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How Do Preachers Make Money?

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Preachers are the spiritual leaders of a congregation and often wear many hats, especially when they are ingrained in their community. Apart from leading worship services, they visit sick parishioners and officiate at weddings, baptisms, and funerals.

In some religious communities, they serve as a counselor and conflict mediator. While there isn't free money for pastors, they often receive support in the form of free housing and a salary for their many services.

How Do Pastors Make Money?

Some pastors make extra money on the side when congregants make donations to the pastor. The offerings can be given as cash, personal checks, or gift cards. At times, donations and offerings are given in the form of services that the pastor would otherwise have had to pay for, or necessary items and food. If a pastor is part of a large congregation, the donations add up over time.

Pastor Salary

Most churches pay their pastors a salary. Figures from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reveal that the median hourly pay for a pastor is around $24.43 an hour or $50,800 a year. Half of all pastors earn more than this, and half earn less. On the low end of that pay scale, pastors make around $25,430. On the high end, pastors make more than $80,000.

Pastors often receive free housing through the church rectory, which keeps their cost of living down. Churches that don't have a rectory may give their pastors a housing allowance to keep the pastor's cost of living low.

Some churches charge a fee for services such as funerals, baptisms and weddings. Depending on where the services are held, weddings and funeral fees can cost from $100 to $500 each.

Supplementing Income With Side Projects

Pastors that are a part of large churches or megachurches promote themselves to a people during weekly services. Some pastors have websites or blogs where they hold webinars or sell products such as books about their religious journey and theology.

Other pastors have web series, online webinars, columns, and television shows that bring in extra income and more attention to their church. Some become paid public speakers for national and international religious events if they garner a large following.


Angely Mercado is a writer for Career Trend, a managing editor for Bushwick Daily, and a freelance writer for several NYC based publications. She has written about career development, management and writing for The Billfold, Medium, Vice and more. She aims to help educate readers through her posts about different career paths.

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