Wondering how priests get paid?

Wonder no more as this article reveals up to 20 well paying ways for priests to get paid and some tips to help.


Do Priests Even Get Paid?

Of course they do!

There are many reasons why we do what we do as it relates to our profession.

First, this company has paid $25+ million to members:

SurveyJunkie (only USA, Canada, Australia residents allowed). You can earn money sharing your thoughts. They have already paid $25+ million to their 20+ million members just for sharing their thoughts and opinions. Click here to join SurveyJunkie for FREE

Sometimes we select a certain career track because we have a significant talent as it relates to what is needed to fulfill a job.

Or, we may follow in the footsteps of our parents or we may just simply enjoy the job that we have chosen and get paid in the process.

Sometimes, working in a particular profession is more than just having the talent, skill set, or enjoyment of performing the job functions.

Sometimes what we do can be defined as a calling.

So it is with any job and in particular, the priesthood.

Being a priest or a minister is often defined as a calling in which the individual serves God and others above themselves.

Despite the heavenly calling and working on Earth for others and God, there is still the practical need for money as it relates to meeting the needs of an individual.

Let us, therefore, go to church and find out how a priest gets paid.


Personal Story

I served as a pastor for 12 years and had a multitude of duties that I performed in love with the congregation that I was called to serve.

In addition to having a congregation within the church, my attitude was that the entire community was part of that flock as well.

During the holiday season, the church that I was involved with had a significant commitment to helping the underserved in our community and we raised money to purchase toys for needy children and provide food baskets for families.

To do this I endeavored to take my musical instrument out to various retail locations and play holiday music in hopes that people would donate to the cause.

As one can imagine, there were a variety of comments about my musical ability or lack thereof.

Often, individuals would either say don’t quit your day job or that certainly isn’t your calling, etc.

On one occasion, I had an individual give me $20 as a donation and he said that $10 was for our organization and $10 was for music lessons.

All that to say is I guess playing music was not my calling.

Of course, I did not keep the $10 for music lessons but hopefully, it was used to bring “music” into the lives of others.


20 Well Paying Ways Priests Get Paid


1. Salaries

According to the Administrative Handbook, as published by the Archdiocese of Los Angeles, a catholic priest receives a salary for their work in the ministry.

The salary range is dependent upon the experience of the priest where it is reported that a new priest can earn $25,000 per year with the potential of an increased salary upwards to $44,000 a year.

Also, the salary varies in relationship to where the priest is serving.

For example, a priest may earn a higher salary in New York City versus a lower salary in a small community such as Pocatello, Idaho.


2. Housing

The priest also does not have to concern himself with finding a residence as that is provided for him.

The residence is known as the rectory and the church expects the priest resides in this rectory along with any other priests assigned to the parish.


3. Stipends

Stipends are also offered to the members of the clergy or the priests.

These stipends are provided by members of the parish in appreciation for the priest’s involvement or presiding over special activities or masses.

Those special activities could include involvement in a baptism, wedding, etc.

There is no set amount for the stipends, and this is more of a free-will gift given to the priest in appreciation by individual members of the church.


4. Bonuses

Appreciation is often given to priests during special seasons of the year.

These gifts can be monetary or otherwise and are sometimes gifted to the priest by the parishioners as well as the church.

Examples of these monetary bonuses could be at Christmas and Easter and are based upon the financial condition of the parish as well.

The bonuses are available but not given as an expectation.

It may depend upon the financial position of the parish and whether these discretionary bonuses are given.


5. Other

Baptisms, quinceñaneras, weddings, and funerals are other opportunities in which a priest can be given a financial gift in appreciation for their involvement in these special events.

Often, a mass is part of the service provided by the priest.

The gift can be given by members of the family or other parishioners.


6. Spiritual

The rewards for a priest given their true calling and commitment are not often measured monetarily but are reflected in the spiritual rewards that they receive according to their faith when judged for their life on earth.

These spiritual rewards are promised per the faith of the priest in serving others when he picks up the towel of service.

The spiritual rewards, the priest believes, are given to him by the One that he serves.


7. Emotional

Being a priest is an emotionally engaging service that is provided to their flock and parish.

After all, a priest is human and experiences a full range of emotions.

These emotions are fully engaged as the priest stands side by side and heart to heart with the members of his congregations when they experience joy, sadness, anger, frustration, doubt, etc.

The rewards of service in their interaction in the lives of their congregation can be of great value emotionally whether the emotions are deemed as negative or positive.


8. Social Security

The church requires that eligible priests participate in the Social Security system.

Consequently, a retired priest may not only receive compensation from the retirement system within the Catholic church but Social Security benefits upon their retirement as well.

Again, this company has paid $25+ million to members:

SurveyJunkie (only USA, Canada, Australia residents allowed). You can earn money sharing your thoughts. They have already paid $25+ million to their 20+ million members just for sharing their thoughts and opinions. Click here to join SurveyJunkie for FREE


9. Mental

The other benefit received by a priest, and not necessarily a monetary benefit, is the mental comfort that is experienced.

That mental comfort is realized in knowing that they serve a higher purpose, are true to their calling, and knowing that they are providing a quality service in helping others walk confidently and powerfully in this world.


10. Beginning Priesthood

The priesthood, like other non-spiritual professions, has a salary pay range that is dependent upon the priest’s experience.

