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Salary Guidelines For Church Musicians

After a long week at work, planning the music for the weekend’s worship service is probably the last thing you’d want to do. Yet in the midst of preparing for Sunday morning worship, church musicians are often faced with a dilemma: do I get paid?

Churchgists will provide you with all the relevant information you are looking for on paying church musicians, church drummer salary, church pianist salary, and so much more.

Salary Guidelines For Church Musicians

As of Apr 20, 2023, the average weekly pay for a Church Musician in the United States is $588 a week. While ZipRecruiter is seeing weekly wages as high as $4,971 and as low as $212, the majority of Church Musician wages currently range between $211 (25th percentile) to $346 (75th percentile) across the United States.

church bands, church organists and church music directors get paid. They’re probably not being paid quite as much as they’d like (though many of them would still like more money) but at least they are getting paid. Let’s take a look at how much they get paid per service and how one might go about improving their income after their first year or two with a church.

Since the early days of Christendom, scores of church music have been written. Some are memorable and have become part of our cultural fabric — such as Bach’s “In the Bleak Midwinter” or Britten’s “Simple Symphony.” Others were less so, but still made a profound cultural impact on their day (Casey Western Reserve University’s “Daisy”). In some cases, including many of the pieces written today, these compositions are memorable because of their beauty or power; in some cases they were catchy tunes deliberately chosen to be catchy. But whatever their quality, it is rare that anything comes along with music created to display true excellence — or at least it did not seem true then. One small church band in Mississippi seemed different. And yet, to be quite honest with myself and others who might hear us play … we did not know if our music was any good until we got together after one service for a meal.

National Pastoral Musicians Salary Guidelines

Maybe you’re thinking, “Wait a second. Are church bands really allowed to charge their congregation money to play music at their church? If they’re playing a gig in front of people, shouldn’t the place of worship pay them?” That’s a very fair question and you shouldn’t hold it against us. Hey, I’ve been called greedy before too! But…the fact of the matter is churches do pay their musicians (although it might not be much). There are even some stipulations as to how much they can pay; such as “sustaining” or “programming” income (as opposed to concert income). Now on this page we’ll talk about earning potential for church musicians and show how much churches actually pay them so that you understand what’s possible for your own career ambitions.

If you’ve ever wondered how much church bands make or how much a church organist earns, you’re in the right place. I’ll be your guide and show you everything there is to know about salary guidelines for all sorts of people who play in your church. It’s a common question that many would ask: Are church musicians paid? The answer may surprise you. What exactly do they get paid when a member of the church band plays?

Setting a Salary for Church Musicians

There are no guidelines for establishing salaries and benefits for full-time church musicians in The United Methodist Church. These matters are left to the local church and employee to negotiate and determine. Nor is there available a comprehensive listing of such salaries within our denomination, although we can be sure the range would be from a very small amount of money up to tens of thousands of dollars per year, even $100,000 or more.

One approach to arriving at a salary is to compare the church musician’s position to another position in that same community; a high school teacher, for instance. If the church and musician could agree that a high school teacher’s position is comparable to the full-time church position, then it seems reasonable that the church musician should receive about the same income and benefits. In another situation, the church musician position might be comparable to a junior high school teacher, a college professor, a religious training and education director, or some other occupation.

The website can be helpful in determining median salaries and salary ranges for specific occupations and locations. You may need to be creative, since this site doesn’t have much information on full-time church music positions. Try entering something that you think might offer a comparable salary for comparable training and experience.

  1. Go to
  2. Enter a job title, such as high school teacher, junior high school teacher, college professor, religious training and education director. Of course, you can also try entering church choir director, minister of music, church music director, and so on.
  3. Enter a zip code, or scroll through and select a state and city.
  4. Click “Search.”
  5. You will see search results showing positions that you searched for as well as related positions. Be sure to scroll down past the advertisement that is inserted into the results so that you see all the options presented.
  6. This site offers you four choices, two of which require payment and two of which are free. Assuming you want the free information, click on the “View Basic Range” link under “For You.” This will bring up a statement that tells you the median income for that position and city/state. For example, I found that the median income for a high school teacher in Nashville, Tennessee, is $46,782. If you and your church can agree that a high school teacher’s position is comparable to your full-time church position, then it seems reasonable that you should be making about the same amount. At least that figure will give you a starting point for discussion and negotiation.
  7. The site also presents a graph showing the range of salaries for that position and community.

