Jobs in Theology (With Tips To Get One)

By Indeed Editorial Team

Updated March 26, 2021 | Published January 29, 2021

Updated March 26, 2021

Published January 29, 2021

The Indeed Editorial Team comprises a diverse and talented team of writers, researchers and subject matter experts equipped with Indeed's data and insights to deliver useful tips to help guide your career journey.

Studying religion and belief systems can lead to many engaging and rewarding careers. The study of religion, also known as theology, can prepare individuals for a career in religious institutions such as churches. Theology can also be a path into other disciplines that require strong literacy skills and critical thinking. In this article, we define theology and provide 23 jobs in theology, with tips to get a job with this kind of degree.

What is theology?

Theology is the study of religion, belief systems and associated philosophies. Some careers in theology focus on one specific religion, while others call for the study of many belief systems. Some individuals who graduate with a degree in theology pursue a career in a religious institution of their choosing. Others pursue a career in fields that require many of the qualities required of theology, such as literacy, communication and analysis. These flexible thinking skills can help you find a successful career.

Related: 9 Top Jobs for Philosophy Majors

23 jobs in theology

If you are interested in a career in theology, below is a sampling of possible roles along with salaries populated using data from Indeed Salaries, where these figures are frequently updated:

1. Counselor

National average salary: $29,766 per year

Primary duties: Counselors work with clients to optimize their mental health. Many focus on one particular type of condition such as anxiety or depression. Some counselors specialize in career counseling or life coaching.

Related: Learn About Being a Mental Health Counselor

2. Minister associate

National average salary: $37,365 per year

Primary duties: Minister associates assist the head minister of a church. Their duties often include planning, providing education and completing administrative tasks.

3. Preschool teacher

National average salary: $37,903 per year

Primary duties: Preschool teachers plan lessons, deliver instruction and care for the needs of 3- to 6-year-olds. They usually combine a variety of teaching strategies such as group work, one-on-one teaching and interactive play.

Related: Learn About Being a Preschool Teacher

4. Grant writer

National average salary: $42,945 per year

Primary duties: Grant writers prepare application materials to help fund organizations such as nonprofits and privately owned businesses. They perform extensive research and follow up on the materials they create after submitting them.

Related: Learn About Being a Grant Writer

5. Pastor

National average salary: $44,598 per year

Primary duties: Pastors are leaders of churches, typically of a Christian denomination, who guide the activities of a congregation. They perform services, provide education and organize community events, as well as an array of administrative tasks.

Related: Learn About Being a Pastor

6. Chaplain

National average salary: $47,098 per year

Primary duties: Chaplains provide spiritual services, usually nondenominational in nature. They often serve populations that cannot attend regular religious gatherings, such as individuals in prison or the hospital.

7. Religious education teacher

National average salary: $48,495 per year

Primary duties: Religious education teachers plan lessons and provide instruction for classes in religious schools or churches. They frequently associate with a specific denomination or belief system.

8. Secondary teacher

National average salary: $48,956 per year

Primary duties: Secondary teachers plan and provide instruction for students in grades 9-12. Their duties also usually include additional tasks such as leading student groups, designing curriculum and serving on committees.

Related: Learn About Being a High School Teacher

9. Advocacy manager

National average salary: $52,798 per year

Primary duties: Advocacy managers lead the advocacy activities of an institution such as a hospital or nonprofit organization. Advocacy activity often includes healthcare support, legal assistance and health and human services.

Related: Learn About Being a Patient Advocate

10. Fundraising coordinator

National average salary: $53,176 per year

Primary duties: Fundraising coordinators organize the financial development of a business or organization. They plan, monitor and reflect on fundraising activities and may collaborate with multiple departments or companies.

11. Missionary

National average salary: $54,872 per year

Primary duties: Missionaries work to spread awareness of and participation in their belief system. They are often associated with a Christian denomination and may travel to complete their duties.

12. Editor

National average salary: $57,194 per year

Primary duties: Editors help organize, assign and review content for print and online publications. They may also provide writing and proofreading services as part of their responsibilities.

13. Social worker

National average salary: $59,977 per year

Primary duties: Social workers support individuals and groups such as families in challenging circumstances such as hospitalization or incarceration. They evaluate their clients' needs, connect them with the right resources and reevaluate as needed.

Related: Learn About Being a Social Worker

14. Writer

National average salary: $60,761 per year

Primary duties: Writers prepare material for print and online publications such as books, newspapers, websites and marketing materials. They can work for a company, freelance or work with an agent to publish their creative work.

Related: Learn About Being a Copywriter

15. Professor

National average salary: $62,551 per year

Primary duties: Professors plan lessons, teach classes and provide feedback to students at the postsecondary level. They usually also fulfill obligations such as committee appointments and student mentorship.

Related: Learn About Being an Adjunct Professor

16. Mediator

National average salary: $63,205 per year

Primary duties: Mediators help individuals or groups navigate conflict. They often strive to find solutions that work for all parties, typically in legal matters.

17. Elementary teacher

National average salary: $64,605 per year

Primary duties: Elementary teachers prepare lessons, teach classes and care for the needs of primary school students. They often perform other tasks such as coaching, student group advising and committee representation as well.

Related: Learn About Being an Elementary School Teacher

18. Archaeologist

National average salary: $67,423 per year

Primary duties: Archaeologists study the history of humanity by excavating and analyzing artifacts from places where people lived in the past. Their work can be academic in nature and can inform other industries such as land development as well.

19. Grant manager

National average salary: $67,618 per year

Primary duties: Grant managers oversee the process of gaining and using grant funds. They often work for institutions such as nonprofit organizations, schools and hospitals.

20. Archivist

National average salary: $73,144 per year

Primary duties: Archivists locate, maintain and analyze documents of historical significance. They frequently work for institutions such as colleges, governments and libraries.

21. Diplomatic agent

National average salary: $74,127 per year

Primary duties: Diplomatic agents live in a country as a representative of another. They often assist residents of their home country abroad and work to maintain positive international relationships.

22. Historian

National average salary: $83,539 per year

Primary duties: Historians are scholars who study people, places and events in the past. They frequently work for academic institutions such as colleges and universities, as well as governments, libraries and museums.

23. Executive director

National average salary: $87,306 per year

Primary duties: An executive director manages a business or organization, most frequently a nonprofit. They often lead groups such as a board of directors and make high-level decisions regarding the organization's strategic functions.

Tips for pursuing a job in theology

If these jobs appeal to you, here are some more tips for pursuing a career after studying theology:

Stay flexible. Theology majors often work in the religious sector, but they can find successful secular careers as well. Consider expanding your job search to find more career paths that you might enjoy.

Network. Networking, or making professional connections, is a key element in developing a successful career in most industries. This is true for theology as well. Try connecting with professionals that share your academic and workplace interests by attending career events or joining online communities.

Find a mentor. Finding a mentor who is achieving professional goals you would also like to accomplish can be a good way to plan your career path and find new opportunities. Consider reaching out to a religious or secular community to meet experienced professionals who may offer their guidance and support.

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