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How to Become a Mediator

Rahul Pandita
Read this story if you are interested in knowing how to become a mediator, how long does it take to become one and the career opportunities in this field...
Read this story if you are interested in knowing how to become a mediator, how long does it take to become one and the career opportunities in this field...
A mediator is a person who helps two or more conflicting parties to reach a common agreement. Mediation can be thought of as a process, where the conflicting parties try to resolve their disputes, so that they do not end up filing a litigation.
A career as a mediator can be satisfying and financially secure. Mediation has become one of the top careers, as lot of organizations are taking help of mediators to resolve workplace conflicts.
The benefit of going for mediation instead of litigation is that a litigation is an order, that is, even if the parties are not satisfied with the decision, they have to comply with it. Mediation on the other hand can be thought of as a suggestion, where the conflicting parties may or may not agree with it.

Becoming a Mediator

The educational requirements to become a mediator are not specific like other professions. Some mediators have a bachelor's or a post-graduate degree while some may be attorneys.
They specialize in dispute management or conflict resolution. But there are many successful mediators who have got decades of experience with them, and may not have a bachelor's degree.
The training is available through a lot of independent institutions, national and local mediator membership organizations. Most mediation panels require a 40 hour course in mediation. You should always take up programs that have been certified by the Association of the Conflict Resolution (ACR).
Many mediators also complete their apprenticeships and master's degree in management, while some may have law degrees as well. So, we can say that the requirements to become a mediator are not specific.
If you have not got a degree, but have been successful in helping warring parties reach a settlement, you will become a bankable name and will be sought after. In this job, the most important thing that employers look out for is the ability to listen carefully, and find a middle-path out of a deadlock.

Mediating Actual Conflicts

Once you have completed your training, the next step is to know how to start mediating actual conflicts. One of the ways to start mediating conflicts is to join volunteer panels and various community based programs.
Once you have spent some time and gained good experience, you can then join the bigger panels, like the American Arbitration Association or JAMS. For further growth in this field, you can take the services of a mentor, who would be able to hone your conflict resolution skills further.

Average Salary

The salary range for a mediator is between $36,700 to $62,000. People with less than one year of experience can make anywhere between $27,000 to $55,000. If you have ten years of quality experience behind you, then the prospects are great.
The highest salary that a mediator can earn, with around ten years, is close to $103,000. Florida tops the list, as far as the best states to work are concerned. Texas and California are second and third respectively in the list of highest paying states.
If you have been known as the 'peacemaker' since your school days or have the negotiation skills it takes to convince people, you can make it big in the field of mediation.
The career opportunities in this field are immense, and they are predicted to grow in the coming years. One thing that we would like to emphasize again on is that is not very difficult entering this field, but to achieve fame, respect and high earnings you will have to make sure that you are among the best in the business.