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Introducing Localized Salary Recommendations

Discover ChurchSalary's powerful and ground-breaking new localization tool for full-time pastors.
Introducing Localized Salary Recommendations

ChurchSalary is excited to announce two major updates to our Salary Calculator!

  1. Budget-only Reports
  2. Salary Localization

Our recent report update introduces a powerful new localization tool for full-time pastors. To localize salaries ChurchSalary uses your congregation’s zip code to generate a fingerprint that uniquely identifies your community based on four variables:
1. Region
2. Cost of Living Index (COLI)
3. Population Density
4. Median Household Income (MHI)

Our Salary Calculator uses the fingerprint produced by these variables to find the closest possible employee matches in our database. This new section provides you with base salary and housing allowance averages for each variable as well as a localized salary recommendation and a localized housing ratio.

Creating this highly requested feature presented a unique set of challenges. Learn more about how this new tool localizes salaries for full-time pastors.

Using and interpreting the Localized Salary Recommendation

The Localized Salary Recommendation (LSR) section is designed to provide you with the most relevant dataset for localizing salaries. These figures are a recommendation for how to localize salaries at your church. As you evaluate this data, bear the following in mind.

First, both the overall localized average as well as the smaller averages listed in the LSR are designed to offer you insight into how salary differs in the real world depending on region, COLI, MHI, and population density.

Weigh these recommended averages and compare them with the averages listed in the Salary Comparison (SC) section. Your church may be located in a densely populated city that is unlike the surrounding region, or COLI in your community may be lower than the surrounding region. Consider all of the salary data in the first three sections of your report and make a reasoned decision about how to localize and fine-tune salaries for your church.

Second, note that the total inside each table is a combination of the base salary and housing allowance figures and all these figures are averages. Because of this, some of these total averages may even fall above or below the quartiles listed in the Nationwide Salary Summary. Additionally, the nationwide average will be different than the nationwide median.

In fact, for medium to small churches the nationwide average will be higher than the median because salary data for these churches almost always skewed to the right by a handful of well-paid employees. For larger churches, the reverse may be true as a handful of low-paid employees may pull the average below the median. It all depends on how the salary data is distributed among employees in your budget and/or size range.

Finally, your report uses the localized average as a new midpoint to produce a localized salary range. This chart at the bottom of the LSR uses an industry-standard HR formula to produce a salary range using a spread percentage of 50% for management/professional positions (e.g., youth, worship, children’s pastors, etc.) and 65% for executive/leadership positions (e.g., solo, senior, and executive pastors).

You can adjust this salary spread to suit your organization’s compensation strategy. This is merely a starting point.

Join now to generate Localize Salary Recommendations for pastors at your church.

This content is designed to provide accurate and authoritative information in regard to the subject matter covered. It is published with the understanding that the publisher is not engaged in rendering legal, accounting, or other professional service. If legal advice or other expert assistance is required, the services of a competent professional person should be sought. "From a Declaration of Principles jointly adopted by a Committee of the American Bar Association and a Committee of Publishers and Associations."

Due to the nature of the U.S. legal system, laws and regulations constantly change. The editors encourage readers to carefully search the site for all content related to the topic of interest and consult qualified local counsel to verify the status of specific statutes, laws, regulations, and precedential court holdings.

Lilly Endowment

ChurchSalary is made possible through funding from the Lilly Endowment Inc. As part of Lilly's "National Initiative to Address Economic Challenges Facing Pastoral Leaders," ChurchSalary—and our parent, Church Law & Tax—is committed to helping church leaders and pastors develop an atmosphere of healthy financial stewardship, especially in the area of church staff compensation.