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.

  • 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
  • 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
EducationGraduate Degree
Work/Life Balance
3.9 ★
Salary Range--
Career Opportunity
3.8 ★
Avg. Experience8+ years

Pastor Salaries

Average Base Pay

$53,268 /yr
Same as national average
Not including cash compensation
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Median: $53K
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Glassdoor Estimated Salary

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 I
Pastor Ii
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Pastor Insights

Read what Pastor professionals have to say about their job experiences and view top companies for this career.
Next Level ChurchNext Level Church
Location Pastor
Mar 10, 2020

“The pay is fair and comparable to what you'd get at another church at this size.”

Operations Pastor
Oct 7, 2020

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

Youth Pastor
May 13, 2020

“There's always an opportunity to learn and grow while working with the best people.”

Aug 25, 2019

“MA) but I make the drive because I could not find a finer hospice team to work with.”

Worship Pastor
Apr 30, 2020

“It's amazing to work with people who truly care about you as a person.”

Hospice of HopeHospice of Hope
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.”

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!”

Life Groups Pastor
Apr 22, 2021

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

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Pastor Interviews

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Pastor Jobs

Frequently asked questions about the roles and responsibilities of a pastor

When working as a pastor, the most common skills you will need to perform your job and for career success are Associate of Science, Excellent Communication, Leadership, Public Speaking, and Written Communication.

The most similar professions to pastor are:
  • Language Teacher
  • English Teacher
  • Teacher
  • Senior Leadership

The most common qualifications to become a pastor include a minimum of a Graduate Degree and an average of 0 - 1 years of experience not including years spent in education and/or training.