The greater the experience the priest has the possibility of moving to larger parishes which equates to the possibility of earning additional income because of increased responsibilities and the size of the congregation.


11. Food

Another benefit that the priest has that has financial implications is that the parish provides for their physical needs through the provision of meals.

If the parish does not have a cook to prepare the meals for the priest, then the priest has the option of dining out as economically as possible.

The parish also provides the basic items found in a home which could include towels, blankets, dry cleaning, laundry, etc.

Also, the dry cleaning needs of the clothes worn by the priest in his official capacity is an expense that is covered by the parish.

The priest is expected to pay for their items which could include toiletries, Health items, etc.


12. Taxes

The priesthood is not exempt from filing taxes.

As with any other obligated citizen of the United States, permanent resident tax documents need to be filed and all income needs to be reported whether it was from salary, stipends, or outright gifts.

A priest is considered a self-employed individual for Social Security and Medicare considerations and therefore files accordingly.


13. Becoming a Priest

Becoming a Catholic priest requires several personality characteristics that will serve them in the priesthood.

Those personality characteristics include strong moral fiber, an empathetic and sympathetic spirit, the skill of listening, maintaining confidentiality, and much more.

Additionally, being a priest and compensation can vary depending upon which denomination the priest is representing.

Some denominations require formal education which includes undergraduate work and seminary training.

Within the Catholic denomination, following seminary, priests will serve as a deacon and have a period of 6 months before deciding on becoming a priest.


14. Denominations

Many denominations define their religious leadership as priests.

Some denominations affix the religious term minister, pastor, etc.

In essence, each of these individuals is a priest as they fulfill the role of serving God and the individual.


15. Who Pays

It is anticipated that many of the churches are self-sufficient as it relates to financial matters.

There may be times however finances may not be available, and the denominational structure of the church may be required to provide financial support.

For many smaller churches that are not formalized and have no such support organization, the pastor may be required to work outside of the church structure to earn money.


16. Benefits

Being a priest also offers many benefits.

Some of those benefits include medical and dental insurance and, depending upon the archdiocese, has a deductible and reimbursable amount.

Also, many priests have the benefit of taking advantage of a financial reimbursement benefit related to continuing education.

Reimbursement is paid to the priest for these opportunities through receipts of payment or an invoice.


17. Vow of Poverty

An added dimension and level of commitment by the priesthood is also the taking of a vow of poverty.

A vow of poverty is defined as only utilizing or obtaining the possessions minimally that are required

Luxurious lifestyles and excess money is thought to be counter to this vow and should be shared equitably amongst others.


18. Bonuses

In appreciation of a priest’s work throughout the year, there are special holy days on which the priest may receive an added financial bonus for their service.

Two specific days of celebration within the church calendar are Christmas and Easter and it is at these times that the priest may receive a bonus.


19. Review

It is important to note that accountability and review of the compensation of priests are reviewed every so many years by the Council of Priests within the particular archdiocese.

In particular, the Catholic church does not require an outside audit of its finances.

However, an annual audit is conducted by many of the dioceses as it relates to the church’s or parish’s finances.


20. Vehicle

The provision or use of vehicles is also a benefit available to a Catholic priest.

The vehicle is owned by the church.

The priest, if qualified and has proper licensing, can utilize that vehicle in the carrying out of their priestly duties.

The cap on purchasing a vehicle by a parish is, as of this writing, $27,000 which also includes tax and licensing charges.

Anything over that amount would be the responsibility of the priest.


How to Get Paid as a Priest FAQs


Are You Required to Pay a Priest for Special Ceremonies They Preside Over?

Some of these special ceremonies that a priest can preside over include a marriage, funeral, quinceñanera, baptism, etc.

There is no requirement for parishioners to pay a priest that presides over these special religious ceremonies.

However, if an individual wishes to show their appreciation for the service rendered, they can do so and provide a monetary gift.

Are There Different Salaries Amongst Priests?

According to this website, it appears that the salaries are different as it relates to which parish a priest is serving.



Being a priest is a noble profession and calling.

It would appear that no dedicated and committed individual wishing to become a priest is in it for the money or has a desire to be rich.

However, the reality is that there are needs that need to be met and therefore a salary is provided to assist the priests in their dedicated service to others and their service to God.

Again, this company has paid $25+ million to members:

SurveyJunkie (only USA, Canada, Australia residents allowed). You can earn money sharing your thoughts. They have already paid $25+ million to their 20+ million members just for sharing their thoughts and opinions. Click here to join SurveyJunkie for FREE

Previous article20 Most Effective Prayers for Financial Blessing & Tips to Help You
Next article25 Well Paying Jobs That Don’t Involve Customer Service
Apart from being a seasoned Personal Finance expert who has written for top publications around the world, I bring significant personal financial experience. Long story short... through bad financial choices... I found myself $100,000 plus in debt. I was able to dissolve this indebtedness and regain financial solvency. This financial turn around was accomplished through reading, studying and implementing a financial plan. My financial plan included paying down my debt through budgeting, being cognizant of where my financial resources were being spent, changing my attitude about money and understanding the binding chains of the improper use of credit. Today, and for 10 years, I have been debt free and have invested wisely to enjoy my current retirement. This is allowing me to write to help others make, save and grow money wisely!