The median annual wage of judges, mediators and hearing officers was $91,880 in May 2010. The median wage is the wage at which half the workers in an occupation earned more than that amount and half earned less. The lowest 10 percent earned less than $35,400, and the top 10 percent earned more than $164,510.
The median wages for judges, mediators, and hearing officer occupations in May 2010 were the following:
According to the Administrative Office of the U.S. Courts, in the federal court system, the Chief Justice of the U.S. Supreme Court earned $223,500, and the Associate Justices averaged $213,900. Federal circuit judges earned an average of $184,500 a year. District court judges and judges in the Court of Federal Claims and the Court of International Trade had average salaries of $174,000.
Although federal judges’ pay has not changed since January 2009, the average pay for state judges has increased.
According to a 2011 survey by the National Center for State Courts, the median annual wage of chief justices of the states' highest courts was $152,500 and ranged from $115,160 to $228,856. The median annual wage of associate justices of the states' highest courts was $146,917 and ranged from $112,530 to $218,237. The median annual wage of state intermediate appellate court judges was $140,732 and ranged from $105,050 to $204,599. The median annual wage of state judges of general jurisdiction trial courts was $132,500 and ranged from $104,170 to $178,835.
Most judges, mediators, and hearing officers work full time, and many often work longer hours to prepare for case hearings. Some judges work part time and divide their time between their judicial responsibilities and other careers.
Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, Occupational Outlook Handbook, 2012-13 Edition