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Most people work for a ministry because they feel called to do so. However, these people expect that they will receive fair compensation. A church salary range can help make sure that happens.
So, what is fair compensation?
And how do you determine what to pay people?
Determining pay can be particularly difficult for a startup church because they don’t have the resources to do salary comps or to pay someone to help them.
A church (board) is responsible for creating a compensation strategy to ensure the right people are hired and that those employees are compensated fairly.
Part of the compensation management process is to create pay ranges for all employee groups.
Pay ranges are used to determine church budgets and to ensure there is a pay growth opportunity for employees.
These pay ranges are a document that outlines the progression in pay for any given job.
For instance, a custodian may have a pay range of $14,500 – $29,725.
A range will show three points of pay: Minimum Pay – Mid-range – Maximum Pay.
For example, a custodian pay range may look something like this:
The employee pay is then determined by the range and is paid no more, no less.
Some organizations, by policy, do not hire any employee above the mid-range pay level because they want the employee to have room to grow in their salary.
Compensation is then determined by experience and job skills, and the pay range allows for pay increases as the employee progresses through their career.
How To Determine Pay Ranges
Creating pay ranges for employees is a laborious, time-consuming task.
However, some organizations specialize in helping create pay grades.
But you will need to do it yourself if you don’t have the resources to pay them.
Fortunately, many available resources can help with salary research.
Some offer limited free information, and for others, you will need to pay for a report.
The good news is more and more secular job sites are now showing ministry jobs, which is great for adding to the comparisons when building your pay ranges.
Another option is to simply call some local churches that are similar in size to yours, and you may find that most are transparent with their pay.
What Jobs Need a Salary Range?
To build your pay ranges. First, determine the jobs you will be creating a range for.
Make this list, and then go on a hunt for those salaries.
Next, find jobs with those same titles and basic job descriptions – hopefully in your geographic area and start pulling the data.
Create a grid and start filling in the blanks.
Example Salary Grid
|Children’s Ministry Coordinator
Find the minimum, mid and max salaries for these jobs and start filling in your grid. Factor in benefits if you can.
Example Grid With Benefits
|Total Comp. Costs
|Children’s Ministry Coord.
You don’t want to pay someone a salary that includes medical benefits on comparisons if your strategy is to offer that benefit in addition to pay.
You want to focus on that employee’s total compensation cost to the ministry.
Here are a few resources that can help you create your pay ranges.
5 Resources To Help You Create Church Salary Ranges
1. Compensation Handbook For Church Staff
The best resource I have found for churches is the Compensation Handbook by Richard Hammer.
It comes with a price, but it provides ministry-related pay ranges organized by church size, income, base salary, housing allowance, parsonage, education level, and common church benefits.
It has the necessary worksheets to help you create your salary ranges. It is definitely for the DIY person, but with a bit of time and effort, you can create your church pay ranges with this book.
The only disadvantage is this book doesn’t include all jobs that you now see in a church, so you may have to go elsewhere if you have jobs that are outside of their listings.
Another secular website that posts lots of church salaries is Indeed.
In addition to posting and finding jobs, there is a section to find salaries where you can search by job title, salary range, and what current churches are paying for jobs.
I was surprised at how many church jobs this site posts.
Payscale also offers compensation research with average pay, ranges of pay, and a job description to help you ensure you are comparing apples to apples with the job you are creating a pay range for.
This site also shares comps for experience, skills for the job, and common benefits for the job.
Lifeway provides a free compensation report but is limited to the churches that reported the data. It provides limited geographic information, as you can search by state.
This is a helpful, free resource if you can find the job you are looking for.
This website is an all-in-one compensation management solution for churches.
ChurchSalary.com can help with salary ranges, compensation consultation, and help with job descriptions.
If your church has the resources to pay for these services, this may be the quickest way to determine fair pay for your staff.
Church Employees Deserve To Be Compensated Fairly
Working for a church comes with countless blessings, most of which money can’t buy. However, people who work for churches should be managed well, thanked often, and compensated fairly.
Create a structured process for giving raises and a go-to pay range document, and you will have the necessary tools to ensure your employees recognize that they are appreciated for what they do.
You can access an editable copy of the pay range document here.
How does your church determine employee pay?
Access our growing library of church forms, documents, and job descriptions to help with your planning efforts.