Pastors provide religious leadership to Christian communities. They use religious tradition to address questions pertaining to life, death, illness and birth. They often work for specific churches, but they can also be employed by other organizations including schools and prisons. Demand for pastors is steady, as fewer Americans are religiously affiliated but there is also less competition for open positions as fewer Americans chose to attend divinity school. Prospective pastors are generally required to have a bachelor’s degree in a related field such as divinity or religious studies. Many also attend divinity school to earn a master’s degree.
When you're a pastor, it's not just about finding a parish — it's about finding the right parish. Whether you want to advance your pastoral career with a children's pastor position or you're looking for a head pastor position, use the filters on Glassdoor to narrow it down.
When you're just starting, some of the most popular job titles for aspiring pastors include youth pastor, worship pastor, or ministry intern. For those in the middle of their career path, an associate pastor, outreach pastor, or director of discipleship job might be a good fit. If you're at the top of your game, a senior pastor or lead pastor role could be the right challenge for you.
As you research positions, prepare by reviewing the most frequently asked questions posed to aspiring pastors during their interviews.
Whether you are just starting on your journey or you've been in the game for decades, it's important that you receive a salary that reflects your experience. Here are some tips on getting a salary that reflects your worth:
While quality financial compensation is important, many churches also offer their pastors benefits packages. Sometimes, these packages help offset a lower salary. However, larger, well-established churches can often offer a pastor both a high salary and a quality benefits package. Some of the most common benefits for pastors include:
Every church offers different benefits packages. Be sure to talk with your interviewer about the benefits afforded to you by your contract.