Hospital Chaplain Job Profile

The hospital chaplain's job is to provide spiritual support and guidance to hospital patients and their loved ones. It is a challenging career that can offer both emotional and financial benefits. Here are some of the basic facts you need to know about being a hospital chaplain.

A hospital chaplain must possess a graduate degree in religion or a related field. As the job is non-denominational, the candidate's own religious affiliation is not important. He must be able to minister to people of all faiths and backgrounds. In addition, the chaplain must also receive certification from a recognized chaplaincy institution, such as the Association of Professional Chaplains or the Board of Chaplaincy Certification, Inc.

Hospital chaplains are expected to provide pastoral ministry services not only for patients and families but also for hospital staff. They are the spiritual lifeblood of their hospital and must also represent it in the greater community. This will often involve attending functions and events outside the hospital walls. The chaplain will represent the hospital in working with the local religious community. He will also be called upon to implement any changes in policy and procedure involving the hospital ministry.

Being a hospital chaplain requires tremendous tact and empathy. You will be dealing with people in crisis who come from all economic, racial and religious backgrounds. Some of these people will be facing the end of their life and may be in a hospice situation. The ability to listen and give comfort in stressful conditions is of paramount importance. A chaplain will also need to "fine tune" his spiritual message to each individual.

A hospital chaplain works non-traditional hours due to the nature of the job. Being available on nights, weekends and holidays is a must. Religious services in the hospital chapel are performed at set times throughout the week, including Sunday mornings.  There are certain "set" hours when the chaplain must be at the hospital, but he or she is often considered "on call" in case of an emergency. A certain amount of physical stamina will be required for the position.

The job is demanding, but the rewards are there. As of March 2010, reports that the average yearly salary for a hospital chaplain is approximately $50,000 per year, with many hospitals offering even higher compensation. Paid vacation and sick time are provided, and needless to say, health insurance coverage is included.

There are also opportunities for advancement. A hospital chaplain job can be the gateway to a greater role within the local church. And that may even lead to regional or even national recognition by a chaplain's particular faith. Due to the very nature of the job, the hospital chaplain deals with a variety of critical and delicate matters. This is wonderful preparation for a variety of careers in both the health and religious industries.

If you are interested in this rewarding profession, go to to see what is available. This is one of the best sources for health care jobs on the market. Good luck in your search!