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While the stereotypical image of a mediator may be of a parent or schoolteacher jumping in to settle a fight, certified mediators are skilled, trained professionals designated to resolve disputes. Mediators remain neutral, although they may advise clients. Brought in to solve personal issues, corporate problems and governmental matters, mediators barter and broker to earn their salaries.
Certified mediators earned an average national yearly salary of $63,250, per the Bureau of Labor Statistics’ 2009 wages report. Mediators employed by the Federal Executive branch of the government nearly doubled their salaries, with annual mean wages of $118,280. Certified mediators employed by colleges and schools also earned higher than average with $79,430 per year and those employed at medical and surgical hospitals earned $78,330 per year.
The top-paying state for 2009 certified mediator salaries was Virginia, offering double the national wage at $138,820 annually. Also in the top range was New Mexico ($109,880) and Illinois ($83,400).
While anyone with reasonable debate skills and persuasive conversation ability may be able to win an argument, mediating is a very intricate and delicate skill. The path to earning a certified mediator salary is usually started with a week-long training course. Options such as the University of California Irvine School of Social Sciences (which features a semester-long program) includes training on negotiating win-win arguments, small claims court and resolving interpersonal conflict.
Mediators hoping to persuade their way to a higher salary may find the Bureau of Labor Statistics’ prediction for field growth positive – the BLS reports the field of mediation should grow faster than other occupations. Approximately 1,400 jobs, a growth of 14 percent, are expected for the profession. Certified mediators should be aware, however, that finding employment may be difficult, as turnover in the career is low.