Salary Recommendations: Historical Information Formerly "Salary Recommendations for Congregational Staff"

We Relaunched our Congregational Salary Program in Fall 2022

Recommended Salary Ranges and Resources for 2023-2024 and 2024-2025

This page exists to house '22-'23 Salary Program (and earlier) information. It will remain posted through the '24-'25 program year.

Look for current information on our Congregational Salary Program page.

Salary Recommendations and Resources: Historical Info

Guide to Salary Recommendations

Our Guide to Salary Recommendations (PDF) will assist you in understanding and using the Salary Recommendations (see Salary Tables, below) in your specific context.

In the new version of our Congregational Salary Program, this document is replaced by Salary Process Guidance (PDF).

Capsule Job Descriptions

Capsule Job Descriptions (PDF) are brief job summaries for common staff positions in UU congregations, for use with UUA Salary Recommendations. Use the best-fit capsule description for each position, regardless of the job title in your congregation. (In some cases, it's appropriate to use a blend of two positions.)

In the new version of our Congregational Salary Program, we are using job levels rather than job titles/descriptions. See our Job Level Rubric (PDF).

​Geo Index Listing

The Geo Index is based on cost of wages,not cost of living. However, we are now listing a congregation's cost of living, relative to the national average, alongside their Geo Index. More information about the Geo Index can be found in the Guide to Salary Recommendations (PDF).

The Geo Index Listing for 2024-2025 can be found on our current Congregational Salary Program page.

UUA Salary Recommendations

The information in this section is for the '22-'23 year and will remain for historical reference. For '24-'25 information, see our Congregational Salary Program page.

General Information for 2023-2024

Because we changed the congregational sizes and also shifted from a job title system to a grade system, there was no standard increase across positions or sizes. That said, we assumed a 3% pay increase as a general starting point in crafting the new recommendations.

The CPI-U change from 3rd quarter '21 to 3rd quarter '22 was 8.5%.

Information for 2022-2023

  • Updated Salary Tables for 2022-2023 are posted below. A reminder that we did not revise our tables last year, so these are two-year adjustments. Salaries for most positions increased 3% from the '20-'21 tables. Salaries for positions on the Administration and Operations page were adjusted 4%, reflecting slightly more upward wage movement in these types of positions over the past two years than in wages as a whole.
  • Cost of living adjustment: Preservation of purchasing power is fundamental compensation principle. The third-quarter Consumer Price Index (CPI-U) increase from 2020 to 2021 was 5.3%. As you budget for staff salaries in the year ahead, consider that a 5.3% wage increase is needed to roughly maintain a typical employee's purchasing power.
  • A reminder about local wages: For many positions, understanding local wage norms is important. Additionally, although all UUA salary guidelines are consistent with the federal minimum wage, it is possible that some recommended salaries do not comply with all state and local wage laws. Please be aware of minimum or living wage laws in your area.
  • Process guidance: Compensation is about more than numbers. Your compensation policies and practices are a way of living your values. Our Compensation Process Guidance page includes checklists, with links to relevant resources, to help you ground your compensation decisions in equity and transparency. Note that the salary checklist on the Compensation Process Guidance page has been expanded and incorporated into our new Salary Process Guidance (PDF) document. As of 2024, the Benefit Process Guidance is included on our UUA Benefit Recommendations page.

Information from Prior Years

For 2021-2022, we did not post updated salary tables. Given the stresses and uncertainties of the pandemic and the challenges of using wage survey data in that moment, we kept salary recommendations at 2020-2021 levels, making clear that staff should still get raises. The cost of living adjustment factor was 1.2%, based on the third quarter CPI-U change from 2019 to 2020.

For 2020-2021, the recommended cost of living adjustment was 1.8%. Range midpoints and maximums on our salary tables increased between 2% and 6%, depending on position and congregational size. Minimum salaries for all positions and sizes were adjusted so that every minimum is at least 85% of its corresponding midpoint. This caused some range minimums to rise substantially. It also means that some "midpoints" are no longer the mathematical midpoint between the minimum and maximum. See Guide to Salary Recommendations (PDF) for explanation.

For 2019-2020 salary tables, we made a uniform adjustment of 1.8% to all positions at all sizes. In 2018-2019, a 4% adjustment was made across the board. 2017-2018 was a "catch-up year," in which we made no changes.

Salary Tables for 2022-2023

Ministerial Interns

For salary guidance on ministerial interns, see Guidelines for Ministerial Student Internships in the Internship Clearinghouse.

About the Author

Jan Gartner

Jan is passionate about helping congregations live out their values within their walls!...

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