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Court Administration: Job Information and Career Requirements

Read on to see what a career in court administration entails. Find out what the education and training requirements include. See what the career prospects are to decide if this job is right for you.

Career Definition for a Court Administration Professional

Court administration professionals coordinate administrative and managerial operations for federal, state, county, and municipal court systems. They may set court docket schedules, manage administrative personnel, monitor record-keeping systems and databases, and ensure that courtrooms are properly equipped and staffed. They may also coordinate the collection of fees and fines, work with financial staff to establish budgets, and supervise the hiring, training, and evaluation of staff.

Some court administrators work for a specific court, such as family or immigration court, and they are employed by court systems throughout the U.S. Job titles for court administration professionals often include clerk of court, judicial officer, and court researcher, manager, or administrator. In some venues, court reporters may also perform some court administration duties.

Education High school diploma or associate degree
Job Skills Communication, detail oriented, leadership, organization
Median Salary (2017) $37,300 (all court, license, and municipal clerks)
Job Growth (2016-2026) 6% (all court, license, and municipal clerks)

Source: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

Required Education

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, a job as a court clerk may only require a high school diploma or its equivalent. In some cases, an associate's degree in a relevant field, like criminal justice or paralegal, may be necessary. More advanced jobs may call for candidates with at least a bachelor's degree and some court administration experience. Membership in a professional organization, such as the National Association for Court Management, also provides job candidates with networking opportunities and career information (www.nacmnet.org).

Certification Options

Court administrators may be eligible for professional certification options. Completion of certification programs, such as the Court Management Program (CMP) or Court Executive Development Program (CEDP) offered through the National Center for State Courts (NCSC), may also improve job prospects (www.ncsc.org).

Skills Required

Court administration professionals must be highly organized with excellent written and verbal communication skills. They must have in-depth knowledge of case management and court procedures, as well as good record-keeping and budgeting abilities. Strong supervisory, managerial, and leadership skills are essential. Court administration professionals must have good computer skills and be proficient with database management systems and word processing programs. They should be resourceful and good problem-solvers, with strong personal interaction skills, and the ability to work with coworkers, judicial staff members, and the public.

Economic Forecast and Career Outlook

The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS, www.bls.gov) projects average job growth of 6% for court, license and municipal clerks throughout the 2016-2026 period. Salaries vary by experience, location, and job title; however, court administration professionals often enter the job market as court clerks. In May 2017, the BLS reported the median annual salary of such clerks as $37,300.

Alternate Career Options

Those interested in court administration careers may consider working in related occupation fields, including human resources and auditing.

Human Resources Specialist

Human resources specialists handle routine tasks related to bringing on new staff and maintaining current employee pay and benefit programs. Duties may include interviewing and conducting background checks of candidates to delivering new hire orientation programs or processing payroll. This job typically requires a bachelor's degree, and employers often prefer candidates with a degree in human resources or a closely related area of study; previous experience can also make a difference, and a willingness to travel is also sometimes required. Voluntary professional certification is available. According to the BLS, the number of jobs for human resources specialists is expected to increase 7% from 2016-2026. This occupation paid a median annual salary of $60,350 in 2017.

Auditing Clerk

Auditing clerks review a company's financial transactions - such as accounts receivable, accounts payable, and balance sheets. They double check to make sure the math is right and mark items that may be errors. Education requirements vary from a high school diploma to some postsecondary education or training; on-the-job training is also common. Auditing clerks may earn voluntary professional certification. The BLS reports that employment of auditing clerks is expected to decline by a rate of 1% from 2016-2026. Jobs in this field paid a median annual salary of $39,240 in 2017.


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