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Career profile Mediator

Also known as Alternative Dispute Resolution Coordinator (ADR Coordinator), Arbiter, Arbitrator, Divorce Mediator, Family Mediator, Federal Mediator, Labor Arbitrator, Labor Mediator, Mediator, Public Employment Mediator


Also known as Alternative Dispute Resolution Coordinator (ADR Coordinator), Arbiter, Arbitrator

Interests Profile
  • Social
  • Enterprising
  • Conventional
Pay Range
$38,330 - $131,210 (annual)
Required Skills
  • Negotiation
  • Active Listening
  • Writing
Knowledge Areas
  • Law and Government
  • Personnel and Human Resources
  • Psychology
Core tasks
  • Prepare written opinions or decisions regarding cases.
  • Apply relevant laws, regulations, policies, or precedents to reach conclusions.
  • Conduct hearings to obtain information or evidence relative to disposition of claims.
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What does a Mediator do?

Mediators facilitate negotiation and conflict resolution through dialogue.

In addition, Mediators resolve conflicts outside of the court system by mutual consent of parties involved.

What kind of tasks does a Mediator perform regularly?

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

  • Prepare written opinions or decisions regarding cases.
  • Apply relevant laws, regulations, policies, or precedents to reach conclusions.
  • Conduct hearings to obtain information or evidence relative to disposition of claims.
  • Use mediation techniques to facilitate communication between disputants, to further parties' understanding of different perspectives, and to guide parties toward mutual agreement.
  • Confer with disputants to clarify issues, identify underlying concerns, and develop an understanding of their respective needs and interests.
  • Rule on exceptions, motions, or admissibility of evidence.
  • Conduct initial meetings with disputants to outline the arbitration process, settle procedural matters, such as fees, or determine details, such as witness numbers or time requirements.
  • Issue subpoenas or administer oaths to prepare for formal hearings.
  • Set up appointments for parties to meet for mediation.
  • Prepare settlement agreements for disputants to sign.
  • Research laws, regulations, policies, or precedent decisions to prepare for hearings.

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

Getting Information
Observing, receiving, and otherwise obtaining information from all relevant sources.
Resolving Conflicts and Negotiating with Others
Handling complaints, settling disputes, and resolving grievances and conflicts, or otherwise negotiating with others.
Making Decisions and Solving Problems
Analyzing information and evaluating results to choose the best solution and solve problems.
Analyzing Data or Information
Identifying the underlying principles, reasons, or facts of information by breaking down information or data into separate parts.
Updating and Using Relevant Knowledge
Keeping up-to-date technically and applying new knowledge to your job.

What is a Mediator salary?

The median salary for a Mediator is $66,130, and the average salary is $76,440. Both the median and average roughly describe the middle of the Mediator salary range, but the average is more easily affected by extremely high or low salaries.

Many Mediators earn significantly more or less than the average, due to several factors. About 10% of Mediators earn less than $38,330 per year, 25% earn less than $47,440, 75% earn less than $99,870, and 90% earn less than $131,210.

Between the years of 2020 and 2030, the number of Mediators is expected to change by 10.1%, and there should be roughly 400 open positions for Mediators every year.

Median annual salary
Typical salary range
$38,330 - $131,210
Projected growth (2020 - 2030)

What personality traits are common among Mediators?


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 a Mediator are usually higher in their Social, Enterprising, and Conventional interests.

Mediators typically have very strong Social interests. Social occupations frequently involve working with, communicating with, and teaching people. These occupations often involve helping or providing service to others.

Also, Mediators 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.

Lastly, Mediators typically have moderate Conventional interests. Conventional occupations frequently involve following set procedures and routines. These occupations can include working with data and details more than with ideas. Usually there is a clear line of authority to follow.


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 a Mediator tend to value Relationships, Achievement, and Independence.

Most importantly, Mediators very strongly value Relationships. Occupations that satisfy this work value allow employees to provide service to others and work with co-workers in a friendly non-competitive environment.

Second, Mediators 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.

Lastly, Mediators strongly value Independence. Occupations that satisfy this work value allow employees to work on their own and make decisions.

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 Mediators must consistently demonstrate qualities such as analytical thinking, self-control, and integrity.

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

Analytical Thinking
Job requires analyzing information and using logic to address work-related issues and problems.
Job requires maintaining composure, keeping emotions in check, controlling anger, and avoiding aggressive behavior, even in very difficult situations.
Job requires being honest and ethical.
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 Mediators need?

Many Mediators 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..

Mediators 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 Mediators

  • 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 Mediators

Mediators may benefit from understanding of specialized subject areas, such as law and government, personnel and human resources, or psychology knowledge.

The list below shows several areas in which most Mediators 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.
Personnel and Human Resources
Knowledge of principles and procedures for personnel recruitment, selection, training, compensation and benefits, labor relations and negotiation, and personnel information systems.
Knowledge of human behavior and performance; individual differences in ability, personality, and interests; learning and motivation; psychological research methods; and the assessment and treatment of behavioral and affective disorders.
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.
Education and Training
Knowledge of principles and methods for curriculum and training design, teaching and instruction for individuals and groups, and the measurement of training effects.

Important Abilities needed by Mediators

Mediators 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, Mediators need abilities such as oral comprehension, oral expression, and written expression in order to perform their job at a high level. The list below shows several important abilities for Mediators, ranked by their relative importance.

Oral Comprehension
The ability to listen to and understand information and ideas presented through spoken words and sentences.
Oral Expression
The ability to communicate information and ideas in speaking so others will understand.
Written Expression
The ability to communicate information and ideas in writing so others will understand.
Written Comprehension
The ability to read and understand information and ideas presented in writing.
Deductive Reasoning
The ability to apply general rules to specific problems to produce answers that make sense.

Critical Skills needed by Mediators

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.

Mediators frequently use skills like negotiation, active listening, and writing to perform their job effectively. The list below shows several critical skills for Mediators, ranked by their relative importance.

Bringing others together and trying to reconcile differences.
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.
Communicating effectively in writing as appropriate for the needs of the audience.
Talking to others to convey information effectively.
Reading Comprehension
Understanding written sentences and paragraphs in work-related documents.

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.

If you have any questions or suggestions about this information, please send a message.