Entry-Level Senior Pastor Salary

Median pay for Entry-Level Senior Pastors lies in the neighborhood of $50K annually. Medical benefits are awarded to just over two-fifths, and about a fourth earn dental coverage. It's heartening to note that most people in this field love their work, finding it both fun and rewarding. Figures cited in this summary are based on replies to PayScale's salary questionnaire.

$23,299 - $74,646
MEDIAN: $49,674

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National Salary Data (?
XAll compensation data shown are gross 10th to 90th percentile ranges. Take the PayScale Survey to find out how location influences pay for this job.
$23,299 - $74,646  
$309.13 - $10,033  
Total Pay (?
XTotal Pay combines base annual salary or hourly wage, bonuses, profit sharing, tips, commissions, overtime pay and other forms of cash earnings, as applicable for this job. It does not include equity (stock) compensation, cash value of retirement benefits, or the value of other non-cash benefits (e.g. healthcare).
$23,350 - $74,537  
Country: United States | Currency: USD | Updated: 25 Mar 2017 | Individuals Reporting: 263

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Senior Pastor Advice

Q: What do you wish you knew about your job when you first started out?

Senior Pastor in Knoxville:
"Saddle Up! This is the Great Adventure."
Only after you are dead sure of the call to minister, confirmed by a legitimate ordaining body, find a mentor who has a servant heart, is successful at making disciples and pay attention so you learn how to "BE" a pastor beyond just doing pastoral work. Love God first and most! Love your wife and Kids second only to God, and ahead of all others including your pastoral vocation. Lose your wife and kids and you will lose the pastoral ministry to which you are called.

Senior Pastor in Prince George:
"Senior Pastor."
Stay connected with God though prayer. Study the Bible often. Stay fresh on leadership teaching. Learn what church are doing now. Keep improving your people skills.

Senior Pastor in Lancaster:
"Skill Set Needs."
Get experience in as many different skill sets as possible, especially those outside the fields of religious and theology.

Senior Pastor in North Canton:
"Know what you are getting into...."
While I gave a up a significant income for this calling, I didn't realize how much faster life grows than does your salary. Be prepared to have your wife working full time or develop creative ways to do some business on the side.

Senior Pastor in Los Angeles:
"Develop a infrastructure for building a competent staff."
Develop a strong staff and led them rather than an entire congregation.

Senior Pastor in Pensacola:
"How To Negotiate Salary."
Meet with the officials of the church before accepting the position so what is written is understood for both parties.

Key Stats for Senior Pastor


3 %
97 %

Job Satisfaction

Extremely satisfied
Rated 5 out of 5
based on 33 votes.
Less than 1 year
1-4 years
5-9 years
Years in Fields/Career:
United States (change)

Skills That Affect Senior Pastor Salaries

People Management



Team Leadership

Operations Management

Organizational Development

National Average

Worship Planning and Leading


Project Management

Public Speaking

Network Management / Administration

Job Satisfaction

Extremely satisfied
Rated 5 out of 5
based on 33 votes.


3 %
97 %

Common Health Benefits

medical benefits
Medical: 44%
dental benefits
Dental: 24%
vision benefits
Vision: 19%
no benefits
None: 55%