Missionary and Ministry Salaries and Career Paths
Salaries for employees of missions, ministries, and non-profit organizations can vary widely. Most organizations offer salaries that are comparable with the national average for that particular job, although some offer more and others, less.
However, there is one very different distinction in this sector from all other sectors. There are several positions in which the employee is required to raise his or her own salary through contributions from friends, churches, family members, and other sources. This is a common operational feature of missions, ministries, and non-profit operations. An organization has the need for a communications director, for an example, but not the budget to pay the person a full-time salary. If a person is interested in obtaining the position, he or she will need to raise enough funds to pay his or her salary, in the amount he or she can live with. Other positions that are already part of the operating budget will not require this effort on the part of the applicant.
As of May 2008, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported that most managers of social agencies like these earn an average of $26.92 an hour, or $55,993.60 per year. Social workers earned an average salary that ranged from $14.87 per hour up to $19.01 per hour, depending on the kind of social work performed. General office personnel in this sector received an average of $12.17 per hour, and volunteer managers earned an average annual salary of $32,000.
Potential Career Paths
Your potential career path depends on your first position within the non-profit organization or ministry.
If you are hired as the director or executive director of the organization, you are already at the top when it comes to that organization. Your opportunities for advancement would then depend on the size of the organization. Are you the director of one out of many locations of the non-profit group? If so, you may be able to become director of a larger location, or eventually manage many locations within the organization. If you are the director of the only location of the organization, you will need to look elsewhere for advancement.
Otherwise, if you are hired as a social worker, counselor, accounting person, communications or marketing coordinator, or other professional positions within a non-profit organization, if the organization is large and growing, you may be promoted to direct the efforts of your entire department, and eventually, if successful, you could become the executive director.