Arbitrators prevent and solve disputes between organizations and people. An arbitrator evaluates evidence and applies policies, laws and regulations in order to make a decision. Arbiters assist in negotiations. The participants that hire the services of an arbitrator are required to agree to follow the arbitrators final decision. Their services are an alternative to using law suits for settling disputes.

Arbitrators are typically lawyers or businesspersons that have expertise in a specific field. Some specialize in the field of labor arbitration and bind management and labor to specific terms and conditions of a labor contract.

Mediators help people resolve disputes. Mediators may represent one or both parties in a dispute. Mediators represent businesses, labor unions, government and people involved in divorce and custody battles. They provide suggestions, however the two parties make the final decision.


  • Talk to people in order to learn the needs, concerns and interests of the participants
  • Collect information and evidence in order to understand the issues and possible outcomes
  • They should not favor one participant over the other participant
  • Make sure everyone involved understands the arbitration process
  • Coordinate meetings and hearings
  • Study similar disputes in order to make a decision
  • Interview witnesses
  • Determine if exceptions and evidence will be allowed

Job Characteristics

They should have strong morals and ethics. They also need good speaking and writing skills. Since they make decisions that are legally binding they need to be accurate in their work. Arbiters deal with all types of people.

Employment Outlook

The projected job growth is expected to be average for arbitrators from 2006 to 2016. Law firms will be one of the fastest growing sectors for arbitrators. A lot of people choose to settle out of court since arbitration typically costs less which increases the demand for arbiters. In addition, the median annual earnings for arbitrators, mediators and conciliators in 2008 was $50,650.

Education, Certification, and Licensing

Typically, arbitrators have earned a bachelor's degree or higher. Bachelor's degrees in business, public policy and social work are beneficial. Law degrees and master's degrees in conflict resolution are useful in the profession.

Numerous universities provide a master's degree in arbitration and conflict resolution. Professional associations provide specific training. Experience in law and business can help prepare a candidate for an arbitrator career.

Local and state governments typically require a bachelor's degree. Each state has its own requirements. Some states require an arbitrator to be an experienced lawyer.

Helpful courses for the occupation are law studies, consumer law, business law, public speaking and psychology.


Major Employers

The top job providers are local and state government agencies, law offices, and political, labor and business organizations.

Schools for Arbitrators And Mediators are listed in the Browse Schools Section.

Metro Areas Sorted by Total Employment for
Arbitrators and Mediators

Listed below are the 10 largest metro areas based on the total number of people employed in Arbitrators and Mediators jobs , as of 2016

Metro Area Total Employment Annual Mean Salary
Los Angeles-Long Beach-Anaheim 390 $87,900
Phoenix-Mesa-Scottsdale 250 $43,500
Houston-The Woodlands-Sugar Land 150 $79,770
Atlanta-Sandy Springs-Roswell 140 $67,470
Seattle-Tacoma-Bellevue 110 $71,760
San Diego-Carlsbad 100 $110,600
Albany-Schenectady-Troy 90 $81,040
San Francisco-Oakland-Hayward 90 $108,830
San Juan-Carolina-Caguas 80 $36,990
Miami-Fort Lauderdale-West Palm Beach 80 $48,490

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Total employment and salary for professions similar to arbitrators

Source : 2016 Occupational Employment Statistics, Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, BLS.gov

Most Popular Industries for
Arbitrators and Mediators

These industries represent at least 1% of the total number of people employed in this occupation.

Industry Total Employment Percent Annual Median Salary
Government 2,620 28% $60,110
Insurance 2,400 25% $41,840
Professional And Technical Services 2,300 24% $47,550
Non-profit 1,420 15% $56,790
Business Management 210 2% $86,380
Office Services And Staffing 130 1% $65,190
Social Service 120 1% $30,460
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Numbers in parentheses are counts of relevant campus-based schools in the state; online schools may also be available.

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