PRIESTS in the Catholic Church are either diocesan or religious. Both types of priests have the same priesthood faculties, acquired through ordination by a bishop. Diocesan priests commit their lives to serving the people of a diocese, a church administrative region, and generally work in parishes, schools, or other Catholic institutions as assigned by the bishop of their diocese. Religious priests belong to a religious order, such as the Jesuits, Dominicans, or Franciscans. Religious priests receive duty assignments from their superiors in their respective religious orders. Both diocesan and religious priests hold teaching and administrative positions in Catholic seminaries, colleges and universities, and high schools
Salary, Size & Growth
- $50,000 average per year ($24.00 per hour)
- A medium occupation (59,700 workers in 2010)
- Expected to grow moderately (1.3% per year)
Preparation to become ordained as a PRIEST generally requires eight years of study beyond high school, usually including a college degree followed by four years in a seminary. Preparatory study may begin in the first year of high school, at the college level, or in theological seminaries after college graduation. After graduation from college, candidates generally receive two years of pre-theology preparatory study before entering the seminary. Most candidates for the priesthood have a four-year degree from an accredited college or university and then attend a seminary to earn either the Master of Divinity or the Master of Arts degree.