The demand for celebrants is trending up. The Humanist Society reports that weddings officiated by humanist celebrants are surging in popularity in the UK. The Australian government is forecasting the job outlook for civil celebrants as “very strong” in terms of future growth.
What Is Celebrancy?
A celebrant is an individual who officiates at a ceremony such as a wedding, civil partnership, funeral or naming ceremony. In the past, religious leaders, official registrars or officers of the courts always fulfilled this role — and, of course, for many families, they still do.
Celebrancy offers an alternative that’s attractive to people who would prefer not to choose a registrar, clergy member or other religious figure to preside at their ceremonies.
Celebrants are flexible in adjusting the amount of religious content in a ceremony to meet their clients’ needs. For example, when holding a funeral for an atheist family, the celebrant could omit any prayers and scripture readings and instead focus the proceedings on remembrances of the accomplishments and character of the deceased.
One rising trend is for yogis to seek training as celebrants. A couple whose religious practice could best be described as “new age” might seek out a yogi as the celebrant at their wedding if they want to add a sense of mindfulness to their ceremony.
How to Become a Celebrant
Marriage laws vary by country, so it’s wise to check your local laws before you make a commitment to begin any training programme to become a celebrant.
In England and Wales, weddings officiated by celebrants are not legally binding unless the couple also takes steps to marry with an official registrar. The Guardian reports that the British Humanist Association is the entity responsible for setting the standards for celebrants in the UK. Organisations such as Humanists UK and the UK Society of Celebrants provide training.
In Scotland, the government does honour weddings performed by Humanist celebrants. To become a Humanist celebrant, you’ll need to inquire with the Humanist Society of Scotland.
In Australia, the government imposes national training qualifications, according to the Sydney Morning Herald. A certificate IV in celebrancy granted by an approved provider will give you the training you need for becoming a celebrant in Australia. The training only takes six months on average.
How Much Do Celebrants Earn?
It does seem like celebrancy could possibly be a viable full-time career for some officiates; but, at present, most are only earning a part-time income with celebrancy.
In the UK, celebrants affiliated with the Humanist Ceremonies Network earn an average of £190 for officiating at funerals; £650 for weddings; and £200 for naming ceremonies.
In Australia, where the movement originated, there are both full-time and part-time celebrants. The Sydney Morning Herald reports on a successful celebrant located in the Sutherland Shire by the name of Coral Kortlepel, who usually officiates at five weddings each week.
According to Training.com.au, a prominent Australian vocational education hub, graduates of the celebrancy certificate programme report median earnings of AU$43,000 after completing the training. However, according to TheSydney Morning Herald, the average celebrant in Australia is only working at an average of eight weddings each year for estimated total yearly earnings of about $4,800.
In regards to the question of whether celebrancy is a viable career, our conclusion is that it can be an excellent source of supplemental, part-time income. As a full-time career, it may not be as viable; this is due to its unpredictable nature.
A marriage celebrant is unlikely to be able to find work on weekdays, which places limits on the amount of work s/he’s able to do. Prospects are best for celebrants who are able to use their celebrancy training as a complement to another people-oriented business such as teaching yoga. Still, this business has the potential to be quite lucrative for the people who have the right personality and skill set to excel at obtaining the work. With the demand for celebrants growing in the UK and abroad, it’s an excellent time to seek celebrancy training.
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