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Mediation Careers

Career Description

A Mediator facilitates negotiation and conflict resolution through dialogue. They also resolve conflicts outside of the court system by mutual consent of parties involved.

Common Work Tasks

  • Assist with alternative dispute resolution—processes used to settle disputes outside of court
  • Offer suggestions for dispute resolution
  • Use appropriate techniques and/or skills to open and/or improve dialogue between disputants, aiming to help the parties reach an agreement on the disputed matter
  • Use different mediation techniques to solve a dispute, including evaluative, facilitative, and transformative mediation
  • Works toward a resolution that satisfies and is in agreement with all parties involved
  • Make sure that all relevant information is brought forth during the mediation process
  • Facilitate an exchange of information between the parties
  • Help both sides look at the issue from the other’s perspective
  • Follow up with parties to assure the agreed upon solution is working out

Other Job Titles

Mediators are also known by other titles, including:

  • Arbitrators
  • Lawyers
  • Conciliators
  • Judges

Education,  Training, and Experience

Education and Training
Training for mediators is available through independent mediation programs, national and local mediation membership organizations, and postsecondary schools. To practice in State-funded or court-funded mediation programs, mediators usually must meet specific training or experience standards, which vary by State and court. Most mediators complete a 40-hour basic course and a 20-hour advanced training course. Some people receive training by volunteering at a community mediation center or co-mediating cases with an experienced mediator. Others go on to complete an advanced degree or certificate program in conflict resolution at a college or university. Degrees in public policy, law, and related fields also provide good background for prospective mediators.

Certification and Licensure
There are no national credentials or licensure requirements for mediators. In fact, State regulatory requirements vary widely. Some States "license" mediators while other States "register" or "certify.” Currently, only four States—Florida, New Hampshire, Texas, and Virginia—have certification programs.  Increasingly, credentialing programs are being offered through professional organizations. For example, the American Arbitration Association requires mediators listed on its mediation panel to complete their training course,  receive recommendations from the trainers, and complete an apprenticeship.

Mediators need great communications skills because they often deal with sensitive information and people who are angry. They also need to be great listeners who are able to devise solutions from a large amount of information and are impartial when making decisions.


The median annual salary of a Mediator is $48,000. The top 10 percent earn more than $99,000 annually, and the bottom 10 percent earn less than $28,000 annually. Median earnings in the industries employing the largest number of mediators are:

  • Agencies, Brokerages, and Other Insurance Related Activities - $43,270
  • Business, Professional, Labor, Political, and Similar Organizations- $53,380
  • Local Government - $56,580
  • State Government - $60,080
  • Other Professional, Scientific, and Technical Services - $51,420

Job Outlook

  • 2006-2016 Employment growth:  11%
  • Number of new jobs created 2006-2016: 900
  • Employment 2006 : 9,400
  • Employment 2016:  8,500

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