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Clergy picture    Clergy image

Clergy

Clergy lead worship based on religious doctrines and provide spiritual and moral guidance and other assistance. They perform religious ceremonies including weddings, funerals, birth and coming of age rituals. They also collaborate with community leaders on nonreligious issues such as fundraising activities.

Clergy professionals include ministers, priests, pastors, imams and rabbis. Some priests or rabbis are scholars or teachers. Some ministers become missionaries and offer religious and social assistance to people across the world. Chaplains provide spiritual guidance in hospitals, the armed services and schools.

Responsibilities

  • Organize and lead religious services
  • Instruct people that seek conversion to a particular faith
  • Read from sacred text to their congregation
  • Provide counseling to groups and individuals regarding their spiritual, personal and emotional needs
  • Visit people in hospitals, homes and other settings to provide comfort and support
  • Administer religious ordnances or rites
  • Train leaders of church, community and youth groups

Job Characteristics

Clergy professionals are usually excellent public speakers and good listeners. They have compassion for people and have a strong desire to help others. Only unmarried men are allowed to serve as priests in most sects of Catholicism. Only men are allowed to serve as Muslim imams. Women can serve as Anglican priests. Married men can be Anglican or Eastern Orthodox priests.

Some members of the clergy sometimes work 10 to 12 hours a day. They typically work during all or portions of the weekend. They typically work part of the week performing administrative tasks and preparing for services. Clergy members also spend a lot of time on call to help those that are troubled, sick or need spiritual guidance.

Employment Outlook

The growth of employment for clergy from 2008 to 2018 is projected to be about as fast as average for all occupations. In 2008 the median annual earnings for clergy was $41,730.

Education, Certification, and Licensing

Each religion has requirements and processes for appointing members of the clergy. Most clergy have at least a bachelor's degree. Many clergy professionals have master's degrees in Theology or Religious Studies, however the educational backgrounds of clergy may vary. They also thoroughly study the relevant sacred texts. They need to have comprehensive knowledge of the beliefs and rites of their group.

Resources

Major Employers

The top employers are religious organizations, hospitals, home health care services, state government and nursing care facilities.

Schools for Clergy are listed in the Browse Schools Section.

Clergy Skills

Below are the skills needed to be clergy according to their importance on the scale of 1 to 5 (1 being lowest and 5 being highest) and competency level on a scale of 1 to 7 (1 being lowest and 7 being highest).

   
Skill NameImportanceCompetence
Speaking4.624.75
Active Listening4.384.5
Social Perceptiveness4.255.38
Service Orientation4.254.25
Reading Comprehension4.124.75

Clergy Abilities

Below are the abilities needed to be clergy according to their importance on the scale of 1 to 5 (1 being lowest and 5 being highest) and competency level on a scale of 1 to 7 (1 being lowest and 7 being highest).

   
Ability NameImportanceCompetence
Oral Expression4.754.88
Speech Clarity4.625.5
Speech Recognition4.384.62
Written Comprehension4.124.25
Oral Comprehension4.124.38

Clergy Knowledge

Below are the knowledge areas needed to be clergy according to their importance on the scale of 1 to 5 (1 being lowest and 5 being highest) and competency level on a scale of 1 to 7 (1 being lowest and 7 being highest).

   
Knowledge AreaImportanceCompetence
Philosophy and Theology4.966.56
English Language4.334.87
Therapy and Counseling3.935.3
Psychology3.84.76
Education and Training3.694.9

Clergy Work activities

Below are the work activities involved in being clergy according to their importance on the scale of 1 to 5 (1 being lowest and 5 being highest) and competency level on a scale of 1 to 7 (1 being lowest and 5 being highest).

   
Work ActivityImportanceCompetence
Resolving Conflicts and Negotiating with Others4.315.42
Assisting and Caring for Others4.114.9
Organizing, Planning, and Prioritizing Work4.15.48
Communicating with Persons Outside Organization4.095.05
Establishing and Maintaining Interpersonal Relationships4.075.03

Clergy Work styles

Below are the work styles involved in being clergy according to their importance on the scale of 1 to 5 (1 being lowest and 5 being highest).

   
Work StyleImportance
Integrity5
Concern for Others4.88
Dependability4.67
Leadership4.65
Self Control4.59

Metro Areas Sorted by Total Employment for
Clergy

Listed below are the 10 largest metro areas based on the total number of people employed in Clergy jobs , as of 2017

   
Metro AreaTotal EmploymentAnnual Mean Salary
Los Angeles-Long Beach-Anaheim1,850 $64,390
Detroit-Warren-Dearborn1,010 $39,570
San Francisco-Oakland-Hayward730 $63,710
Dallas-Fort Worth-Arlington720 $49,990
Buffalo-Cheektowaga-Niagara Falls660 $47,680
Houston-The Woodlands-Sugar Land660 $54,990
Miami-Fort Lauderdale-West Palm Beach600 $50,890
Riverside-San Bernardino-Ontario570 $50,440
Phoenix-Mesa-Scottsdale490 $49,020
Albany-Schenectady-Troy480 $50,990

Compare Total Employment & Salaries for Clergy

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Employment
Salary

Total employment and salary for professions similar to clergy

Source : 2017 Occupational Employment Statistics and 2016-26 Employment Projections, Bureau of Labor Statistics, BLS.gov; O*NET® 22.1 Database, O*NET OnLine, National Center for O*NET Development, Employment & Training Administration, U.S. Department of Labor, onetonline.org

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We have some additional detailed pages at the state level for Clergy.

Numbers in parentheses are counts of relevant campus-based schools in the state; online schools may also be available.