How to Become a Mediator

1. Introduction
2. Licensing or certification of mediators
3. The level of earnings of professional consultants
4. Training and education needed for becoming a mediator and the necessity of taking a training course
5. The necessity of being a lawyer or having a law degree to become a mediator
6. Gaining mediation ability and skills
7. Getting a job of a mediator and getting paid
8. Conclusion
9. Resources

In recent years the profession of a mediator is getting to be more and more popular. Obviously, it is not simply a trend of the contemporary epoch but rather an objective necessity that stimulates people to focus their attention on mediation when choosing their profession. At the same time, it is also noteworthy that mediation may be also very helpful for those who have decided to change their job and start a new one since it is never late to become a mediator and the more professional experience in different fields an individual has the better it is for his professional work as a mediator.
On the other hand, it is also necessary to take into consideration the position and interests of those who use the services offered by mediators. Traditionally, mediators to a certain extent replace courts which were always referred to when different conflict could not be resolved by their participants. In such a situation, it is quite natural that the opposing parties in conflicts more readily refer to mediator to resolve their problem efficiently and profitably for all participants than turn their views to courts with their bureaucracy and often quite a low efficiency. Anyway, it is believed that often both parties appealing to a court remain unsatisfied with the outcome of the trial, while mediators can lead them to a plausible solution which could be acceptable for all participants.
In such a way, the current world cannot simply normally exist without the growing role of mediators since conflicts are getting to occur more often and are more complicated. This is why the help of professional mediator is often needed. As a result, it is very important to clearly realize how one can become a mediator, what education, training, skills and abilities he/she must have, and what is more how he/she can work really efficiently that will be profitable for clients as well as for the mediator him-/herself.

Licensing or certification of mediators
Licensing and certification of mediators is a very important point in the career of any successful mediator. Moreover, it is even possible to estimate that this is a starting point of a career of a professional mediator. At the same time, it is necessary to point out that there are a variety of possibilities to get license or certificate of a professional mediator.
Nowadays, educational establishments and companies operating in the field of education often suggest a variety of courses with the further certification of a professional mediator but it is necessary to remember that, as a rule, an applicant should receive qualification through State Court Administrative Office (SCAO) approved training or Association for Conflict Resolution training.
Naturally, it is possible to be certificated otherwise through receiving education or training in a University, for instance, it is possible to get certain degree but still the license or certificate of a professional mediator provided by one of the authoritative institutions mentioned above is highly recommended of not to say is essential. In fact, such a certificate is an essential condition on which an individual may work as a professional mediator and work successfully. Naturally, it is possible to remain uncertified and make attempts in the field of mediation but not a single respectable company, organization, or even personality would appeal to such a mediator for assistance. It is obvious that the possession of a certificate of a professional mediator provided by SCAO or ACR is essential because they primarily create the positive image of a mediator for his/her clients.
At the same time, it is also necessary to pay attention to the fact that licensing and certification contributes to the professional growth of a mediator because he/she has to pass through a course of training and, consequently, he/she is educated and in such a situation certification means a kind of reward for his/her efforts to gain more success and improve his/her professionalism.

