What is a Hospice Chaplain

Hospice chaplains are crucial to the care of patients in their end-of-life process. They provide spiritual solace and comfort to individuals with terminal illnesses. Hospice Chaplains can work in hospitals, nursing homes, retirement communities and even patient's homes.

These professionals are members of an interdisciplinary medical team responsible for giving care to patients on the brink of death. When ministering to a patient, hospice chaplains often account for a patient's spiritual, mental, physical and emotional health. They may also provide counsel to the patient's family members. Besides spiritual counsel, hospice chaplains may also perform administrative duties like filing and reporting.

Hospice chaplains usually have a bachelor's degree in religious studies or related subjects. They may also have advanced degrees in theology, divinity or pastoral studies. Employers may also prefer ordained ministers when filling the role of a hospice chaplain.

There is more than meets the eye when it comes to being a Hospice Chaplain. For example, did you know that they make an average of $25.27 an hour? That's $52,564 a year!

Between 2018 and 2028, the career is expected to grow 7% and produce 1,400 job opportunities across the U.S.

What Does a Hospice Chaplain Do

There are certain skills that many Hospice Chaplains have in order to accomplish their responsibilities. By taking a look through resumes, we were able to narrow down the most common skills for a person in this position. We discovered that a lot of resumes listed Compassion, Leadership skills and Listening skills.

How To Become a Hospice Chaplain

If you're interested in becoming a Hospice Chaplain, one of the first things to consider is how much education you need. We've determined that 41.8% of Hospice Chaplains have a bachelor's degree. In terms of higher education levels, we found that 41.8% of Hospice Chaplains have master's degrees. Even though most Hospice Chaplains have a college degree, it's impossible 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 Hospice Chaplain. When we researched the most common majors for a Hospice Chaplain, we found that they most commonly earn Master's Degree degrees or Bachelor's Degree degrees. Other degrees that we often see on Hospice Chaplain resumes include Doctoral Degree degrees or Associate Degree degrees.

You may find that experience in other jobs will help you become a Hospice Chaplain. In fact, many Hospice Chaplain jobs require experience in a role such as Chaplain. Meanwhile, many Hospice Chaplains also have previous career experience in roles such as Pastor or Chaplain Resident.

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Hospice Chaplain Career Paths

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Average Salary for a Hospice Chaplain

Hospice Chaplains in America make an average salary of $52,564 per year or $25 per hour. The top 10 percent makes over $58,000 per year, while the bottom 10 percent under $47,000 per year.
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Hospice Chaplain Demographics

Hospice Chaplain Gender Statistics


65.8 %


30.5 %


3.7 %

Hospice Chaplain Ethnicity Statistics


72.5 %

Black or African American

10.8 %

Hispanic or Latino

8.5 %

Hospice Chaplain Foreign Languages Spoken Statistics


60.0 %


10.0 %


3.3 %
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Hospice Chaplain Education

Hospice Chaplain Majors

42.9 %

Hospice Chaplain Degrees


41.8 %


41.8 %


6.6 %

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High School / GED

Top Colleges for Hospice Chaplains

1. Emory University

Atlanta, GA • Private

In-State Tuition

2. Boston College

Chestnut Hill, MA • Private

In-State Tuition

3. Loyola Marymount University

Los Angeles, CA • Private

In-State Tuition

4. North Park University

Chicago, IL • Private

In-State Tuition

5. Brescia University

Owensboro, KY • Private

In-State Tuition

6. Saint Thomas University

Miami Gardens, FL • Private

In-State Tuition

7. Fordham University

Bronx, NY • Private

In-State Tuition

8. Duquesne University

Pittsburgh, PA • Private

In-State Tuition

9. Southeastern University

Lakeland, FL • Private

In-State Tuition

10. Gardner-Webb University

Boiling Springs, NC • Private

In-State Tuition
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Online Courses For Hospice Chaplain That You May Like

Transitions in Care from Survivorship to Hospice

This course should be taken after the Symptom Management course and continues building your primary palliative care skills - communication, psychosocial support, goals of care, and symptom management. You will explore transitions in care such as survivorship and hospice. You will learn how to create a survivorship care plan and how to best support a patient. The course also covers spiritual care and will teach you how to screen for spiritual distress. Finally, you will learn the requirements for...

What is Palliative Care?

Palliative care provides invaluable help for patients living with serious or life-limiting illness and their family caregivers. Palliative care should be part of healthcare services to improve quality of life, the ability to tolerate and benefit from treatment and improve survival. In this course, you will learn about the nature of suffering and how this concept can help you understand the experience of people living with serious illness. Next, you will learn skills to more effectively communica...

Essentials of Palliative Care

This course starts you on your journey of integrating primary palliative care into your daily lives. You will learn what palliative care is, how to communicate with patients, show empathy, and practice difficult conversations. You will learn how to screen for distress and provide psychosocial support. You will learn about goals of care and advance care planning and how to improve your success with having these conversations with patients. Finally, you will explore important cultural consideratio...

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Top Skills For a Hospice Chaplain

The skills section on your resume can be almost as important as the experience section, so you want it to be an accurate portrayal of what you can do. Luckily, we've found all of the skills you'll need so even if you don't have these skills yet, you know what you need to work on. Out of all the resumes we looked through, 21.7% of Hospice Chaplains listed Spiritual Care on their resume, but soft skills such as Compassion and Leadership skills are important as well.

How Do Hospice Chaplain Rate Their Jobs?

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Hospice ChaplainNovember 2019


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What do you like the most about working as Hospice Chaplain?

I enjoy working with people allowing them to know they are not alone and I will be with them until the end. Show More

What do you NOT like?

I don’t like when I have to give a person up knowing this is the end. Show More

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