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Whether you've got a background in law, human resources, medical training or simply an interest in helping people, mediation might be a good career for you. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, mediators average an annual salary of $50,000 to $55,000. Mediators help two parties to a dispute arrive at a fair agreement, and may specialize in employment, discrimination, family or real estate, among other specialties.
Observe a mediator first to get a feel for the job. Locate several mediators in your area using the Mediate.com Ohio directory (see Resources), then call them and ask about observing a mediation. If both parties agree, the mediator will usually let you watch.
Locate a training program near you using the Ohio Commission of Dispute Resolution's Training list (see Resources). These programs are certified by the Ohio Supreme Court, which means they provide a higher quality of education. Since there's no license or certification for mediators, receiving good education can set you apart.
Complete the training program. To practice as a professional mediator in the state of Ohio, you need to complete a 40-hour program.
Ask your instructor for a list of volunteer opportunities so that you can gain skills. Most volunteer opportunities allow mediators to work with community centers or courts. According to the Ohio Supreme Court, volunteering to gain experience is the best way for new mediators to get the practice they need to transition into the field. Mediators who have experience in the legal field can skip this step.
Advertise your mediation services when you feel you have enough experience. If you don't want to work for yourself, search for a job through the courts or with another organization that hires mediators.
The State of Ohio mandates a 40-hour mediation training course to obtain a job in the courts; mediators can take a 12-hour introductory course instead, but will not be able to mediate through courts.
Mediators working with the court system may need to complete periodic continuing education or purchase malpractice insurance, per the Ohio Supreme Court.