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Career profile Administrative Judge

Also known as Adjudications Specialist, Adjudicator, Administrative Hearings Officer, Administrative Judge, Administrative Law Judge, Appeals Examiner, Appeals Referee, Claims Adjudicator, Hearings Officer, Workers' Compensation Hearings Officer

Administrative Judge

Also known as Adjudications Specialist, Adjudicator, Administrative Hearings Officer

Interests Profile
  • Enterprising
  • Investigative
  • Social
Pay Range
$47,580 - $180,910 (annual)
Required Skills
  • Reading Comprehension
  • Active Listening
  • Critical Thinking
Knowledge Areas
  • Law and Government
  • Customer and Personal Service
  • Administrative
Core tasks
  • Monitor and direct the activities of trials and hearings to ensure that they are conducted fairly and that courts administer justice while safeguarding the legal rights of all involved parties.
  • Determine existence and amount of liability according to current laws, administrative and judicial precedents, and available evidence.
  • Prepare written opinions and decisions.
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What does an Administrative Judge do?

Administrative Judges conduct hearings to recommend or make decisions on claims concerning government programs or other government-related matters.

In addition, Administrative Judges determine liability, sanctions, or penalties, or recommend the acceptance or rejection of claims or settlements.

What kind of tasks does an Administrative Judge perform regularly?

Administrative Judges are often responsible for overseeing or executing some or all of the following tasks:

  • Monitor and direct the activities of trials and hearings to ensure that they are conducted fairly and that courts administer justice while safeguarding the legal rights of all involved parties.
  • Determine existence and amount of liability according to current laws, administrative and judicial precedents, and available evidence.
  • Prepare written opinions and decisions.
  • Authorize payment of valid claims and determine method of payment.
  • Conduct hearings to review and decide claims regarding issues, such as social program eligibility, environmental protection, or enforcement of health and safety regulations.
  • Research and analyze laws, regulations, policies, and precedent decisions to prepare for hearings and to determine conclusions.
  • Recommend the acceptance or rejection of claims or compromise settlements according to laws, regulations, policies, and precedent decisions.
  • Review and evaluate data on documents, such as claim applications, birth or death certificates, or physician or employer records.
  • Rule on exceptions, motions, and admissibility of evidence.
  • Explain to claimants how they can appeal rulings that go against them.
  • Confer with individuals or organizations involved in cases to obtain relevant information.
  • Issue subpoenas and administer oaths in preparation for formal hearings.

The above responsibilities are specific to Administrative Judges. More generally, Administrative Judges are involved in several broader types of activities:

Making Decisions and Solving Problems
Analyzing information and evaluating results to choose the best solution and solve problems.
Getting Information
Observing, receiving, and otherwise obtaining information from all relevant sources.
Evaluating Information to Determine Compliance with Standards
Using relevant information and individual judgment to determine whether events or processes comply with laws, regulations, or standards.
Updating and Using Relevant Knowledge
Keeping up-to-date technically and applying new knowledge to your job.
Processing Information
Compiling, coding, categorizing, calculating, tabulating, auditing, or verifying information or data.

What is an Administrative Judge salary?

The median salary for an Administrative Judge is $97,520, and the average salary is $102,050. Both the median and average roughly describe the middle of the Administrative Judge salary range, but the average is more easily affected by extremely high or low salaries.

Many Administrative Judges earn significantly more or less than the average, due to several factors. About 10% of Administrative Judges earn less than $47,580 per year, 25% earn less than $65,260, 75% earn less than $131,790, and 90% earn less than $180,910.

Between the years of 2020 and 2030, the number of Administrative Judges is expected to change by 0.6%, and there should be roughly 700 open positions for Administrative Judges every year.

Median annual salary
Typical salary range
$47,580 - $180,910
Projected growth (2020 - 2030)

What personality traits are common among Administrative Judges?


Career interests describe a person's preferences for different types of working environments and activities. When a person's interest match the demands of an occupation, people are usually more engaged and satisfied in that role.

Compared to most occupations, those who work as an Administrative Judge are usually higher in their Enterprising, Investigative, and Social interests.

Administrative Judges typically have very strong Enterprising interests. Enterprising occupations frequently involve starting up and carrying out projects. These occupations can involve leading people and making many decisions. Sometimes they require risk taking and often deal with business.

Also, Administrative Judges typically have strong Investigative interests. Investigative occupations frequently involve working with ideas, and require an extensive amount of thinking. These occupations can involve searching for facts and figuring out problems mentally.

Lastly, Administrative Judges typically have moderate Social interests. Social occupations frequently involve working with, communicating with, and teaching people. These occupations often involve helping or providing service to others.


People differ in their values, or what is most important to them for building job satisfaction and fulfillment.

Compared to most people, those working as an Administrative Judge tend to value Achievement, Recognition, and Working Conditions.

Most importantly, Administrative Judges strongly value Achievement. Occupations that satisfy this work value are results oriented and allow employees to use their strongest abilities, giving them a feeling of accomplishment.

