How Do You Become a Mediator?

A mediator can work with the courts to help two parties come to an agreement. A mediator can work with businesses, parents involved in a divorce or family members in a therapeutic environment. The type of mediator you want to become will dictate many of the steps you take to become a mediator. It all starts with the kind of field you want to pursue and the education you’ll want to obtain.

Courses and Degrees for Mediation

You’ll want to decide on your niche and plan your education path. If you want to go into family mediation, a psychology or counseling degree will work best. For workplace disputes, a human resources degree is a good education path. Mediators who work with the courts are often lawyers who mediate on the side. You’ll want to have a solid foundation of knowledge behind you when dealing with mediation since you have to understand family dynamics or the law when mediating those situations.

Requirements Per State

There are no real requirements for each state. There isn’t one degree path to take to become a mediator. Most people choose a field that interests them whether that’s family counseling or law and take courses to become knowledgeable in that career path. There’s no certificate to hold or degree for each state except Florida, which does have certification requirements. While there are no certificates needed for mediation, most states have requirements like a certain amount of hours of training to be a mediator. For example, New York requires potential mediators to complete two mediations under a supervising program director. They must have six hours of continuing education per year too.

Find a Mentor or Internship

Many mediators work for themselves or hope to get connected with an organization that does mediation work through the courts or through therapists in the area. The best way to get experience in the field is through an internship in the field you want to join. Check with your college for companies that search for interns. You could also find a mentor to show you the ropes. This involves networking with professionals through mentorship organizations or mediator associations.

Resources and Organizations offers a place to find mentors, a certification program, and listings of local mediators. You can be listed on their site once you complete all the required education. The Association of Conflict Resolution has sections that reflect the special interests of the group. You can join the commercial section with other professionals who focus on financial services. The court section works with professionals who work in law in its various forms.

Related Resource: How Do You Become a Career Counselor?

While there’s no direct education path to the world of mediation, you should get a degree in an area that interests you like the law before trying to become a mediator. Education alone won’t give you entrance to conflict resolution, it’ll make it easier to find a mentor, internship program and a career after graduation. The first step to finding a mediation career is choosing a path.