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Friday, June 30, 2023

Careers in Mediation and Conflict Resolution in 2023

Written by Kroc School

You’re a thoughtful and reflective person. You seek harmony between strangers, acquaintances, and friends. Likewise, you’re looking for a career that suits your interests. There’s a wide variety of careers in mediation and conflict resolution. 

Which is the right one for you? What job setting should you look into? What is the job outlook for mediation careers? 

Explore a variety of careers in mediation and conflict resolution – the opportunities may surprise you. 

What’s the Job Outlook for Careers in Mediation and Conflict Resolution?

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, conflict resolution careers, such as arbitrators, mediators, and conciliators, are expected to grow 6 percent by 2031. However, as we’ll explore, mediators and conflict resolution professionals are found in a wide variety of industries so the exact number is difficult to determine. 

Unfortunately, there will always be a need for peaceful mediation and conflict resolution professionals in most industries. However, this is good news for you as someone seeking out opportunities to influence and create peace. 

Careers in Mediation and Conflict Resolution Are More Diverse Than You Would Expect

Most mediators will find themselves in legal offices, government roles, social advocacy organizations, or private organizations. The industries invested in conflict resolution are vast and varied. Explore some specific roles and imagine what might fit you best.


If you enjoy travel, learning languages, and the idea of negotiating on behalf of your country, diplomacy may be the ideal route for you. Diplomats develop and maintain peaceful relations between the country they represent and other countries. 

While being a diplomat may seem like a lucrative and exotic role, there are two routes to becoming a diplomat. You can pursue roles as a foreign service specialist or foreign service officer. The foreign service officer route involves many roles that mediate and provide conflict resolution for the government like adoption facilitation, government leader relations, and collaborating with foreign businesses. 

Because of the variation of roles in diplomacy, the range of pay is vast. Diplomats can make between $35,000 and $100,000 per year with seasoned diplomats making above $100,000 per year.


An ombudsman is an official who investigates complaints against businesses, financial institutions, universities, government departments, or other public entities, and attempts to resolve the conflicts or concerns raised, either by mediation or by making recommendations. 

Ombudsman are typically appointed by the government as an unbiased mediator. These professionals do not have legal training or expertise but do have familiarity with complex systems they work in. Some have the authority to make specific decisions while others can only report findings to an authority organization (like the government). 

The average ombudsman makes $55,000 per year while more experienced workers can make over $84,000 annually. 

Human Resource Manager

If you’re looking for a career with a choice to explore every industry, you might enjoy human resources. Human Resource (HR) managers have a diverse set of duties, many of which relate to conflict resolution and mediation. 

As the primary point of contact for employees, HR serves as a mediator between current, future, former employees and the organization. Additionally, HR managers facilitate policy development, employee onboarding, employee counseling services, and recruitment. When done well, all aspects of an HR manager’s main functions lead to a positive environment and decrease the need for direct mediation. 

The job outlook for HR professionals is good. Growing at a rate of 8 percent, the field is expected to grow faster than the national average. The median pay for HR specialists is around $70,000 annually. 

Family Mediator

A family mediator is a trained professional who assists families through the process of separation especially as it pertains to children and finances. Mediators do not represent one side of a divorce but represent the interests of the family as a unit. Mediators facilitate difficult discussions and specialize in conflict resolution. 

Family mediators may have a background in law, but many do not. They cannot give legal advice, but they can explain the complex legal system. The median wage for mediators is $49,000 and the career is expected to follow national trends.  

The Route of a Career in Mediation and Conflict Resolution

USD’s Kroc School of Peace Studies has the #3 ranked master’s program in conflict management and resolution in the country. Careers in mediation and conflict resolution are our area of expertise, and could be yours someday, too! 

Wondering what route is best for you? Take our quiz: What Kind of Peacebuilder Are You? 

Check out our FAQ page for admission questions like: 

  • Do I need to submit GRE scores?
  • What kind of career experience is needed?
  • Do you offer scholarships?

Thinking you may be on the right path to a career in conflict resolution? Learn more today. 

Kroc School

About the Author

Kroc School

Joan B. Kroc School of Peace Studies' mission is to equip and empower innovative changemakers to shape more peaceful and just societies.

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