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Chaplain Careers

A chaplain performs religious rites, worship services and even provides confidential counseling. They devote their lives to advising others on religious, spiritual and moral topics. Sometimes they'll work for the military and other times they work for a hospital.

When it comes to becoming a chaplain, the more education you have the better. While most chaplains have a Master's degree, there are some positions that require a Doctoral level of education. It's definitely a dream job for people who like promoting peace and helping others.

There is more than meets the eye when it comes to being a chaplain. For example, did you know that they make an average of $24.42 an hour? That's $50,793 a year!

What Does a Chaplain Do

When it comes to the most important skills required to be a chaplain, we found that a lot of resumes listed 18.4% of chaplains included clinical pastoral, while 17.3% of resumes included spiritual care, and 7.0% of resumes included patient care. Hard skills like these are helpful to have when it comes to performing essential job responsibilities.

When it comes to searching for a job, many search for a key term or phrase. Instead, it might be more helpful to search by industry, as you might be missing jobs that you never thought about in industries that you didn't even think offered positions related to the chaplain job title. But what industry to start with? Most chaplains actually find jobs in the health care and non profits industries.

How To Become a Chaplain

If you're interested in becoming a chaplain, one of the first things to consider is how much education you need. We've determined that 26.0% of chaplains have a bachelor's degree. In terms of higher education levels, we found that 53.4% of chaplains have master's degrees. Even though most chaplains have a college degree, it's possible to become one with only a high school degree or GED.

Choosing the right major is always an important step when researching how to become a chaplain. When we researched the most common majors for a chaplain, we found that they most commonly earn master's degree degrees or bachelor's degree degrees. Other degrees that we often see on chaplain resumes include doctoral degree degrees or associate degree degrees.

You may find that experience in other jobs will help you become a chaplain. In fact, many chaplain jobs require experience in a role such as internship. Meanwhile, many chaplains also have previous career experience in roles such as pastor or senior pastor.

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Average Salary
$50,793
Average Salary
Job Openings
2,118
Job Openings

Chaplain Career Paths

Top Careers Before Chaplain

Pastor
15.0 %

Top Careers After Chaplain

Pastor
18.0 %

What is the right job for my career path?

Tell us your goals and we'll match you with the rights job to get there.

Average Salary for a Chaplain

Chaplains in America make an average salary of $50,793 per year or $24 per hour. The top 10 percent makes over $84,000 per year, while the bottom 10 percent under $30,000 per year.
Average Salary
$50,793

Best Paying Cities

City
ascdesc
Average Salarydesc
Palo Alto, CA
Salary Range60k - 106k$80k$80,029
Portland, ME
Salary Range52k - 87k$68k$67,536
New York, NY
Salary Range51k - 86k$66k$66,494
Boston, MA
Salary Range49k - 82k$64k$63,898
Farmington, CT
Salary Range48k - 82k$64k$63,502
Medford, OR
Salary Range47k - 82k$63k$62,615
$37k
$106k

Recently Added Salaries

Job TitleCompanyascdescCompanyascdescStart DateascdescSalaryascdesc
Chaplain As Needed
Chaplain As Needed
Centura Health
Centura Health
01/30/2021
01/30/2021
$48,25101/30/2021
$48,251
Institution Chaplain/P
Institution Chaplain/P
State of Michigan
State of Michigan
01/28/2021
01/28/2021
$42,99201/28/2021
$42,992
FDC-Chaplain Fc-70930561-Central Florida Reception Center, East
FDC-Chaplain Fc-70930561-Central Florida Reception Center, East
State of Florida
State of Florida
01/27/2021
01/27/2021
$31,30501/27/2021
$31,305
FDC-Chaplain Fc-70930561-Central Florida Reception Center, East
FDC-Chaplain Fc-70930561-Central Florida Reception Center, East
Florida Department of Transportation
Florida Department of Transportation
01/27/2021
01/27/2021
$31,30501/27/2021
$31,305
Chaplain I
Chaplain I
Uchealth
Uchealth
01/27/2021
01/27/2021
$47,04101/27/2021
$47,041
See More Recent Salaries

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Chaplain Resumes

Designing and figuring out what to include on your resume can be tough, not to mention time-consuming. That's why we put together a guide that is designed to help you craft the perfect resume for becoming a Chaplain. If you're needing extra inspiration, take a look through our selection of templates that are specific to your job.

