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How does someone become a mediator?

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Quick Answer

To become a mediator, it is necessary to have at least a bachelor's degree in their field of expertise, work experience in the legal profession and certification from a mediation training program. Requirements vary between states, but most require mediators to complete a probationary period.

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Prospective mediators should begin by completing a bachelor's degree in their field of expertise. Depending on the state, it is also necessary to have a legal qualification and, in some cases, a master's in business administration.

A few colleges and universities offer degrees that focus on conflict resolution. In addition, some graduates can build on their education with master's and doctoral programs focusing on mediation.

After completing a bachelor's program, mediators need to obtain work experience in the legal profession or their field of expertise. Many mediators are ex-lawyers and judges, which means prospective mediators at the start of their career may wish to consider those job paths first. In some cases, it is possible to move on from another specialty, such as construction management.

With the right work experience, prospective mediators need to fulfill their state's registration requirements. There are no specific requirements for the private sector. However, those wishing to work in the public sector usually need to take a 40-hour course in basic mediation, followed by a 20-hour advanced course. Some may also need to shadow a qualified mediator and agree to a one-year probationary period.

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