Conflict Resolution & Mediation Careers

Jan 19, 2020

Career Options that Involve Conflict Resolution and Mediation

Conflict resolution and mediation can involve listening to two or more parties who have a problem. Some of the professionals who work with conflict resolution and mediation may focus on addressing employee complaints, while others may deal with individuals who have legal disputes. Conflict resolution and mediation can be an important process that helps people resolve personal, professional and business matters and in some cases can prevent problems from escalating to the point where the courts are involved.

Job Title Median Salary (2018)* Job Outlook (2018-2028)*
Human Resources Managers $113,300 7%
Assistant Principals $95,310 (for education administrators, elementary and secondary school) 4% (for education administrators, elementary and secondary school)
Arbitrators, Mediators and Conciliators $62,270 8%
Mental Health Counselors and Marriage and Family Therapists $50,090 (for marriage and family therapists) 22% (for marriage and family therapists)
Claims Adjusters, Appraisers, Examiners and Investigators $65,670 -4% (decline)
Police and Detectives $63,380 5%

Source: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

Career Information for Jobs that Involve Conflict Resolution and Mediation

Human Resources Managers

Human resources managers must have a bachelor's degree in their field and experience in human resources. They oversee staffing issues for organizations, and as part of their duties they may mediate disputes between employees. They also educate managerial staff about issues and may influence policies that will prevent further staff conflicts. Some specialize in labor or employee relations, and their duties may also involve negotiating employee contracts.

Assistant Principals

Assistant principals work in schools and address issues such as student discipline. Their work can involve conflict resolution because they may have to hear from several students involved in a dispute in order to determine what happened and how to resolve it. They may even address complaints between students and staff or problems between staff members. Most assistant principals have a master's degree, and it's common for assistant principals to move into an administrative role with prior teaching experience.

Arbitrators, Mediators and Conciliators

Arbitrators, mediators and conciliators typically have experience working as a judge or lawyer, so although a bachelor's degree may be sufficient for some positions in this field, many arbitrators, mediators and conciliators have a law degree and law license. Their primary objective is to resolve disputes between parties. This may involve hearing all sides in a matter and recommending a solution or negotiating with the parties until they can reach an agreement on how to solve their problem. While arbitration may be required for some types of conflicts, others may choose to use the services of an arbitrator, mediator or conciliator to try to avoid legal proceedings.

Mental Health Counselors and Marriage and Family Therapists

Mental health counselors and marriage and family therapists may work with individuals, couples, families or groups to help these people address problems such as personal conflicts. They help determine the issues their client or clients are being affected by, and also help them explore ways to resolve or manage those issues. For example, a married couple may discuss issues with their marriage and their therapist may help them work to understand the other partner's perspective so that they can improve communication or change behaviors that are adversely affecting the relationship. A master's degree and license are required to work in this profession.

Claims Adjusters, Appraisers, Examiners and Investigators

Claims adjusters, appraisers, examiners and investigators may be able to start out in this profession with a high school diploma, although a bachelor's degree is usually necessary for advancement. These professionals handle insurance claims, and as part of their job they may have to hear different perspectives on the cause of an incident to determine how to resolve the issue and then negotiate with claimants to resolve the matter. In some cases, those who have filed an insurance claim may disagree with the insurance provider's offer of compensation, and claims adjusters may be involved with resolving that matter with legal staff.

Police and Detectives

Police and detectives work to investigate crimes, prevent crimes or enforce laws. The training requirements vary for law enforcement professionals and while all must complete academy training and meet physical requirements, some agencies may require their officers to have a bachelor's degree. Police and detectives may be involved in addressing issues between people and helping them find a solution to their problem before the conflict escalates. Although conflict resolution is not the sole focus of their work, police and detectives may regularly find themselves addressing conflicts and resolving issues between people before they become criminal matters.

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