Do you find yourself to be an impartial party placed in the middle of arguments? And, do you actually help the disputers come to an agreement? Then perhaps you should consider becoming a mediator!
What is a Mediator?
A mediator is a non-biased, neutral person who aids in solving legal disputes. They aren’t needed to make decisions. Instead, they help guide the disputing parties come to one on their own through effective problem-solving. A mediator will help the disagreeing party define exactly what they are trying to accomplish and then try to lead them toward an amicable settlement.
Mediators are commonly present in small claims courts, divorce and family court, and some criminal courts. They are used in hopes of settling any issues prior to being seen in front of a judge. Mediators are often hired by unions and legal administrations. They are also can specialize in areas such as child protection or divorce.
There are three main types of mediators:
- Facilitative Mediation - Involves the mediator assisting the parties in reaching a mutually agreeable solution. With this form of mediation, the mediator is in charge of the process, but the parties are in charge of the outcome.
- Evaluative Mediation - Reaches a resolution by having the mediator point out the weaknesses of their cases and predict what a judge or jury would likely do or say. This form of mediation is more concerned with the legal rights of the parties rather than their needs and interests and is evaluated based on legal concepts of fairness.
- Transformative Mediation - This type of mediation is a newer practice based on the values of empowerment. Recognition of the parties needs, interests, values and points of view are encouraged, and mediators meet with parties together to help enforce the “transformation” during that time.
How Can I Become a Mediator?
Mediators are generally lawyers, retired judges, or business professionals. However, you can become a mediator without having been any of those careers mentioned. Degrees aren’t necessary in some states but a certificate of completion from a mediation course probably is. A mediation course is typically 20-40 hours of training.
Courses to become a mediator will include negotiations techniques, active listening, conflict management, and interpreting body language. Other skills necessary to being an effective mediator are excellent communications and negotiations skills, superb reading and writing skills, and outstanding decision-making skills.
State requirements vary so make sure to check with your state.
What Kind of Salary Does a Mediator Make?
The Bureau of Labor Statistics states the annual median pay for mediators is $58,020. The lowest 10% will earn $32,440 yearly while the top 10% will bring home more than $118,000 per year.
Employment for mediators is expected to grow 9% between now and 2024 which is a bit faster than the average. Because mediators deal mostly in law, those with law degrees can expect to have better job prospects than those with only a certificate of course completion.