The site also offers you many options that you must pay for. Depending on how serious you are about this, some of these look quite informative.

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The average church-musician in the US makes $35,538

Salary Ranges for Church Musicians

The salaries of Church Musicians in the US range from $10,063 to $180,583 , with a median salary of $32,817 . The middle 57% of Church Musicians makes between $32,817 and $82,005, with the top 86% making $180,583.

How much tax will you have to pay as a Church Musician

For an individual filer in this tax bracket, you would have an estimated average federal tax in 2018 of 12%. After a federal tax rate of 12% has been taken out, Church Musicians could expect to have a take-home pay of $31,464/year, with each paycheck equaling approximately $1,311*.

* assuming bi-monthly pay period. Taxes estimated using tax rates for a single filer using 2018 federal and state tax tables. Metro-specific taxes are not considered in calculations. This data is intended to be an estimate, not prescriptive financial or tax advice.

Quality of Life for Church Musician

With a take-home pay of roughly $2,622/month, and the median 2BR apartment rental price of $2,506/mo**, a Church Musician would pay 95.58% of their monthly take-home salary towards rent.

Have you ever wondered how much do church bands make? Do church organists get paid? This is a question many people ask and we will try to answer it from this article.

Do church musicians get paid? If you are a musician and want to know if you will make more money playing for a choir than for services alone, this article will answer that question. It also tells you how much does an African drums player at your church make per service.

Do you know how much a church musician makes? Most musicians are very surprised to find out how little they’re paid. It’s even worse if you’re new to this industry, or have never worked for a church before. They will try to pay you as little as possible and leave you feeling under appreciated. That’s why I decided to share everything I know about what church musicians get paid on the web site Full Time Church Musicians . This blog is mainly dedicated towards those who work in churches and don’t get paid enough for their services.

How much do church musicians make? That’s what millions of people want to know. They want to learn how much money they can make as a church musician, and if it is worth it. This article will answer these questions and more.

So a church band is an ensemble of people who are playing music in a place of worship. If you’ve ever been at a church service, then you have likely heard one or more of them. Even if it’s just the soloist, they can make quite an impact on services (and even the congregation). As such, churches often employ musicians to play their music and lead their worship services; this is nothing new though (and probably wasn’t even invented by churches). However, for the purposes of this article here, we’ll assume that your church does know about their musicians’ salaries and determined how much you should be paid for playing for them or donating your time to help out when needed.

Many church musicians negotiate the terms of their employment, just as many non-musicians do. However, for the most part, church musicians are not covered under the National Labor Relations Act (or “Wagner Act”) which allows them to organize in unions. This has led many church musicians to believe that they are being exploited by their employers in a very uncomfortable and compromising manner. That being said, it’s important not just to ask but also be willing to listen to what others have to say about salaries and working conditions.

church pianist salary

As of Sep 15, 2022, the average annual pay for a Church Pianist in the United States is $48,173 a year.

Just in case you need a simple salary calculator, that works out to be approximately $23.16 an hour. This is the equivalent of $926/week or $4,014/month.

While ZipRecruiter is seeing annual salaries as high as $123,500 and as low as $18,500, the majority of Church Pianist salaries currently range between $31,000 (25th percentile) to $41,500 (75th percentile) with top earners (90th percentile) making $123,500 annually across the United States. The average pay range for a Church Pianist varies greatly (by as much as $10,500), which suggests there may be many opportunities for advancement and increased pay based on skill level, location and years of experience.

Based on recent job posting activity on ZipRecruiter, the Church Pianist job market in both Lagos, NG and throughout the entire state of is not very active as few companies are currently hiring. A Church Pianist in your area makes on average $56,657 per year, or $8,484 (18%) more than the national average annual salary of $48,173. ranks number 1 out of 50 states nationwide for Church Pianist salaries.

To estimate the most accurate annual salary range for Church Pianist jobs, ZipRecruiter continuously scans its database of millions of active jobs published locally throughout America.

church drummer salary

There are three pay rates that you can expect to find when looking for church gigs. 

  • $75 – $100 for one service with a brief rehearsal before the service.
  • $100 – $175 for one or two Sunday services and a rehearsal before the first service on Sunday morning, or a rehearsal during the week.
  • $175 and up for two Sunday services with a rehearsal before the service on Sunday morning, or a rehearsal during the week. 

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