Entry-Level Senior Pastors take home approximately $50K annually on average. Over one-half of professionals in this line of work do not receive benefits; however, a little less than one-half report medical coverage and around one in four claim dental coverage as well. Job satisfaction for Entry-Level Senior Pastors is extremely high. The figures in this rundown are based on the results of PayScale's salary questionnaire.

$22,838 - $75,221
MEDIAN: $49,770

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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.
$22,838 - $75,221  
$350.00 - $16,000  
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).
$22,944 - $75,107  
Country: United States | Currency: USD | Updated: 19 Jan 2017 | Individuals Reporting: 274

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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


4 %
96 %

Job Satisfaction

Extremely satisfied
Rated 5 out of 5
based on 31 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
up arrow 5%

Operations Management
up arrow 4%

up arrow 3%

Team Leadership
up arrow 3%

Organizational Development
up arrow 2%

up arrow 1%

Worship Planning and Leading

National Average

up arrow 3%

Public Speaking
up arrow 3%

Project Management
up arrow 5%

Network Management / Administration
up arrow 17%

Job Satisfaction

Extremely satisfied
Rated 5 out of 5
based on 31 votes.


4 %
96 %

Common Health Benefits

medical benefits
Medical: 46%
dental benefits
Dental: 26%
vision benefits
Vision: 21%
dental benefits
None: 53%