Job Description for Chaplain
A chaplain is typically employed by larger hospitals and healthcare facilities, although they work in other settings (such as the military) as well. The chaplain provides religious counseling and comfort to patients and their families. They work with caregivers and therapists/counselors at these facilities to assist the spiritual needs of anyone requiring assistance.Read More...
To work as a chaplain, a person must typically have received a degree in theology within their faith or denomination; chaplains typically are ordained within their faith. With many large hospitals associated with various religious denominations, preference for chaplains frequently is given to those individuals ordained within that group’s belief system. For example, hospitals associated with the Catholic church look to hire Catholic priests, and Jewish hospitals might hire more rabbis. With that said, chaplains need to be familiar with a wide variety of belief systems and be able to offer guidance and comfort as required across this spectrum.
Additionally, many chaplains find utility in receiving formal education in counseling and psychology; many larger hospitals and clinical facilities may prefer their chaplains to have this education to assist in looking after the mental well-being of patients and families. In addition to these educational requirements, chaplains typically need one or more certifications with religious organizations that license individuals to work in this field. The chaplain also must be outgoing, understanding, and possess excellent bedside manner.
- Assist patients and their families with preparing and dealing with the terminally ill.
- Provide spiritual and emotional help to patients from all cultures and beliefs.
- Coordinate spiritual and bereavement services for patients.
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Popular Employer Salaries for Chaplain
Those at U.S. Army can expect to make the most, with the company offering a median salary of $78K.
Popular Skills for Chaplain
Overall, survey participants reported applying a fair number of skills to their work. Most notably, skills in Palliative Care, pastoral care, Counseling, and Public Speaking are correlated to pay that is above average. Those listing Worship Planning and Leading as a skill should be prepared for drastically lower pay. Those educated in Bereavement Counseling tend to be well versed in Public Speaking and Hospice Care.
Pay by Experience Level for Chaplain
Median of all compensation (including tips, bonus, and overtime) by years of experience.
Chaplains do not generally earn higher incomes from more experience in the field. The average worker who claims fewer than five years of experience earns around $45K. In contrast, however, individuals who report five to 10 years in this occupation see a much larger median of $47K. Chaplains bring in $49K after working for 10 to 20 years. Chaplains who have acquired more than two decades of experience generally do see greater compensation; their average income is approximately $51K.
Pay Difference by Location
Los Angeles is home to an above-average pay rate for Chaplains, 35 percent higher than the national average. Chaplains can also look forward to large paychecks in cities like Atlanta (+20 percent), Boston (+15 percent), Minneapolis (+9 percent), and Houston (+9 percent). Chaplains in Miami make 20 percent less than the national average, proving that location is a major factor in pay. Employers pay around 11 percent less in Nashville and 6 percent less in Indianapolis, below-median salaries for those in this field.
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Key Stats for Chaplain
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