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Career profile Clergy

Also known as Catholic Priest, Children's Minister, Confessor, Congregational Care Pastor, Minister, Missionary Coordinator, Pastor, Priest, Rabbi, Rector


Also known as Catholic Priest, Children's Minister, Confessor

Interests Profile
  • Social
  • Artistic
  • Enterprising
Pay Range
$28,410 - $89,510 (annual)
Required Skills
  • Speaking
  • Active Listening
  • Social Perceptiveness
Knowledge Areas
  • Philosophy and Theology
  • Therapy and Counseling
  • Psychology
Core tasks
  • Pray and promote spirituality.
  • Read from sacred texts, such as the Bible, Torah, or Koran.
  • Prepare and deliver sermons or other talks.
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What does a Clergy do?

Clergies conduct religious worship and perform other spiritual functions associated with beliefs and practices of religious faith or denomination.

In addition, Clergies provide spiritual and moral guidance and assistance to members.

What kind of tasks does a Clergy perform regularly?

Clergies are often responsible for overseeing or executing some or all of the following tasks:

  • Pray and promote spirituality.
  • Read from sacred texts, such as the Bible, Torah, or Koran.
  • Prepare and deliver sermons or other talks.
  • Organize and lead regular religious services.
  • Plan or lead religious education programs.
  • Instruct people who seek conversion to a particular faith.
  • Counsel individuals or groups concerning their spiritual, emotional, or personal needs.
  • Administer religious rites or ordinances.
  • Devise ways in which congregational membership can be expanded.
  • Visit people in homes, hospitals, or prisons to provide them with comfort and support.
  • Study and interpret religious laws, doctrines, or traditions.
  • Conduct special ceremonies, such as weddings, funerals, or confirmations.
  • Train leaders of church, community, or youth groups.
  • Respond to requests for assistance during emergencies or crises.
  • Share information about religious issues by writing articles, giving speeches, or teaching.
  • Prepare people for participation in religious ceremonies.
  • Collaborate with committees or individuals to address financial or administrative issues pertaining to congregations.
  • Refer people to community support services, psychologists, or doctors.
  • Participate in fundraising activities to support congregational activities or facilities.
  • Perform administrative duties, such as overseeing building management, ordering supplies, contracting for services or repairs, or supervising the work of staff members or volunteers.
  • Organize or engage in interfaith, community, civic, educational, or recreational activities sponsored by or related to religious programs.

The above responsibilities are specific to Clergies. More generally, Clergies are involved in several broader types of activities:

Resolving Conflicts and Negotiating with Others
Handling complaints, settling disputes, and resolving grievances and conflicts, or otherwise negotiating with others.
Organizing, Planning, and Prioritizing Work
Developing specific goals and plans to prioritize, organize, and accomplish your work.
Assisting and Caring for Others
Providing personal assistance, medical attention, emotional support, or other personal care to others such as coworkers, customers, or patients.
Communicating with People Outside the Organization
Communicating with people outside the organization, representing the organization to customers, the public, government, and other external sources. This information can be exchanged in person, in writing, or by telephone or e-mail.
Establishing and Maintaining Interpersonal Relationships
Developing constructive and cooperative working relationships with others, and maintaining them over time.

What is a Clergy salary?

The median salary for a Clergy is $51,940, and the average salary is $56,560. Both the median and average roughly describe the middle of the Clergy salary range, but the average is more easily affected by extremely high or low salaries.

Many Clergies earn significantly more or less than the average, due to several factors. About 10% of Clergies earn less than $28,410 per year, 25% earn less than $38,110, 75% earn less than $66,980, and 90% earn less than $89,510.

Between the years of 2020 and 2030, the number of Clergies is expected to change by 2.5%, and there should be roughly 26,700 open positions for Clergies every year.

Median annual salary
Typical salary range
$28,410 - $89,510
Projected growth (2020 - 2030)

What personality traits are common among Clergies?


Career interests describe a person's preferences for different types of working environments and activities. When a person's interest match the demands of an occupation, people are usually more engaged and satisfied in that role.

Compared to most occupations, those who work as a Clergy are usually higher in their Social, Artistic, and Enterprising interests.

Clergies typically have very strong Social interests. Social occupations frequently involve working with, communicating with, and teaching people. These occupations often involve helping or providing service to others.

Also, Clergies typically have moderate Artistic interests. Artistic occupations frequently involve working with forms, designs and patterns. They often require self-expression and the work can be done without following a clear set of rules.

Lastly, Clergies typically have moderate Enterprising interests. Enterprising occupations frequently involve starting up and carrying out projects. These occupations can involve leading people and making many decisions. Sometimes they require risk taking and often deal with business.


People differ in their values, or what is most important to them for building job satisfaction and fulfillment.

Compared to most people, those working as a Clergy tend to value Achievement, Relationships, and Independence.

