There are a lot of people who want to be a mediator, but don’t know how to become a mediator. You may find working as a mediator rewarding if you have a passion for negotiating conflicts and facilitating communication. There are various online or local classes available. In this article, I will discuss what a mediator does and different steps to begin your career in this field. Without wasting any more time, let us now learn how to become a mediator.
How To Become A Mediator?
Here are the six steps for how to become a mediator.
- Decide The Area Of Specialty
- Earn An Undergraduate Degree
- Complete Mediation Training
- Obtain Certification In Mediation
- Apply For Mediator Internship
Generally, a mediator is a person who acts as an intermediary between parties in litigation who attempt to help the parties settle the case. Continue reading to discover more about how to become a mediator in depth. But do not forget it totally depends on your state’s requirements and educational background.
Step By Step Guide To Become A Mediator
You must be now eager to know from where to start. Just relax a little bit! I have discussed a brief summary on how to become a mediator below. We have found most of the candidates follow the same path. Let’s get started with the actual subject matter now.
Decide The Area Of Specialty
The very first step you need to take is, researching the various specialties available in this field. You can specialize in conflict management for particular industries to gain expert knowledge to help parties negotiate successfully. Below I have listed down some areas you can focus on.
- Amateur or Professional Sports
- Environmental Concerns
- Financial Services
- Real Estate
- Intellectual Property
- Media and Communications
- Public Policy
Earn An Undergraduate Degree
You require a bachelor’s degree to become a mediator. Below I have mentioned the most common bachelor’s degree mediators pursue. Do consider your interested area of specialty while deciding which undergraduate degree to pursue.
Bachelor’s Degree In Business
This degree will help you to learn business principles and practical applications of communication theories in the workplace. It will help to prepare you for general mediation roles or those in the corporate sector.
Bachelor’s Degree In Finance
This degree program gives you a more comprehensive foundation in financial principles, risk management, and potential conflicts around money. With the help of this information, you can prepare for mediations in the banking industry or financial departments.
Bachelor’s Degree In Communications
Here, you will get to learn basic communication theories and practical techniques that can help you navigate conflicts as a mediator. This degree program often includes observing communication with a focus on the diversity of individuals, settings, and topics.
Gain Relevant Experience
Most of them have several years of experience working in a variety of roles in their professional field. You need to make a plan to gain work experience after earning your bachelor’s degree. To begin, you can start an entry-level role in your industry. You can then advance through a series of positions that allow you to gain more work experience and leadership responsibilities.
Complete Mediation Training
You can now start training with an experienced professional in their field for one year before pursuing independent work. During this training, individuals get to learn the mediation process, assist with cases, and understand how to solve disputes. Below I have mentioned some private training programs that you can join by registering and paying fees.
- The National Conflict Resolution Centre
- The Mediation Training Institute
Candidates can also choose to pursue a private program with an independent mediator or a general program with a community organization.
Obtain Certification In Mediation
Apart from all the education, experience, and training, individuals may also need a certification to practice. Each of the states has its own standards that range from earning a degree to completing certification. Below I have mentioned some certifications that you may need to become certified.
Pursue A Specific Degree:
Some states may require a master’s degree, a Ph.D., or Juris Doctor degree to work as a mediator.
Complete A State-Approved Training Program:
Here, you will get hands-on experience as well as mentorship and observation hours.
Participate In Mediations:
Certain states require mediators to join a number of conflict resolution sessions to gain interactive experience.
Apply For A Mediator Internship
Candidates can choose this fantastic way to get experience, make connections, and learn more about mediation. The International Mediation Institute offers you an off-shoot program called Young Mediator’s Initiative. This program helps the young mediators connect with internships and information. There are also some mediation classes or lectures available that will help you with information about local internships. Talk to your professors or career counselors if you are in college or in a Ph.D. program.
Participate In Industry Events And Organizations
Conferences are held regularly by various organizations. Professional Mediators can consider joining organizations to get access to industry publications and job listings. The Association for Conflict Resolution (ACR) offers many members discounts to such events.
Areas Of Specialization To Become A Mediator
Generally, mediators help people involved in a dispute come to a resolution without going to court. Mediators can work as court mediators or be self-employed. I have found that many students are searching for the requirements to become a family mediator. Continue reading if you wish to learn how to become a family law mediator.
Family Mediators help their clients to communicate with each other by discussing issues constructively. But have you ever wondered how to become a family mediator? Family mediation is a challenging work profile. No specific undergraduate degree is designed to prepare individuals to work as family mediators. But you can follow the below procedure if you wish to become a family mediator.
- Earn a Bachelor’s degree (family studies and human development)
- Attend a law school to earn a JD.
- Obtain a master’s degree (Mediation and Applied Conflict Studies)
- Further, pursue mediation certification programs.
- Gain experience by working as mediators.
Family mediators are often required to appear in court in order to defend their clients or work through their cases.
Eligibility Criteria For Becoming A Mediator
Like any other occupation, there are eligibility criteria even for this profession. I have mentioned the list of qualifications for becoming a mediator. You can go through the list to see where you are eligible to be a mediator.