The level of earnings of professional consultants
The questions of earnings is probably the first question an individual willing to enter a new profession is asking for but the answer to this question is not as simple as it may seem to be. The problem is that it is necessary to take into consideration a variety of factors which influence the level of earnings of each individual mediator in particular. This is why it is hardly possible to name a definite sum of money as a norm of earnings for a mediator.
In fact there is practically no minimum for mediators’ earning. Nonetheless, it should be said that while assessing the earnings of a mediator it is necessary to pay attention to several factors. First of all, it is the professional level of a mediator. It means that the job experience is extremely important for a mediator and there is no surprise that an experienced mediator earns more, significantly more, than an inexperienced one. At the same time, experience means not only years spent in this business but also a number of cases and their quality. What is meant here is the fact that a mediator may deal with a variety of conflicts that are quite simple to resolve while it is also possible to have, among the variety of routing conflicts, a few but very complicated ones which actually contribute to a mediator’s experience and increase his/her professionalism.
Furthermore, the level of education is also of a paramount importance since education is the basis for the professional development of any mediator. This is why education also contributes to higher earnings of a mediator. Though education alone is useless if there is no natural skills and abilities that each individual possess and which often cannot be acquired through study at any university in the whole world.
Finally, it is also important to pay attention to the sphere where a mediator works. It means that a mediator may work with respectable companies or individuals and this contributes to his professional level and public image. As a result, he/she earns more than a mediator working with little companies which are not widely known even among professionals. Nonetheless, it does not necessarily mean that the latter cannot earn a lot since it is his/her experience and the workability that defines the level of his/her earnings.
Anyway, to sum it all up, it is just necessary to briefly mention the possible level of earnings of a mediator on the basis of some statistics. Basically, a range of earnings of a mediator may vary dramatically from as little as $700 per day to as much as several thousands of dollars per day. It is not a rare case when an average mediator earns more than $250.000. For instance, mediators in the USA earn in excess of this sum per year only working for a few days per week (Schmitt 2001) and six figure income are also possible on the condition of hard, professional and reliable work of a mediator. Basically, it is necessary to remember that, above all, the fee of a mediator is based on number of parties and length of mediation.

Training and education needed for becoming a professional mediator
As it has been already mentioned above, training and education is highly recommended for any individual willing to become a professional mediator. At the same time, it is necessary to remember that any work as a mediator is a good experience and education for a perspective mediator. It is worthy to note that nowadays it is possible to find a variety of training course for mediators which often do not even guarantee licensing or certification by such respectable institutions as SCAO or ACR but it does not necessarily mean that a mediator or a beginner in this field does not need any special training.
Obviously, it is possible to start without any serious professional experience but it is practically impossible to be certified without a training course. This is why training and education are getting to be synonyms of a mediator’s professionalism. In such a way, a training course or special education a mediator received in any educational establishment, including universities, is very important primarily for his/her good reputation and customers’ respect.
By the way, it is also noteworthy that in recent years the offers of distant learning and training of mediators via Internet progress dramatically and in all probability soon their popularity and spread will be extremely high. Such an alternative to conventional education and training of mediators is very perspective since often mediators enter this job from other field where they get used to work but have not managed to realize themselves or which they consider less perspective.
On the other hand, it is necessary to remember that education and training is extremely useful for the professional development of a mediator. In this respect, training is essential, otherwise, a mediator would gradually degrade and his/her professional level would decrease dramatically. In such a way, training may serve as a tool for further progress of a mediator.
Nonetheless, it is also worthy to note that it is not obligatory to have special training or education to become a mediator but still it is necessary to remember about the fact that, in such a situation, a mediator can basically count for private practice only. Naturally, such a private mediator practice may be sufficient for an individual’s survival but is absolutely insufficient if an individual really wants to become a professional and what is more well paid mediator. In such a case, special education and training are required because without it a mediator could hardly be certified and gain public and professional recognition. Consequently, the possibility of getting a perspective job of a mediator becomes quite vague and practically unreal.

The necessity of being a lawyer or having a law degree to become a mediator
Erroneously, many people believe that it is obligatory to be a lawyer or at least have a law degree to become a mediator. In actuality, it is an obvious mistake and in recent years professionals from absolutely different fields are entering the job of a mediator. To put it more precisely, the recent trends reveal the fact that CPA’s, realtors, counselors, clergy, business people and many other are entering mediation and often become very successful and skillful mediators (Mohrman 1998). In such a way, it is obvious that mediation is the job open for representatives of different fields.
Moreover, it is extremely important that a mediator had a rich experience in a variety of fields since it is very helpful in his/her job as a mediator in consulting or resolving conflict situations. Consequently, an individual with different but law job experience can find his/her niche in the market of mediation services.
Nonetheless, some times law degree is very welcome and even required though it is impossible to estimate that it is always essential. Basically, these are the case when a profound knowledge of law and legislative system and principles are required. Naturally, in such a situation a mediator with a law degree is more desired than a mediator lacking of such experience.
Anyway, in general mediation is rather focused on individual’s qualities, abilities, skills, and experience than on his/her law degree.

