What does a Pastor do?

A pastor is a leader responsible for shaping the vision and direction of their religious organization. Some of the duties for this position include providing religious support to congregants by way of counseling or taking on an advisory role. Pastors may be involved in the hiring process of new staff as well as the negotiations of business deals for the church or managing investments made by patrons.

A bachelor's degree in religious studies, worship leading or a related field is required for the position of as a pastor with a master's degree preferred. Proven experience of at least 5 years is needed and the pastor must be ordained in their faith before being able to practice. Continual ongoing professional development is required to maintain a strong and current understanding of the faith. Exceptional presentation and problem-solving skills are necessary as well as the physical ability to stand for long hours at a time to deliver speeches and sermons.

What responsibilities are common for Pastor jobs?
  • Prepare and deliver weekly sermons
  • Host special events and guests as required
  • Maintain a strong professional image reflective of the church mission
  • Conduct personal and premarital counseling services
  • Work with church boards and advisory councils to determine the direction of the organization
  • Implement programs and events in alignment with the church's mission
  • Carry out community support initiatives such as trips and activities
  • Negotiate business deals for the benefit of the church
What are the typical qualifications for Pastor jobs?
  • Minimum 5 years of experience as a pastor
  • Must be ordained in their faith
  • Good written and verbal communication skills
  • Exceptional problem solving and conflict resolution skills
  • Strong speaking and presentation skills
  • Good active listening and willingness to help
  • Service-oriented with genuine care for the wellbeing of people
  • Excellent social perceptiveness and engagement
  • Ability to stand for long hours at a time
Education--
Work/Life Balance
3.9 ★
Total Pay--
Career Opportunity
3.7 ★
Avg. Experience8+ years

How much does a Pastor make?

Confident
$70,708 /yr
Total Pay
$66,122
 /yr

Base Pay

+
$4,586
 /yr

Additional Pay

$70,708

 / yr
$41K$129K
Most Likely Range
Possible Range
See More Insights

Pastor Career Path

Learn how to become a Pastor, what skills and education you need to succeed, and what level of pay to expect at each step on your career path.

Pastor

Years of Experience Distribution

0 - 1
28%
2 - 4
33%
5 - 7
5%
8+
34%
Not including years spent in education and/or training

Pastor Insights

Read what Pastor professionals have to say about their job experiences and view top companies for this career.
Life.ChurchLife.Church
Operations Pastor
Oct 7, 2020

“I know I'm cared about as a person because of the opportunities for growth and development.”

Alinea ChurchAlinea Church
Senior Pastor
May 27, 2022

“This is a demanding but rewarding job where you get to interact with people you love.”

California Pacific Medical CenterCalifornia Pacific Medical Center
Chaplain Resident, CPE I Yr
Jul 17, 2022

“The program supervisors is one of the finest educators I have met in my life.”

Hospice of HopeHospice of Hope
Chaplain
Jan 16, 2021

“It was a real joy to work with such a great group who goes above and beyond to care for their patients and families.”

Life.ChurchLife.Church
Life Groups Pastor
Apr 22, 2021

“We get to work toward the best mission there is and have fun doing with a fantastic team!”

University of MarylandUniversity of Maryland
University Supervisor
Oct 8, 2020

“I get to work with brilliant people and for a program I completed as a graduate student years ago!”

12Stone Church12Stone Church
Ministry Leader
Nov 2, 2021

“It was the best place I’ve ever worked (and I’ve worked at multiple other churches).”

Arizona Community ChurchArizona Community Church
Ministry Director
Jul 2, 2021

“I made some of my best friends by working there and truly enjoyed my job for many years.”

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Pastor Interviews

Frequently asked questions about the role and responsibilities of pastors

Pastors are typically ordained members of the church who spend their workday leading religious worship, providing counsel, performing ceremonies, fundraising, teaching theology courses, and responding to crises to comfort the injured, ill, or dying. Pastors may also oversee church finances.

Being a pastor requires strong leadership skills, as they're the head of a religious organization. These leaders must motivate and inspire church members, show empathy, and provide support. People who enjoy public speaking and exhibit strong persuasive abilities may consider becoming a pastor.

Successful pastors get paid well. The average base salary for a pastor in the United States is $70,708 per year. Salary varies depending on years of experience and the organization's need and size. Some pastors might work part-time while others work full-time or after hours. Many pastors are also provided with compensation, such as housing allowances.

Working as a pastor(https://www.glassdoor.ca/Career/how-to-become-pastor_KO14,20.htm)can be demanding at times, as pastors serve in different leadership capacities and must have strong communication and interpersonal skills. Carrying the responsibility of leading a religious group or organization, pastors must often be available outside of regular business hours.

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