Second, Administrative Judges strongly value Recognition. Occupations that satisfy this work value offer advancement, potential for leadership, and are often considered prestigious.

Lastly, Administrative Judges strongly value Working Conditions. Occupations that satisfy this work value offer job security and good working conditions.

Psychological Demands

Each occupation brings its own set of psychological demands, which describe the characteristics necessary to perform the job well.

In order to perform their job successfully, people who work as Administrative Judges must consistently demonstrate qualities such as integrity, self-control, and attention to detail.

Below, you'll find a list of qualities typically required of Administrative Judges, ranked by importance:

Job requires being honest and ethical.
Job requires maintaining composure, keeping emotions in check, controlling anger, and avoiding aggressive behavior, even in very difficult situations.
Attention to Detail
Job requires being careful about detail and thorough in completing work tasks.
Job requires developing one's own ways of doing things, guiding oneself with little or no supervision, and depending on oneself to get things done.
Stress Tolerance
Job requires accepting criticism and dealing calmly and effectively with high-stress situations.

What education and training do Administrative Judges need?

Many Administrative Judges have earned a graduate degree. For example, they may require a master's degree, and some require a doctoral degree, such as a Ph.D., M.D., or J.D..

Administrative Judges may need some on-the-job training, but most candidates will already have the required skills, knowledge, work-related experience, and/or training.

Educational degrees among Administrative Judges

  • 0.2% did not complete high school or secondary school
  • 0.5% completed high school or secondary school
  • 0.7% completed some college coursework
  • 0.4% earned a Associate's degree
  • 5.5% earned a Bachelor's degree
  • 4.0% earned a Master's degree
  • 88.6% earned a doctorate or professional degree

Knowledge and expertise required by Administrative Judges

Administrative Judges may benefit from understanding of specialized subject areas, such as law and government, customer and personal service, or administrative knowledge.

The list below shows several areas in which most Administrative Judges might want to build proficiency, ranked by importance.

Law and Government
Knowledge of laws, legal codes, court procedures, precedents, government regulations, executive orders, agency rules, and the democratic political process.
Customer and Personal Service
Knowledge of principles and processes for providing customer and personal services. This includes customer needs assessment, meeting quality standards for services, and evaluation of customer satisfaction.
Knowledge of administrative and office procedures and systems such as word processing, managing files and records, stenography and transcription, designing forms, and workplace terminology.
Medicine and Dentistry
Knowledge of the information and techniques needed to diagnose and treat human injuries, diseases, and deformities. This includes symptoms, treatment alternatives, drug properties and interactions, and preventive health-care measures.
Administration and Management
Knowledge of business and management principles involved in strategic planning, resource allocation, human resources modeling, leadership technique, production methods, and coordination of people and resources.

Important Abilities needed by Administrative Judges

Administrative Judges must develop a particular set of abilities to perform their job well. Abilities are individual capacities that influence a person's information processing, sensory perception, motor coordination, and physical strength or endurance. Individuals may naturally have certain abilities without explicit training, but most abilities can be sharpened somewhat through practice.

For example, Administrative Judges need abilities such as oral comprehension, written comprehension, and inductive reasoning in order to perform their job at a high level. The list below shows several important abilities for Administrative Judges, ranked by their relative importance.

Oral Comprehension
The ability to listen to and understand information and ideas presented through spoken words and sentences.
Written Comprehension
The ability to read and understand information and ideas presented in writing.
Inductive Reasoning
The ability to combine pieces of information to form general rules or conclusions (includes finding a relationship among seemingly unrelated events).
Written Expression
The ability to communicate information and ideas in writing so others will understand.
Deductive Reasoning
The ability to apply general rules to specific problems to produce answers that make sense.

Critical Skills needed by Administrative Judges

Skills are developed capacities that enable people to function effectively in real-world settings. Unlike abilities, skills are typically easier to build through practice and experience. Skills influence effectiveness in areas such as learning, working with others, design, troubleshooting, and more.

Administrative Judges frequently use skills like reading comprehension, active listening, and critical thinking to perform their job effectively. The list below shows several critical skills for Administrative Judges, ranked by their relative importance.

Reading Comprehension
Understanding written sentences and paragraphs in work-related documents.
Active Listening
Giving full attention to what other people are saying, taking time to understand the points being made, asking questions as appropriate, and not interrupting at inappropriate times.
Critical Thinking
Using logic and reasoning to identify the strengths and weaknesses of alternative solutions, conclusions, or approaches to problems.
Communicating effectively in writing as appropriate for the needs of the audience.
Judgment and Decision Making
Considering the relative costs and benefits of potential actions to choose the most appropriate one.

What is the source of this information?

The information provided on this page is adapted from data and descriptions published by the U.S. Department of Labor, Employment and Training Administration under the CC BY 4.0 license. TraitLab has modified some information for ease of use and reading, and the U.S. Department of Labor, Employment, and Training Administration has not approved, endorsed, or tested these modifications.

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