisite for the PayTrain Level 2 course.

Topics include the introductory study of:
  • Module 1: Payroll Concepts
  • Module 2: Calculations of Pay
  • Module 3: Calculations of Deductions and Net Pay
  • Module 4: Fringe Benefits and Other Payments
  • Module 5: Retirement Plans
  • Module 6: Cafeteria Plans
  • Module 7: Payroll Reporting and Employment Taxes
  • Module 8: Record Keeping and Payroll Practices
  • Module 9: Payroll Accounting and Audits
  • Module 10: Payroll Administration and Management

Course Two: PayTrain Level 2

PayTrain Level 2 is a comprehensive course providing students with a solid understanding of advanced payroll topics necessary for payroll managers and supervisors responsible for their organization’s compliance. This course is ideal for experienced payroll professionals seeking compliance training, professional development, or CPP exam preparation. Please note that the PayTrain Level 1 course is a prerequisite for PayTrain Level 2.

Topics include the advanced study of:
  • Module 1: Payroll Concepts
  • Module 2: Calculations of Pay
  • Module 3: Calculations of Deductions and Net Pay
  • Module 4: Fringe Benefits and Other Payments
  • Module 5: Retirement Plans
  • Module 6: Cafeteria Plans
  • Module 7: Payroll Reporting and Employment Taxes
  • Module 8: Record Keeping and Payroll Practices
  • Module 9: Payroll Accounting and Audits
  • Module 10: Payroll Administration and Management
  • Module 11: Health Benefits
  • Module 12: International Payments

Course Components

The PayTrain College & University program combines live instruction with comprehensive reading materials and interactive study tools to reinforce what you learn. To accommodate the needs of busy professionals, each institution sets their own schedule with classes being held on evenings and weekends. Course instructors have years of payroll experience to share with class participants.

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ASSESS
Your Current Knowledge
  • Determine your current knowledge with the online assessment.
  • Identify topics for improvement to help guide your studies.
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STUDY
Your Way to Success
  • Read learning modules that cover payroll concepts, recent changes, trends, and best practices.
  • Reinforce your learning with quizzes, calculations, exercises, and flashcards.
  • Review the course content and have fun with module and course games.
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ACHIEVE
Success as a Payroll Professional
  • Build exam-day confidence with a post-test that mimics the CPP exam format and weighting.
  • Score 80% or higher on the post-test to qualify for a certificate of achievement and earn Recertification Credit Hours (RCHs) or Continuing Education Units (CEUs).

Interactive Study Tools

Key learning components include:

  • Assessment

    • Online assessment helps determine your current knowledge and identify areas for improvement.
  • Calculations

    • Complete calculations for each topic based on scenarios provided.
    • Hints and feedback guide you in developing the calculation and payroll skills.
  • Exercises

    • Complete exercises for each topic based on scenarios provided.
    • Answer a series of questions by filling in a form, completing an entire paycheck calculation, etc.
  • Module Quizzes

    • Check your understanding of the lessons covered in reading modules, calculations, and exercises.
    • Decide whether you need further study or practice on the topic.
  • Flashcards

    • Interact with flashcards covering all learning modules.
    • Practice learning key terms and concepts reinforcing your knowledge.
  • Glossary

    • Look up key terms from anywhere in the system with the glossary.
    • Use the Search box or browse by letter.
  • Games

    • Engage with the module games for a fun and interactive way of reinforcing material at the end of each module.
    • Review the topics covered by the entire course with the entertaining and challenging course games.
  • Resource Center

    • Additional resources including tax tables, forms and publications mentioned in the modules.
    • Certification information on the American Payroll Association website.
    • Feedback forum for evaluation and suggestions.
    • Payroll updates with legislative changes and new developments.
  • Post Tests

    • Tests are weighted and balanced based on the same percentages as the FPC exam.
    • Includes flag for review, review each item, and time limits, similar to the FPC exam.
  • Reports

    • Track your progress, compare the results of quizzes and pre- and post-tests.
    • View a breakdown of your test scores by module to determine your learning gain.