Most importantly, Clergies very strongly value Achievement. Occupations that satisfy this work value are results oriented and allow employees to use their strongest abilities, giving them a feeling of accomplishment.

Second, Clergies very strongly value Relationships. Occupations that satisfy this work value allow employees to provide service to others and work with co-workers in a friendly non-competitive environment.

Lastly, Clergies very strongly value Independence. Occupations that satisfy this work value allow employees to work on their own and make decisions.

Psychological Demands

Each occupation brings its own set of psychological demands, which describe the characteristics necessary to perform the job well.

In order to perform their job successfully, people who work as Clergies must consistently demonstrate qualities such as integrity, concern for others, and dependability.

Below, you'll find a list of qualities typically required of Clergies, ranked by importance:

Job requires being honest and ethical.
Concern for Others
Job requires being sensitive to others' needs and feelings and being understanding and helpful on the job.
Job requires being reliable, responsible, and dependable, and fulfilling obligations.
Job requires a willingness to lead, take charge, and offer opinions and direction.
Job requires maintaining composure, keeping emotions in check, controlling anger, and avoiding aggressive behavior, even in very difficult situations.

What education and training do Clergies need?

Many Clergies have earned a graduate degree. For example, they may require a master's degree, and some require a doctoral degree, such as a Ph.D., M.D., or J.D..

Clergies may need some on-the-job training, but most candidates will already have the required skills, knowledge, work-related experience, and/or training.

Educational degrees among Clergies

  • 2.2% did not complete high school or secondary school
  • 6.1% completed high school or secondary school
  • 10.6% completed some college coursework
  • 4.9% earned a Associate's degree
  • 25.6% earned a Bachelor's degree
  • 35.4% earned a Master's degree
  • 15.1% earned a doctorate or professional degree

Knowledge and expertise required by Clergies

Clergies may benefit from understanding of specialized subject areas, such as philosophy and theology, therapy and counseling, or psychology knowledge.

The list below shows several areas in which most Clergies might want to build proficiency, ranked by importance.

Philosophy and Theology
Knowledge of different philosophical systems and religions. This includes their basic principles, values, ethics, ways of thinking, customs, practices, and their impact on human culture.
Therapy and Counseling
Knowledge of principles, methods, and procedures for diagnosis, treatment, and rehabilitation of physical and mental dysfunctions, and for career counseling and guidance.
Knowledge of human behavior and performance; individual differences in ability, personality, and interests; learning and motivation; psychological research methods; and the assessment and treatment of behavioral and affective disorders.
Education and Training
Knowledge of principles and methods for curriculum and training design, teaching and instruction for individuals and groups, and the measurement of training effects.
Administration and Management
Knowledge of business and management principles involved in strategic planning, resource allocation, human resources modeling, leadership technique, production methods, and coordination of people and resources.

Important Abilities needed by Clergies

Clergies must develop a particular set of abilities to perform their job well. Abilities are individual capacities that influence a person's information processing, sensory perception, motor coordination, and physical strength or endurance. Individuals may naturally have certain abilities without explicit training, but most abilities can be sharpened somewhat through practice.

For example, Clergies need abilities such as oral expression, speech clarity, and speech recognition in order to perform their job at a high level. The list below shows several important abilities for Clergies, ranked by their relative importance.

Oral Expression
The ability to communicate information and ideas in speaking so others will understand.
Speech Clarity
The ability to speak clearly so others can understand you.
Speech Recognition
The ability to identify and understand the speech of another person.
Oral Comprehension
The ability to listen to and understand information and ideas presented through spoken words and sentences.
Written Comprehension
The ability to read and understand information and ideas presented in writing.

Critical Skills needed by Clergies

Skills are developed capacities that enable people to function effectively in real-world settings. Unlike abilities, skills are typically easier to build through practice and experience. Skills influence effectiveness in areas such as learning, working with others, design, troubleshooting, and more.

Clergies frequently use skills like speaking, active listening, and social perceptiveness to perform their job effectively. The list below shows several critical skills for Clergies, ranked by their relative importance.

Talking to others to convey information effectively.
Active Listening
Giving full attention to what other people are saying, taking time to understand the points being made, asking questions as appropriate, and not interrupting at inappropriate times.
Social Perceptiveness
Being aware of others' reactions and understanding why they react as they do.
Service Orientation
Actively looking for ways to help people.
Reading Comprehension
Understanding written sentences and paragraphs in work-related documents.

What is the source of this information?

The information provided on this page is adapted from data and descriptions published by the U.S. Department of Labor, Employment and Training Administration under the CC BY 4.0 license. TraitLab has modified some information for ease of use and reading, and the U.S. Department of Labor, Employment, and Training Administration has not approved, endorsed, or tested these modifications.

If you have any questions or suggestions about this information, please send a message.