Roman Catholic Priests


Roman Catholic Priests


Roman Catholic priests serve as either diocesan priests (sometimes called secular priests), leading individual parishes within a certain diocese, or as religious priests, living and working with other members of their religious order. The primary function of all priests is administering the church's seven sacraments: baptism, confirmation, confession, holy communion, marriage, holy orders, and anointing of the sick. Diocesan priests also visit the sick, oversee religious education programs, and generally provide pa...

Quick Facts


Median Salary



Employment Prospects



Minimum Education Level

Bachelor's Degree



Seminar or assistant priest experience





Personality Traits



Religious priests take a vow of poverty and are supported by their orders. Any salary that they may receive for writing or other activities is usually turned over to their religious orders. Diocesan priests receive small salaries calculated to cover their basic needs. These salaries vary according to the size of the parish, as well as its location and financial status. Glassdoor reports that Ca...

Work Environment

There is no such thing as a standard workweek for diocesan priests. Like all clergy, priests who function as pastors are on call at any hour of the day or night. They may be called to visit the sick or administer last rites at any time of the day or night. They may be asked to counsel families or individuals in times of crisis. Priests also must prepare sermons and keep up with religious and se...


The Bureau of Labor Statistics forecasts average employment growth for clergy in general through 2029. There is a shortage of priests in the Roman Catholic Church, however, with the number of priests having declined by nearly 40 percent since 1970 because of retirement and those leaving the profession for other reasons. Opportunities for positions in the priesthood are increasing and will proba...