Church Organist Salary
Close to four-fifths of Church Organists in the United States have been in the field for more than 10 years. Pay can fall anywhere from $12K to $121K per year, but median earnings come to around $19K annually. About a tenth enjoy medical while less than two percent get dental coverage. Vision coverage is also available to less than five percent. Male Church Organists are just a bit more common among those who completed the questionnaire than females ones, with male workers composing 54 percent of the field. For the most part, Church Organists enjoy their work and report high levels of job satisfaction. Participants in PayScale's salary questionnaire provided the particulars of this report.
Job Description for Church Organist
A church organist plays the organ in church services. The organ is an important musical instrument in many religious traditions. In some cases, organists collaborate with the pastor or music director to choose hymns for the worship service. In others, organists are given an overview of the lesson and allowed to choose appropriate music. Often, these selections must be approved by the music department.Read More...
Church organists usually play for all of the services held in a given week and may occasionally be called upon to provide music for guest events the church is hosting. Sometimes organists accompany a church choir, and often they provide music for weddings and funerals. In most regular church services, an organist play several pieces, including a prelude, accompaniment to hymns, an offertory, and a postlude. The hours of the job can vary widely depending on how often services are held and the extent to which the organ is part of the service. Preparation time is important for this position, and if organists are unable to attend a service for any reason, they are often required to provide a suitable replacement for the duration of the time they will be absent.
Some churches look for organists with a bachelor's degree in music or a related field. Organists also must be able to demonstrate the necessary musical talent and a knowledge of the type of organ that the church owns. Interested applicants will likely be asked to play a few hymns for the pastor or minister of music.
Church Organist Tasks
- Play for regularly schedules services and special events.
- Direct other instrumentalists.
- Attend meetings and planning sessions.
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Pay by Experience Level for Church Organist
Median of all compensation (including tips, bonus, and overtime) by years of experience.
The average inexperienced worker's salary is approximately $19K, and people with five to 10 years of experience bring in more at around $20K on average. On average, Church Organists make $25K following one to two decades on the job. Church Organists who claim more than two decades of experience actually make somewhat smaller average paychecks of $24K.