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Judges, Mediators, and Hearing Officers Job Outlook

Employment of judges, mediators, and hearing officers is expected to grow by 7 percent from 2010 to 2020, slower than the average for all occupations. The number of federal and state judgeships is expected to experience little to no change because nearly every new position for a judge must be authorized and approved by legislature.

Budgetary constraints in federal, state, and local governments are expected to limit the employment growth of judges, magistrates, and administrative law judges, despite the continued need for these workers to settle disputes.

Arbitration and other alternatives to litigation are often faster and less expensive than trials. However, employment growth of arbitrators, mediators, and conciliators is expected to be moderate. This is primarily because conflicting parties often opt for court proceedings or try to resolve the problem on their own without a judge or mediator.

Job Prospects

The prestige associated with becoming a judge will ensure continued competition for these positions. Most job openings will arise as a result of judges, mediators, and hearing officers leaving the occupations because of retirement, teaching, or expiration of elected term.

As with judges, turnover is low for arbitrators, mediators, and conciliators, so opportunities may be limited. Those who specialize in one or more areas of arbitration, mediation, or conciliation should have the best job opportunities.

Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, Occupational Outlook Handbook, 2012-13 Edition