Mediators help resolve disputes peacefully without a long courtroom battle. They work in domestic and family disputes, business relations and other types of legal contests. Though having a law background helps, it isn't required for mediators. Georgia regulates the mediator profession by requiring 28 hours of basic training--more for those who want to specialize in domestic relations or domestic violence--and having mediators register with the state.
Browse approved training program from the list at the Georgia Commission on Dispute Resolution (see Resources). Mediators must complete an approved training course that's at least 28 hours long in order to register as a mediator.
Sign up for and complete an approved training course. You'll learn mediation techniques, professional ethics and other skills. After completing the course you'll receive a certificate. Ask the trainer to suggest volunteer opportunities so you can practice your mediation skills before charging for your services.
Observe five mediators at work, per the state of Georgia's requirement. Select mediators using the list of Georgia mediators at Mediate.com or through contacts from your training. Get a letter or observation form from each mediator whom you observe; you'll need these when you register with the state.
Begin volunteering as a mediator to get practice, drawing on the list of volunteer mediator opportunities you got from your trainer.
When you're ready to begin working as a mediator, complete the Neutral Registration Application. Fill out the form online or on paper and mail it in. Include proof of training, observation forms from the five mediators and certificates of completion of any training you completed. Include the fee, which was $125 in 2010 or $150 for those applying to be domestic relations mediators.
Wait for the state to approve your application. When it's approved, you're ready to begin working as a mediator in Georgia.