Salary of a Communications Director at a Church

Communications directors help parishioners plan for upcoming services.
Communications directors help parishioners plan for upcoming services. (Image: Jupiterimages/ Images)

Church parishioners need to be kept informed of the worship service schedule, classes, Bible studies and other events. A church communications director is typically responsible for creating internal correspondence, marketing and advertising, visual communications (including photography and videography), website production and public relations. The salary range of a communications director will vary according to how many of these hats are worn, what software proficiency is required and size of the congregation.

Average Salary

According to the website "Simply Hired," church communications directors can expect to be compensated $71,000 per annum, as of June, 2011, with averages varying throughout the United States. More populous cities with large congregations will pay more than smaller churches in rural settings. The average salary in Washington, DC, is $95,000. An Alabama church communications director can expect pay in the range of $65,000. In Los Angeles, the average salary is $79,000, while New York church communications directors can expect to fetch $83,000.

Education and Experience

Communications directors must have a broad range of skills to keep abreast of rapidly changing media and technology. A bachelor's degree plus a minimum of 10 years of experience is ideal, with proficiency in complex computer graphics programs, A/V and camera equipment. Good writing skills are a must, as is the ability to direct freelance and volunteer media and production personnel. Press relationships are highly desired, as the communications director must report church activities in the secular press and create public service announcements when needed.

Christian Environment

Many if not most churches require church communications directors to be committed members of the congregation. Ideal characteristics for the position include maturity of religious character, demonstrated empathy and a servant's heart. There is a confidential nature to serving in a church environment, so the communications director must be respectful of personal issues that arise in this setting. Patience, perseverance and familiarity with the tenets and doctrines of the denomination are also qualities and knowledge that are helpful. A church setting is a deadline-intense and busy environment, tempered by supportive co-workers and clergy who provide guidance and pastoral care.

Other Factors

Church professionals in secular positions frequently find themselves in a blurred line between being a paid professional and a ministry volunteer. Extra time and talent offerings above and beyond normal working hours may be expected or offered as a gift to the church. Churches with large congregations or endowments may have a bigger budget to accommodate large communications director salaries.

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