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Comparable Jobs

Churches used to benchmark wages based on local school teacher salaries. The Comparable Jobs sections updates this approach for the twenty-first century.

Churches used to benchmark salaries using local school teacher salaries. True story. Thanks to a wealth of modern data, though, and ChurchSalary’s powerful calculator, we can bring this approach into the 21st century.

Modern methods

The salaries of public school teachers used to be a good benchmark for one simple reason: there is (or was) a great deal of overlap between the two professions in terms of responsibility and education.

ChurchSalary has updated this approach by providing you with a dedicated section, called Comparable Jobs, designed to show you local salary data for just that … comparable jobs.

Let’s face it, pastors are increasingly migrating in and out of the church labor market. A lot of media and audio-visual professionals are coming into the church from the secular marketplace. And many pastors are working outside the church either bi-vocationally. For all these reasons, the church needs to offer competitive pay that takes the local labor market into account.

How it works

Using your ZIP code, ChurchSalary pulls compensation data for jobs in your local economy. As you look at these salary ranges, bear in mind that they correspond to the first and third quartile numbers that you find in the Nationwide Salary Summary.

These jobs and these numbers are based on real employees living in your MSA or metropolitan statistical area. For ChurchSalary, based in suburban Chicago, that MSA is the Chicago-Naperville-Joliet area.

If you live near Atlanta, Georgia you will see jobs and salary data based on the Atlanta-Sandy Springs-Roswell MSA.

How it applies

Every position is different. Take the time to think about the responsibilities and duties of the position you are evaluating and compare it with this list of local jobs. If someone working at your church went out into the local market, what would their job description and title be?

If you see a big difference between the job you are evaluating and salaries in the local economy, ask yourself, “Why?”

Finally, compare the best matches in this section with data from the first several sections of your report. Are salaries in your area higher? Is this position going to be competing with the local labor market, or brought in from outside the church? How might these salaries inform compensation at your church?

To learn more about ChurchSalary’s reports, check out the rest the videos in our Understanding Your Salary Report series.

Thank you for choosing ChurchSalary. If you haven’t already consider taking our National Church Compensation Survey, especially if your church is handling things like compensation factors well. We want to hear about it. Together, we can help more churches.

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.