Religious leaders who are sometimes called “clergy professionals” identify with and serve a specific religious group. The specific title used to describe their profession usually depends on the specific religion. For example ministers and pastors serve protestant groups priests serve catholic groups rabbis serve Jewish groups and imans serve those of the muslin faith. Religious leaders usually conduct formal religious services for congregations as well as less formal worship groups. They serve in an official capacity at weddings and for other ceremonial rituals. In addition they visit homes hospitals and prisons to confer blessings and offer spiritual emotional and personal guidance. They also oversee budgetary matters for their congregations do outreach to increase membership and serve an important role in educational programs. Religious leaders must be highly dedicated and willing to work more than 40 hours a week. They should be excellent communicators able to give inspiring sermons as well as to be empathetic listeners. In some but not all religions only males can serve as leaders. With regard to preparation for this career each religion has its own requirements for training in theology or religious studies. However all religious leaders must be highly knowledgeable about the rites and doctrines of their faith. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics job openings for religious leaders are expected to increase at a higher than average rate. Salary is not usually foremost in the motivation to follow this career. The website www.payscale.com reports that earnings for religious leaders depend on the specific religion as well as years of experience. Protestant ministers have starting salaries of approximately $36500 which increases to $49100 after some years of experience. However rabbis are among the highest paid starting at approximately $50000 which can increase to over $99000 after several decades of experience.
|Education Required:||Master's Degree|
|Tasks:||Studies and interprets religious law.
Prepares and delivers sermons.
Reads from and provides guidance on religious texts.
Leads religious education programs.