- A Bachelor’s Degree (BA or BS)
- A Master’s Degree
- Pass the State Bar Examination
- Must have completed formal mediation training.
- Need to have certification in mediation
- A State License
Duties Of Being A Mediator
By reading above you must have understood how to become a mediator. Mediators are highly-skilled problem solvers. Below I have mentioned certain duties you need to perform as a mediator.
- A mediator’s role is to guide parties through a dispute to reach a mutual agreement.
- They facilitate communication between two parties.
- These people conduct meetings with disputants to outline the negotiation process.
- Mediators clarify issues between disputants.
- They discover their respective needs and interests.
- Mediators can interview agents or witnesses to obtain information about disputed issues.
- Preparing written opinions or decisions regarding cases.
- Drafting non-binding agreements.
- Advice the parties on relevant laws and education.
- They assess documentation to collect data.
Skills Required To Become A Mediator
By now you have learned how to become a certified mediator in detail. As you gain experience, you need to focus on improving your soft skills. Below I have mentioned some of the skills you can master in.
- Individuals need to have great listening skills.
- As a mediation, you must know to communicate clearly.
- Excellent writing skills for preparing written agreements.
- You need to analyze both sides of the dispute.
- Improve your critical thinking skills.
- Practice empathizing with different perspectives.
- Mediators need strong decision-making skills.
- You must be able to convey difficult messages clearly.
- Candidates need to maintain the emotional temperature from offensive statements.
How To Become A Mediator Without A Law Degree?
You must be surprised to know that you don’t need a law degree to be a successful mediator. Following are the steps you need to follow to become a mediator without a law degree.
Discover Your State’s Requirements
You should be familiar with your state’s requirements for becoming a mediator. Not every state requires a bachelor’s degree to be a mediator.
Complete Mediator Training
Candidates have to complete a general mediator training course and pass a background check. This exposes you to the world of mediation by implementing new models. These types of training usually last anywhere from 20 to 40 hours.
Attend A Conference
Mediator conferences offer you an overview of this career field. Here, you will be face-to-face with top-tier mediation trainers and thought leaders. You will also get to expand your professional network while taking part in valuable workshops and activities.
Find A Mentor
Finding a mentor is one of the most valuable things you can do to boost your career. A mentor is the one who knows the ins and outs of the work you are pursuing. He has a lot of practical and hands-on experience in this field. But remember mentorship won’t always offer a replacement for higher education. However, they can give an extra edge to create a productive and lasting relationship with your clients.
Join Dispute Resolution Centre
Alternative dispute resolution centers are specialized in providing talented and committed mediators to parties who desperately need it. Here you will be able to learn more about the kinds of background they are looking for in applicants.
Mediation Vs Arbitration
You have now understood all the detailed guidance on how to become a mediator. Now have you ever heard about arbitrators? If you are interested in being a mediator, you can also become an arbitrator. Both of these roles fall under the roof of alternative dispute resolution. But there are some differences worth exploring so that you can choose the career path you want to follow. I have mentioned some of the key differences between mediation and arbitration in the table below.
|Here, the Parties control the outcome of the dispute proceedings.||Here, arbitrators control the outcome of the dispute proceedings.|
|Mediators have no power to decide. A settlement is reached only with party approval.||Arbitrators have the power to make final and binding decisions.|
|In mediation, parties exchange information voluntarily that will assist in reaching a solution.||While arbitration requires extensive research and fact-finding.|
|Mediators help the parties understand the issues and interests of each side.||Arbitrators list facts, evidence and then pass a verdict based on those findings.|
Salary Of Mediators
According to BLS, the average pay scale of mediators is $60,544 per annum. As they are self-employed, their income varies from state to state. The average cost of a mediator cost about $200 US dollars for an hour. Sometimes, their price ranges from $100 to 300 dollars per hour.
Do Mediators Make Good Money?
Yes, mediators do make good money out of this profession. But they are not highly paid when compared with other legal professionals. As they are self-employed, their income varies from state to state.
What Degree Do You Need To Be A Mediator?
To be a mediator you need to complete a bachelor’s degree in any of the below-mentioned areas.
- Bachelor’s Degree in Communications
- Bachelor’s Degree in Finance
- Bachelor’s Degree in Business
Are Mediators In Demand?
Yes, there is a rise in the demand for mediators. The increased demand for quicker and less expensive dispute resolution services has created a demand for skilled mediators.
How Much Does A Mediator Charge Per Hour?
The average cost of a mediator cost about $200 US dollars for an hour. Sometimes, their price ranges from $100 to 300 dollars per hour.
My above article will be helpful for those who are wondering how to become a mediator. You need to earn your credentials and gain experience by working under an experienced mediator mentor. Candidates must have a bachelor’s degree in any of the above-mentioned fields. What you learn, who you network with is dependent on what type of mediating you are choosing to do. I have also discussed the topic of becoming a family mediator. You can make your changes in yourself by learning how to become a mediator from this column.