Conflict Management: Career and Salary Facts

Find out about the types of jobs you could pursue in conflict management. Read on to learn more about career options along with salary, and potential job growth information. Schools offering Criminal Justice degrees can also be found in these popular choices.

What is a Conflict Manager?

People whose jobs include conflict management promote negotiation as a means to prevent and address disagreements. They facilitate communication between opposing parties to resolve issues outside of courts. They seek to explain and clarify any concerns and interests. They're responsible for scheduling meetings and interviews, and preparing settlement documentation. They apply any relevant principles of law during the arbitration process. The following chart gives you an overview of what you need to know about entering this field.

Degree Required Bachelor's degree
Key Responsibilities Identify issues and concerns of disputing parties,
Guide disputants towards resolution,
Prepare settlement agreements
Licensure/Certification License/certification required
Job Outlook (2014-2024) 9% (for all arbitrators, mediators, and conciliators)*
Median Salary (2015) $58,020 (for all arbitrators, mediators, and conciliators)*

Source: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

What is Conflict Management?

In general, conflict management involves acting as a neutral third party to resolve disputes. According to the Association for Conflict Resolution (ACR), when you work as a conflict management professional, you can use alternative dispute resolution, or ADR, to resolve disputes (www.arcnet.org). Negotiation, mediation, arbitration and consensus building are some additional processes you might use to facilitate resolution. Conflict prevention is also considered to be an integral part of this process.

What Jobs are Available?

Conflict management skills are useful in a variety of professions. You may, for example, apply your skills as a lawyer. You may also be interested in becoming an arbitrator, conciliator or mediator, serving as a neutral third party to settle legal cases out of court. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), these positions utilize ADR processes (www.bls.gov).

In general, arbitrators work with parties who have volunteered or been mandated to resolve their differences without going to court. Conciliators provide potentially binding recommendations; consequently, the BLS states that the parties need to consent to the conciliator's determination prior to meeting. While mediators may provide guidance, it is ultimately up to the clients to resolve their differences.

What Type of Degree or Training Do I Need?

The type of degree or training you will need generally depends on a variety of factors; these may include work context, position title and individual state requirements. Currently, according to the BLS, national requirements for the career have not been determined.

If you're not sure whether you want to seek an advanced degree at this time, you may want to consider volunteering. The BLS indicates that training opportunities may be available through mediation centers, professional organizations and court systems.

According to the BLS, five states have mediator certificate programs: Florida, New Hampshire, North Carolina, South Carolina and Virginia. Other potential training opportunities may be located through the U.S. Department of the Navy, the American Arbitration Association and the National Conflict Resolution Center.

If you are interested in pursuing a master's degree, the BLS indicates that an emphasis in public policy or conflict management may provide the necessary background for positions of this type. Most arbitrators, however, are attorneys with doctorate degrees, or Juris Doctorates. If you have a background in business or a field relevant to the dispute, you may also be qualified.

What Salary Might I Earn?

According to the BLS' May 2015 report for arbitrators, mediators and conciliators, the median wage was $58,020 per year. The BLS also indicated, however, that mediators may volunteer their time or already be employed by the courts.

What Are Some Related Alternative Careers?

Related careers include paralegals and legal assistants, and private detectives and investigators. Paralegals and legal assistants provide administrative support to lawyers, such as preparing documents or performing research. Only an associate's degree is necessary for this role. Private detectives and investigators search for information on personal matters in order to provide their clients with details needed for their interests. They may work for an individual or business. A high school diploma is required for this career.

To continue researching, browse degree options below for course curriculum, prerequisites and financial aid information. Or, learn more about the subject by reading the related articles below:

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