How Much Do Clergy Get Paid?

Want to become a priest or preacher? Get ready to be on call all the time, a community leader and be able to talk to a wide audience. But the pay has increased over the years.

A new national study now shows what kind of salary a clergy person makes. Here’s more from Indiana Economic Digest:

No doubt you and she are aware of what kind of income is available for those who have this calling. Nationwide, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statisticsfound half the persons in the clergy made less than $45,740, meaning the other half made more than that. This was the annual median wage for clergy in May 2016 when the survey was conducted.

That’s not bad. It ranks right in the middle of 820 occupations covered by the survey, and just $180 (or a mere 0.004 percent) below the annual median wage for 140.4 million American workers.

There are 49,320 clergy in the survey and they are scattered all across the nation, in numerous religions and denominations. Each may have a distinctive arrangement regarding housing, pensions and other benefits making comparisons difficult.

Nonetheless, your daughter surely knew the 820 Hoosier clergy members would be earning less than their national counterparts. The median for Indiana clergy was $43,520 or 4.8 percent less than the national figure. That ranks 35thin the country, so she could improve her income by moving to Illinois, Idaho, Florida or Tennessee. 


  1. I believe with the amount of education required, the demands of the job, and the hours worked on average $45k is not near enough. It has vastly improved over the past few decades. However I think it needs to continue. For a new pastor I think $30-45k is reasonable. But that should not be where the salary stalls. It should go much higher.



      1. I think the idea of a parsonage is good. But in reality it robs the pastor and his family in the long run. Have equity in a house or owning one outright is huge towards financial stability. Taking a $10k a year pay cut because housing is covered is ridiculous in my opinion. You end up losing a lot more then that. I would never accept a parsonage unless the house became mine after a certain amount of time.

        Liked by 1 person

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