Gaining mediation ability and skills
It is obvious that education and experience are extremely important for mediation but it is also important to remember about abilities and skills that a professional mediator has to develop. It should be pointed out that in general a mediator can gain abilities and skills from three basic sources.
First of all, it is natural or inherited abilities and skills which an individual possess. In such a situation, it is possible to speak about innate predisposition of an individual to such a job as a mediator. It is not a secret that many people possess such traits of character that are essential for a professional mediator to the extent that people naturally choose them in different every day situations as ‘mediators for an hour’. Moreover, the further work as a mediator may only develop such innate abilities and skills.
Secondly, it is an individual’s professional experience. It has been already mentioned that mediators enter their jobs from a variety of fields where they often had to solve conflicts and problems that they naturally faced. In such a way, willingly or not they had to work as mediators and develop the abilities and skills required for this job and in the course of time it is due to such abilities and skills they often decide to change their job for a job of a professional mediator. At the same time, really professional mediators never stop to develop their skills and abilities during their work.
Finally, probably the most accessible and widely spread way of gaining mediator’s abilities and skills are special education and training. Obviously, education and training may enhance natural abilities and skills of an individual as a mediator or just mechanically develop such abilities and skills among individuals who are not naturally predisposed for such a job.

Getting a job of a mediator and getting paid

Naturally, there is no use of skills and abilities of a mediator if they are not beneficial for a mediator him/herself. This is why it is very important to find a good job and get paid for this job, especially for a beginning mediator. On analyzing the perspectives of getting a well paid job of a mediator, it is necessary to point out that it is very difficult to find such a job if a mediator works individually. This is why it is traditionally possible to recommend to find a job in a company dealing with mediation and acquire essential experience while working for such a company. At the same time, it is obvious that a mediator will be well paid from the beginning but, if it is a normal or even respectable company, a beginning mediator is guaranteed to get paid. Consequently, it is not recommended to start work as a mediator individually for individuals inexperienced in the field of mediation or other related fields.
On the other hand, it may be a problem to find a company operating in the field of mediation reliable enough and what is more to get this company hire a beginning mediator. In this respect, all factors mentioned above are getting to be of a paramount importance, i.e. education, training courses, past experience, personal qualities, skills and abilities, etc.
Thus, taking into account all above mentioned, it is possible to conclude that mediation is getting to be extremely important and the role of this profession will increase. In such a situation, it is quite easy to enter this job but it is extremely difficult to become a really professional and successful mediator. To achieve respect and high earnings, a mediator needs to work and work hard, constantly progress and learn a lot about mediation. Only when all essential conditions mentioned above are fulfilled, a mediator can count for a well paid job.

1. Benfari, R. C. Understanding and changing your management style. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass, 1999.
2. Gitlow, H. S. The Deming guide to quality and competitive position. Englewood Cliffs, N.J.: Prentice-Hall, 1997.
3. Howard, F. Recent Economic Trends, Chicago: Routledge, 2000.
4. Mohrman, S. A. Tomorrow’s organization: Crafting winning capabilities in a dynamic world. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass, 1998.
5. Newel, D. Gaining a Holistic View of the Customer. LA: Printword, 2001.
6. Peters, T. J. In search of excellence: Lessons from America’s best-run companies. New York: Harper & Row, 2002.
7. Schein, E. H. Organizational culture and leadership. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass, 1999.
8. Schmitt, B. Mediation, New York: The Free Press, 2001.
9. Stewart, J. Mediation: Future Perspectives. New York: New Publishers, 2001.
10. Wilkins, A. L. Developing corporate character: How to successfully change an organization without destroying it. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass, 1999.


Our services