A youth pastor works in a church whereby he/she or she is responsible for the spiritual guidance of the younger members of the church. He/She or she leads children, teenagers, and young adults with the ultimate objective of fostering their spiritual growth and sharing the values and mission of the church. They do this by educating them about Christianity, encouraging them to worship, and encouraging them to take part in volunteer work. They also organize retreats, bible study lessons, community outreaches, etc.

A youth pastor works under the supervision of a senior pastor. In order to succeed in the role, youth pastors should be strong in their faith and should have a passion for sharing the gospel. They should also have the ability to connect with young people, confidence, leadership skills, communication skills, interpersonal skills, and the ability to inspire others.

Youth pastors have a rather flexible work schedule. They work an average of 40 hours a week. Their working hours also depend on the schedule of activities.

What Does a Youth Pastor Do

When it comes to the most important skills required to be a youth pastor, we found that a lot of resumes listed 20.2% of youth pastors included outreach events, while 11.6% of resumes included disciple, and 10.6% of resumes included youth program. Hard skills like these are helpful to have when it comes to performing essential job responsibilities.

Learn more about what a Youth Pastor does

How To Become a Youth Pastor

If you're interested in becoming a youth pastor, one of the first things to consider is how much education you need. We've determined that 63.9% of youth pastors have a bachelor's degree. In terms of higher education levels, we found that 13.0% of youth pastors have master's degrees. Even though most youth pastors have a college degree, it's possible to become one with only a high school degree or GED.

Youth Pastor Career Paths

Average Salary for a Youth Pastor

Youth Pastors in America make an average salary of $39,712 per year or $19 per hour. The top 10 percent makes over $50,000 per year, while the bottom 10 percent under $31,000 per year.
Average Youth Pastor Salary
$39,712 Yearly
$19.09 hourly

What Am I Worth?


Roles and Types of Youth Pastor

There are several types of youth pastor, including:



A pastor leads a congregation of people and is responsible for their spiritual nourishment. They are responsible for assisting in church financial matters and overseeing the management of all areas of a congregation's ministry. They support, oversee and evaluate congregation staff by holding regular meetings to coordinate ministries.

Further duties include ensuring church facilities are functioning, leading religious worship services, providing counseling to parish members, including comforting them when they are distressed, visiting those who are sick, or offering advice on important decisions, performing religious ceremonies such as baptisms, weddings, and funerals, organizing and directing charitable efforts and fostering a sense of community, and composing and delivering sermons.

A pastor should have a strong character with impartiality and compassion for the concerns and struggles of others. He/She should have public speaking skills and the ability to communicate clearly. They earn an average of $44,708 per year. Most denominations require a pastor to complete higher education, such as earning a bachelor's degree in theology or religious studies. Some go through the seminary, theological college, or divinity school.

  • Average Salary: $44,787
  • Degree: Bachelor's Degree



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.

  • Average Salary: $46,392
  • Degree: Bachelor's Degree

Youth Minister


Youth ministers preach to and introduce teenagers and young adults to Christ. They educate teenagers about Christianity and encourage them to worship, leading them to Christ along the way. They earn an average salary of $40,000 per annum or $19 per hour.

Youth ministers act as guardians, and they serve as exemplary role models to children. They coordinate with the children for education, worship, volunteer work, and community outreach. They may also need to travel to communities or countries for mission trips. These trips are mostly to spread the gospel to the teens. They have reliable communication, leadership, and organizational skills.

Youth ministers hold a bachelor's degree in theology, biblical studies, or youth ministry. Most importantly, they are believers with a strong relationship to God. Some have previous youth ministry experience and an ability to understand the needs and challenges young people face. Also, they can work extended hours, sometimes into the evenings and weekends.

  • Average Salary: $41,513
  • Degree: Bachelor's Degree

States With The Most Youth Pastor Jobs

Mouse over a state to see the number of active youth pastor jobs in each state. The darker areas on the map show where youth pastors earn the highest salaries across all 50 states.

Average Salary: Job Openings:

Number Of Youth Pastor Jobs By State

RankStateNumber of JobsAverage Salary
1New York207$37,079
6New Jersey69$34,404
16North Carolina30$33,536
36South Carolina11$37,596
38North Dakota6$38,682
39New Mexico6$34,550
40South Dakota6$30,721
43West Virginia4$43,608
44Rhode Island4$42,015
48New Hampshire1$37,000

Youth Pastor Education

Youth Pastor Degrees


63.9 %


13.0 %


11.5 %

Top Colleges for Youth Pastors

1. Boston University

Boston, MA • Private

In-State Tuition




2. Trevecca Nazarene University

Nashville, TN • Private

In-State Tuition




3. Emory University

Atlanta, GA • Private

In-State Tuition




4. University of Pennsylvania

Philadelphia, PA • Private

In-State Tuition




5. Boston College

Chestnut Hill, MA • Private

In-State Tuition




6. Yale University

New Haven, CT • Private

In-State Tuition




7. Oklahoma Baptist University

Shawnee, OK • Private

In-State Tuition




8. North Park University

Chicago, IL • Private

In-State Tuition




9. Eastern University

Saint Davids, PA • Private

In-State Tuition




10. Northwestern University

Evanston, IL • Private

In-State Tuition




Top Skills For a Youth Pastor

  • Outreach Events, 20.2%
  • Disciple, 11.6%
  • Youth Program, 10.6%
  • Bible Study, 6.4%
  • Oversight, 4.4%
  • Other Skills, 46.8%

Choose From 10+ Customizable Youth Pastor Resume templates

Zippia allows you to choose from different easy-to-use Youth Pastor templates, and provides you with expert advice. Using the templates, you can rest assured that the structure and format of your Youth Pastor resume is top notch. Choose a template with the colors, fonts & text sizes that are appropriate for your industry.

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Youth Pastor diversity

Youth Pastor Gender Distribution


After extensive research and analysis, Zippia's data science team found that:

  • Among youth pastors, 12.3% of them are women, while 87.7% are men.

  • The most common race/ethnicity among youth pastors is White, which makes up 68.1% of all youth pastors.

  • The most common foreign language among youth pastors is Spanish at 57.9%.

Online Courses For Youth Pastor That You May Like

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Best States For a Youth Pastor

Some places are better than others when it comes to starting a career as a youth pastor. The best states for people in this position are Maine, California, Washington, and Arizona. Youth pastors make the most in Maine with an average salary of $45,472. Whereas in California and Washington, they would average $45,239 and $44,571, respectively. While youth pastors would only make an average of $44,192 in Arizona, 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. Arizona

Total Youth Pastor Jobs: 87
Highest 10% Earn:
Location Quotient:

2. Wyoming

Total Youth Pastor Jobs: 5
Highest 10% Earn:
Location Quotient:

3. Washington

Total Youth Pastor Jobs: 35
Highest 10% Earn:
Location Quotient:
Full List Of Best States For Youth Pastors

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Top Youth Pastor Employers

Most Common Employers For Youth Pastor

RankCompanyAverage SalaryHourly RateJob Openings
1Grace Church$46,051$22.1412
2Faith Church$45,107$21.6910
3Central Baptist Church of Oak Ridge$44,973$21.6211
4Freedom church$44,879$21.588
5Trinity Baptist Church of Jacksonville$44,736$21.519
6New Life Community Church$44,560$21.4218
7New Beginnings Church of God$44,127$21.217
8Bethany Church$44,014$21.1612
9Bethel Church$43,476$20.9012
10Victory Church$42,838$20.6012