What do Religious Workers Do?
If you enjoy working with people and have a deep fascination with spiritual matters, you may want to consider becoming a religious worker. Religious workers carry many titles, such as priest, reverend, rabbi, or imam, depending on their particular faith. Their primary function is to conduct religious ceremonies and rituals that are significant to their chosen faith or denomination. They may also provide spiritual and moral guidance to others, and provide emotional support in times of stress. Professionals in this field work in a wide variety of settings such as houses of worship, hospitals, community organizations, and colleges and universities.
Religious Workers Skills and Abilities
Since this is a career largely based on religion, in-depth knowledge of theology and philosophy is required. This includes an understanding of human values, cultures, morals, and ethics. Many workers in this particular field possess a background in counseling, and you will be expected to speak with members about personal issues. You should feel comfortable interacting with and speaking in front of the public, so excellent communication and interpersonal skills will be needed.
Religious Workers Duties
The main job of a religious worker is to help members of a particular religion understand spiritual matters. Workers often read from religious texts such as the Bible, Torah, or Koran. Sermons and other orations are often employed to deliver spiritual and moral guidance. Religious workers are heavily involved in the life of the community, and workers commonly visit members in their homes, hospitals, and other places in order to provide comfort. These workers also provide counseling to members, offering guidance in spiritual and moral matters. Religious workers may also be expected to:
- Develop spiritual education programs
- Hire church administrators
- Lead community events
- Manage program finances
- Train staff members
Religious Workers Tools and Technology
Religious workers utilize basic technological devices and tools to perform their jobs. Computer programs that organize events and store data are commonly employed in this career field. The internet is used to communicate with members, other spiritual leaders, and administrators. Projectors may also be used as visual aids during sermons or speeches.
Education and Training for Religious Workers
Working in this field usually requires a college education, and many religious workers possess graduate and postgraduate degrees. Roughly 34% of religious workers held a master’s degree, while another 24% held a bachelor’s degree. Almost 17% held a doctoral degree, and 13% attended college, but did not graduate. This means that it typically takes 4-8 years to acquire the knowledge needed to perform this job. During this time, religious workers take courses in theology, philosophy, history, and counseling. Although this career can be highly fulfilling, it may not be the career path for someone looking to quickly enter the workforce.
Religious Workers Salary
This is not a particularly high-paying career, but as with any job, location and years of experience heavily influences salaries. The mean annual salary for a religious worker is $34,700, with 10% of workers grossing over $63,000 a year. There was a 3.4% wage increase for this industry over the previous year, so there was a bit of steady growth. Religious workers employed by hospitals and surgical clinics earned the highest salaries in the field. Those employed by educational support services earned the lowest.
Religious Workers Jobs by Geography
California, New York, and Oregon employed the highest number of religious workers in the nation. Colorado, California, and Texas paid the highest salaries. Religious workers in the Western and Upper Midwestern United States earned the highest wages. There are currently over 8,000 Americans employed as religious workers, and there was a rather significant 7.1% increase in employment levels for this field.