Youth Ministry Salary Survey

In case you missed it, last March, Group Magazine published the results of a youth ministry salary survey.

If you keep reading, I’ll give you a few of the highlights — and on top of that make sure you check out the results of our Catholic Youth Ministry Salary Survey. You’ll be able to see how youth ministry salaries in the Catholic world stack up against our protestant counterparts.

Men Make Over 52% More Than Women

The average income for male youth ministers is $41K, while female youth ministers make only $27K. That’s quite a big difference. I wonder if that large of a disparity exists in the Catholic Church as well?

YMs in their early 40s Make the Most

It seems when you hit 41, you’re in your salary sweet spot (making almost 60% more than any other age range)–but it only lasts 5 years. I’m guessing the perception is that when you’re 41-45, you’re old enough to have the experience, skills, and organization to lead a ministry while still being young enough to understand youth culture. What do you think?

Most YMs Think They’re Paid Enough

72% of youth ministers told Group Magazine that they feel they had been compensated fairly this last year. That number is higher than I would have expected – I know several youth workers who left ministry because they couldn’t afford to raise or even start a family on their salary. What about you, do you think you get paid enough?

Other Duties as Assigned by Pastor

My wife and I often laugh about that line in most youth ministry job descriptions. Some pastors really take that line seriously and assign their youth minister a laundry list of roles and tasks that really don’t fit into their job. This survey speaks to that, with YMs creating a list of “add-on” responsibilities, including: music ministry, maintenance duties, tech support, web/social media, wedding coordinating, confirmation prep, and more. What add-on jobs are you expected to do?

Can’t Live With The People You Serve

Almost half of the YMs surveyed acknowledged that their church salary means they can not afford to live the average lifestyle of an average member of their church. No surprise there, I’ve never been able to afford to live in the neighborhoods where I’ve served. In fact, I use laugh when I drove by the high school and saw teens parking cars that cost more than I’d make in TWO years of full time ministry. Is that true for you too? And more importantly, does that affect your ministry?

The National Average: $37,500 / Year

All things considered, Group Magazine places the average annual salary of a youth minister in the United States at $37,500. Honestly, that’s a little bit lower than I was expecting. What about you?

How Do Catholics Compare?

That’s a great question, and the answer can be found in the results of our Catholic Youth Ministry Salary Survey.  (Hint: our national average is lower.)

And don’t forget to share your answers and thoughts on the questions above in a comment down below.

Michael Marchand

Michael is a Catholic evangelist, author and speaker.

After spending 11 years as a parish youth minister, Michael left parish ministry to work full-time with ProjectYM (a ministry he cofounded a few years earlier).

Michael's resume also includes preaching gigs at events and conferences around the world, a Catholic theology degree, authoring a book on Catholic evangelization, years of training and consulting with parish/diocesan leaders on technology and social media, countless online projects, and the founding of 2 ProjectYM mission bases: one in Uganda and one in Chattanooga, TN.

Michael is blessed to be part of an amazing missionary family. Michael, his beautiful wife (Crystal) and four kids serve the local Church in Chattanooga, TN.


Michael Marchand


Michael is a Catholic evangelist, author and speaker.

After spending 11 years as a parish youth minister, Michael left parish ministry to work full-time with ProjectYM (a ministry he cofounded a few years earlier).

Michael's resume also includes preaching gigs at events and conferences around the world, a Catholic theology degree, authoring a book on Catholic evangelization, years of training and consulting with parish/diocesan leaders on technology and social media, countless online projects, and the founding of 2 ProjectYM mission bases: one in Uganda and one in Chattanooga, TN.

Michael is blessed to be part of an amazing missionary family. Michael, his beautiful wife (Crystal) and four kids serve the local Church in Chattanooga, TN.



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