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Youth Minister: Job Description & Career Requirements

Learn about the education and preparation needed to become a youth minister. Get a quick view of the requirements as well as details about schooling, job duties and experience required to find out if this is the career for you.

A youth minister will usually be required to have a bachelor's degree and may need to complete an internship or complete volunteer work experience. Youth ministers work with children and teens. They plan activities and may lead Bible studies or youth services.

Essential Information

A youth minister coordinates time with children and teens for the purposes of worship, education, volunteer work and community outreach. Additionally, they may lead and serve within various church programs and activities, such as children's care or Bible study classes. Youth ministers are usually required to earn a bachelor's degree. An internship or volunteer work may be necessary. Public speaking and communication skills are also needed.

Required Education Bachelor's degree usually required
Other Requirements Internship or volunteer work experience may be necessary; communications and public speaking skills are needed
Projected Job Growth (2014-2024)* 6% for clergy; 4% for directors, religious activities and education
Median Salary (2015)* $44,250 annually for clergy; $38,780 for directors, religious activities and education

Source: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

Job Description

In addition to working within their church, youth ministers may travel to other communities or countries for mission trips. These trips are usually for the purposes of teaching the youth of the congregation to help others in need and to spread the message of the church. A youth minister could be employed by his or her church, school or non-profit religious organization, but might also offer services on a volunteer basis.

Career Outlook for Youth Ministry

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), positions for directors of religious activities and education, including youth ministers, were expected to experience an increase of 4-6% from 2014-2024. In May 2015, BLS reported that clergy had a median annual salary of $44,250. The BLS revealed an annual median salary for directors of religious activities and education of $38,780 for the same time period.

Job Requirements for a Career in Youth Ministry

Education Required

According to the BLS, church ministry leaders and directors, including youth ministers, usually have a bachelor's degree (www.bls.gov). Though a specific major isn't typically required, several Bible colleges and private schools offer leadership programs with concentrations in youth ministry. Common coursework includes religious studies, child psychology, family studies and communication.

Youth ministry programs often have internship requirements that offer experience under the direction of a pastor or youth minister. Students who enroll in programs without these opportunities can usually volunteer within a church's youth program as a youth group leader, children's choir assistant or daycare provider.

Skills Required

In addition to church doctrine, scriptural teachings and the history and culture of a particular denomination, a successful youth minister should be familiar with youth culture. Keeping current with the trends and issues important to children and teens allows youth ministers to counsel youth in a language that they understand and respect. Leading by example, a youth minister should be devoted and self-disciplined. Youth ministry might also require skills in public speaking and communications.

The job growth projections for youth ministers are expected to be average from 2014-2024 when compared to all occupations. Applicants who volunteer with youth groups, complete an internship and demonstrate communication and leadership skills may increase their job prospects.

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