Jump directly to the Content Jump directly to the Content

Employment Profile and Benefits

What does the average pastor or staff member look like? How do they stack up against their peers? And what benefits should you offer your employees?

What does the average youth pastor look like? Not in terms of fashion but demographics. And, how does your youth pastor, and other staff at your church, stack up against their peers?

There are two sections in every ChurchSalary report designed to help you understand the larger labor market—what does the typical church employee look like and what benefits do they receive?

Employment Profile

Let’s talk about the first of these two sections, the Employment Profile.

Using our database, ChurchSalary breaks down the demographics of each position in the Employment Profile section, regardless of church size or budget. For example, this section will show you how manysenior pastors in the entire country are male and how many are female. How many have a bachelor’s degree or 6 to 10 years of experience?

Job seekers can use this information to determine whether they are average or unique as a candidate.

Churches can use this information as they start the hiring process. If you decide that your next children’s pastor needs to have a seminary degree, how much of the job market are your excluding?

Additionally, this section can help churches understand where their staff fits into the larger labor market, and, in turn, where they should place employees within a basic salary range. If doctorate degrees are a rarity among youth pastors, is your church prepared to pay a premium for that kind of employee?

Immediately following the Employment Profile, you’ll find the Benefits section.


Comparing benefits is very tricky. If you’ve ever tried to compare several different health insurance plans you know what I’m talking about. In fact, we have an entire article dedicated to this topic.

The reality is that, in today’s labor market, performing an apples-to-apples comparison of benefits is virtually impossible.

ChurchSalary captures a lot of data on benefits and condenses it in this section in a way that is helpful for you and your church.

Each benefit is graphed as a percentage. How many youth pastors receive paid vacation days or life insurance? How many custodians receive some form of health insurance from their church?

Individuals can use this section to compare benefits with their peers. Maybe you aren’t receiving life insurance but 65% of your peers are?

Churches can use this section to benchmark employees and decide which employees receive which benefits. Let’s face it, benefits are expensive and offering them to all of your staff equally is a big undertaking. As you consider improving compensation packages at your church, this section can help you figure out where to draw the line for certain benefits.

What about benefit numbers?

Churches sometimes want specific numbers for benefits. We get it—churches want to know how much to offer to their staff. The short answer is simple: whatever you can afford. Maybe you can’t offer 6 percent matching on retirement, but can you start at 2? That’s better than zero.

The more complicated answers can be found in the following articles and resources:


These two sections, the Unemployment Profile and Benefits, can help you orient yourself and your church in the labor market. How do your pastors and staff stack up and how do your benefits compare?

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.