Archives for August 2011

The Salary of a Christian Educator Minister

Sunday school directors oversee volunteers who instruct children.

How much does your church pay your Christian educator minister? This question is an important one as it often determines whether the individual ministering to the congregation in such a capacity is being paid a sufficient wage or is forced to rely on his or her spouse to supplement the family income. A Christian educator minister is oftentimes known as a Children’s Ministries Director, a Youth Pastor, an Associate Pastor or as a Religious Education Director. In other words, this position is subservient to the senior pastor. Such ministers are tasked with proclaiming the gospel of Jesus Christ, recruiting and training volunteers, working with members of the congregation and developing or acquiring curriculum or planning special events or both, among other tasks. The salary of a Christian educator minister varies depending on the church’s size, the person’s area of expertise and his experience.

Average Salaries

The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics provides summary reports for hundreds of job titles, offering typical job responsibilities, knowledge and abilities, and salary information for each title. The bureau’s information is a benchmark and may not reflect your ministry’s pay scale or area of responsibilities. Nevertheless, the bureau estimates that the average annual salary of a Christian educator minister to be $40,600 or $19.52 per hour. Those ministers in the 10th percentile averaged $18,520 per year and those in the 25th earned $24,580 per year as of May 2010. A median salary of $36,170 was paid according to the bureau. For those in the 75th and 90th percentiles, their salaries averaged $49,640 and $69,520, respectively.

Industry Demographics

The bureau offers further salary information based on industries or employers. Religious organizations employed 13,350 of the 16,840 people counted as Christian educator ministers by the bureau as of 2010. This “industry” offered a mean annual wage of $38,020, slightly below what these professionals make at elementary and secondary schools. Such schools offered an average annual pay of $39,870 reports the bureau. Much higher than average pay could be realized by those professionals working for grant-making and giving services and for social advocacy organizations. These industries paid $62,390 and $53,640, respectively.

State Information

Across the United States, Christian educator ministers and similar professionals received salaries that varied widely, depending on where they lived. Top income of $83,000 per year was offered to those working in West Virginia, reports the bureau. Other top earnings states included Tennessee and South Carolina where such professionals earned $70,160 and $65,320, respectively. Lower than average pay was realized by those who worked in Hawaii and Montana, professionals who earned $27,270 and $25,220, respectively, on average.

Job Forecast

How does the bureau forecast job growth for such ministers? About average for all professions. Regardless of how the government perceives this field, workers may understand that these positions are a personal response to a calling from God, rather than simply a career choice. Some positions require such ministers to come to the job equipped, with the appropriate educational training, before assuming their position. Others are satisfied that God equips the called and will allow the worker to learn as she goes. In any case, the bureau reports that many such workers have post-secondary education with college degrees common, including master’s degrees, the latter usually essential at schools where such professionals assume administrative positions.


O-Net Online; Summary Report for: 21-2021.00 – Directors, Religious Activities and Education; 2010

U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics; Occupational Employment and Wages, May 2010; 21-2021 Directors, Religious Activities and Education

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