Mediation Career Video: Becoming a Professional Mediator

Mediation Career Video: Becoming a Professional Mediator Transcript

A mediator is a professional who assists in dispute resolution outside of the legal realm. People who consider litigation often turn to mediators to come to a mutually agreeable arbitration before involving the courts. If you enjoy law and think that you can remain impartial during a dispute, a career as a mediator may be right for you.


Mediators are professionals who provide an impartial third party view to disputes that range from legal settlements to political arguments. They typically work outside of courts to help parties reach an agreement. Mediators are trustworthy people with sound reasoning skills and the ability to remain neutral in a conflict.

Job Skills and Duties

Mediators need to be experienced conflict resolution experts. This entails people skills, knowledge of arbitration, and creative problem solving. Mediators don't render decisions, but instead use discussion and problem resolution to help people come to an agreement. Most importantly, mediators must have no personal interest in the outcome of arbitration. Conflict of interest will disqualify a mediator from working on a case. Some states have very clear laws defining mediation. Mediators should be familiar with those laws, as they will need to draft conditions of the mediation. Conditions could include the level of pay and details of how the two parties will be bound to the results of the mediation.

Training Required

Training and education for a mediator varies greatly depends on the type of mediation, reputation, and availability of jobs in the area. People without schooling typically enroll in conflict resolution classes. Bachelor's degree students may emphasize mediation and conflict resolution courses within their major. The federal government generally requires a law degree for their mediators, but have, in the past, accepted people with significant federal service. There are state and local certifications that qualify mediators for court referrals as well. These certifications often require a bachelor's degree or relevant experience. Requirements vary, but currently only Texas, New Hampshire, Florida and Virginia have state-sponsored certification programs.

Well Known Jobs Within this Field

Mediators encompass a broad spectrum of jobs. On one end, mediators can work to resolve disputes within a family or neighborhood and are referred to as conflict resolution experts. Other mediators work in a school district, resolving conflicts between students and teachers. The skills of mediation even lead some people to become foreign diplomats. Employees of larger organizations or courts may volunteer their time as mediators. Social workers and counselors can also be called upon to mediate.


The ability to help bring feuding parties to their own, peaceful resolution requires a combination of training and natural ability. Mediators need to be able to listen and formulate sound reasoning. Successful mediators could work their way into a variety of career fields, including teaching and politics. Individuals who enjoy law, conflict resolution and working with people may want to consider a career as a mediator.


Bureau of Labor Statistics Occupational Outlook Handbook - Judges, Magistrates and other Judicial Workers

Wikipedia - Mediator

Princeton Review Career Profiles - Mediator

George Mason University - Mediation Employment Opportunities

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