Learn How To Write a Chaplain Resume

At Zippia, we went through countless Chaplain resumes and compiled some information about how best to optimize them. Here are some suggestions based on what we found, divided by the individual sections of the resume itself.

View Detailed Information

Chaplain Demographics

Gender

male

64.9 %

female

29.8 %

unknown

5.3 %

Ethnicity

White

74.1 %

Black or African American

9.7 %

Hispanic or Latino

8.1 %

Foreign Languages Spoken

Spanish

57.5 %

French

9.6 %

German

4.8 %
See More Demographics

Chaplain Education

Majors

Theology
42.3 %

Pastoral Counseling And Specialized Ministries

10.5 %

Degrees

Masters

53.4 %

Bachelors

26.0 %

Doctorate

9.2 %

Top Colleges for Chaplains

1. Emory University

Atlanta, GA • Private

In-State Tuition
$51,306
Enrollment
6,975

2. Boston College

Chestnut Hill, MA • Private

In-State Tuition
$55,464
Enrollment
9,639

3. Loyola Marymount University

Los Angeles, CA • Private

In-State Tuition
$48,522
Enrollment
6,557

4. North Park University

Chicago, IL • Private

In-State Tuition
$29,860
Enrollment
1,967

5. Brescia University

Owensboro, KY • Private

In-State Tuition
$22,100
Enrollment
918

6. Saint Thomas University

Miami Gardens, FL • Private

In-State Tuition
$31,830
Enrollment
986

7. Fordham University

Bronx, NY • Private

In-State Tuition
$52,687
Enrollment
9,392

8. Duquesne University

Pittsburgh, PA • Private

In-State Tuition
$38,178
Enrollment
6,008

9. Southeastern University

Lakeland, FL • Private

In-State Tuition
$25,870
Enrollment
5,570

10. Gardner-Webb University

Boiling Springs, NC • Private

In-State Tuition
$32,000
Enrollment
2,010
See More Education Info
Job type you want
Full Time
Part Time
Internship
Temporary

Top Skills For a Chaplain

  • Clinical Pastoral, 18.4%
  • Spiritual Care, 17.3%
  • Patient Care, 7.0%
  • Chaplains, 6.4%
  • On-Call, 5.9%
  • Other Skills, 45.0%
  • See All Chaplain Skills

Best States For a Chaplain

Some places are better than others when it comes to starting a career as a chaplain. The best states for people in this position are California, Maine, New York, and Massachusetts. Chaplains make the most in California with an average salary of $72,501. Whereas in Maine and New York, they would average $66,683 and $66,272, respectively. While chaplains would only make an average of $63,811 in Massachusetts, you would still make more there than in the rest of the country. We determined these as the best states based on job availability and pay. By finding the median salary, cost of living, and using the Bureau of Labor Statistics' Location Quotient, we narrowed down our list of states to these four.

1. Maine

Total Chaplain Jobs:
25
Highest 10% Earn:
$107,000
Location Quotient:
2.8
Location Quotient is a measure used by the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) to determine how concentrated a certain industry is in a single state compared to the nation as a whole. You can read more about how BLS calculates location quotients here

2. South Dakota

Total Chaplain Jobs:
21
Highest 10% Earn:
$95,000
Location Quotient:
2.91
Location Quotient is a measure used by the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) to determine how concentrated a certain industry is in a single state compared to the nation as a whole. You can read more about how BLS calculates location quotients here

3. West Virginia

Total Chaplain Jobs:
27
Highest 10% Earn:
$98,000
Location Quotient:
2.63
Location Quotient is a measure used by the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) to determine how concentrated a certain industry is in a single state compared to the nation as a whole. You can read more about how BLS calculates location quotients here
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Top Chaplain Employers

1. United States Army
4.0
Avg. Salary: 
$46,611
Chaplains Hired: 
132+
2. VITAS Healthcare
4.4
Avg. Salary: 
$69,029
Chaplains Hired: 
33+
3. United States Navy
3.8
Avg. Salary: 
$46,281
Chaplains Hired: 
32+
4. State of Florida
4.3
Avg. Salary: 
$35,338
Chaplains Hired: 
16+
5. Hospice of The Bluegrass
3.5
Avg. Salary: 
$62,216
Chaplains Hired: 
16+
6. St. Joseph Hospital
4.6
Avg. Salary: 
$53,089
Chaplains Hired: 
15+

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