"Don't major in minors -- learn about the things that really count!"

Do you want to be a...

Religious Leader

Religious leaders are responsible for leading worship, and providing guidance and instruction to members of their faith, sect or tribe.

They are also responsible for any associated administrative duties.

The term 'religious leader' covers a range of titles and functions such as Aboriginal ceremonial celebrant, chaplain, imam, minister, missionary, monk, nun, pastor, priest, rabbi, religious brother/sister, religion teacher, religious counsellor and religious youth leader.

Religious leaders work long hours and extensive travel may be required.

Some may operate as missionaries in isolated areas or overseas.

Emotional and physical stress can be associated with this occupation.

Religious leaders may perform the following tasks, which can vary according to the religion and the denomination:


  • plan ceremonies and services, including the use of music
  • conduct services of public worship and administer sacraments as required
  • participate in and contribute to the social and welfare activities of communities
  • counsel and encourage people to be aware of their social and religious responsibilities
  • provide personal support to people undergoing a crisis such as illness, bereavement or family breakdown
  • conduct classes in religious instruction and organise participation in community projects
  • supervise prayer and discussion groups, retreats and seminars
  • conduct baptisms, marriages, funerals and other services
  • translate, interpret, explain and communicate scripture
  • keep records as required by civil or church law
  • visit the sick and elderly


  • a deep personal commitment to a particular religious calling
  • enjoy working with people
  • an awareness of the needs of the community
  • an understanding of the behaviour and responsibilities expected of religious leaders

Interest Area

Clerical/Administrative Helping/Community Service Influencing/Personal Contact


There are various ways to become a religious leader. You can enter this occupation by gaining formal theology qualifications, as a specialist in another field (welfare, for example) or through on-the-job experience and training. These arrangements will vary according to the denomination and the nature of the work being sought. Contact the relevant religious organisation for more details about entry requirements.

Additional Information

    The actual tasks and duties carried out by religious leaders differ between religions. Contact the relevant religious organisation for specific task descriptions and information about training and entry requirements.


After suitable training, placements are often made available for service in religious institutions, hospitals, prisons, schools, the Australian Defence Force, social welfare organisations and the general community.

Employment opportunities are influenced by the number of people involved in religion and attending services, as well as the range of services offered by religious organisations. In some religions, job opportunities may be better for those who are willing to work in country regions.

Overseas work is often available. Opportunities arise in religious and inter-church bodies or through overseas missionary agencies.

Trained religious leaders often move into other fields in the community, such as welfare. They may also work in different areas of the ministry, such as youth welfare, music or pastoral care.

Similar Jobs

More Information - External Links

Job Outlook for Religious Leader

For further information about this occupation, contact your chosen religious organisation.

Other Jobs by Interest Areas...

Artistic Creative Jobs Clerical Administrative Jobs Figures Computational Jobs Helping and Community Jobs Influencing and Personal Jobs Literary Jobs Medical Jobs Outdoor Jobs Practical Manual Jobs Scientific Jobs Technical Engineering Jobs

Job Search? Look for and press ENTER.

Remember: This is an EXACT match, so please use whole words only

This search looks for a match with the WHOLE keyword/s you enter. In other words, abbreviations like vet won't find veterinarian. Slang terms like brickie won't locate bricklayer 🙂

COL's JOB Guide

Please contact us to notify errors or suggest improvements.

Australia's Careers OnLine : Professional Careers Advice for job seekers on the 'net since 1995!