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Minister of religion

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Summary of occupation

Ministers of religion lead religious organisations, perform spiritual and religious ceremonies and provide spiritual guidance to members of a particular religious group. They lead the members of their religious organisation in acts of worship, officiate at weddings, funerals and other religious ceremonies, and offer a range of other community services, both in conjunction with the organisation they work for, and through their own personal day to day activities.

Ministers of religion may operate within any of a number of religions, the beliefs and practices of which vary significantly.

ANZSCO description: Performs spiritual functions associated with beliefs and practices of a religious faith, and provides motivation,  guidance and training in religious life for the people of a congregation or parish, and the wider community. This occupation requires high levels of personal commitment and interest as well as, or in place of, formal qualifications or experience. Registration or licensing may be required.
Alternative names: Clergyman/woman
Specialisations: Aboriginal Ceremonial Celebrant (Aus), Chaplain, Imam, Minister, Monk, Pastor, Priest, Rabbi, Salvation Army Officer
Job prospects: Average
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Knowledge, skills and attributes

A minister of religion needs:

  • a caring and compassionate nature
  • strong religious faith
  • knowledge of their religion's practices and history
  • organisational skills
  • public speaking skills
  • an awareness of the needs of the community
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Working conditions

Ministers of religion work in churches, mosques, synagogues, temples and other places of worship. They may also work in schools, hospitals, prisons, offices, or in people's homes. They usually work regular business hours, but depending on the practices of their religion may be required to lead religious services at night or on weekends. They are usually required to travel to various places in the community in order to carry out their duties.

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Salary details

On average, ministers of religion can earn between $800 and $999 per week ($41 600 and $51 999 per year), depending on the organisation they work for, and their level of experience.

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Tools and technologies

Ministers of religion are required to be knowlegable of the texts that relate to their religion. They often use office equipment, including computers, and also use ceremonial apparel and other equipment associated with their religious denomination.

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Education and training/entrance requirements

There is no standard requirement for those wishing to become a minister of religion, as requirements vary according to which religion you follow, and which organisation you wish to join.

Some ministers of religion require no formal qualifications in order to practice, but have other requirements, such as having belonged to a particular religious institution for a certain period of time or having completed particular religious rites. Other organisations require their religious leaders to have studied theology at university or a similar institution.

In some religions particular facets of an individual’s lifestyle can be an impediment to becoming a religious leader, such as having been married, divorced, or having children.

Related courses

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Apprenticeships and traineeships

As an apprentice or trainee, you enter into a formal training contract with an employer. You spend most of your time working and learning practical skills on the job and you spend some time undertaking structured training with a registered training provider of your choice. They will assess your skills and when you are competent in all areas, you will be awarded a nationally recognised qualification.

If you are still at school you can access an apprenticeship through your school. You generally start your school based apprenticeship by attending school three days a week, spending one day at a registered training organisation and one day at work. Talk to your school's VET Co-ordinator to start your training now through VET in Schools. If you get a full-time apprenticeship you can apply to leave school before reaching the school leaving age.

If you are no longer at school you can apply for an apprenticeship or traineeship and get paid while you learn and work.

Related apprenticeships

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Recognition of prior learning

If you think you already have some of the skills or competencies, obtained either through non-formal or informal learning, you may be able to gain credit through recognition of prior learning.

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