Judges and hearing officers apply the law by overseeing the legal process in courts. They also conduct pretrial hearings, resolve administrative disputes, facilitate negotiations between opposing parties, and issue legal decisions.
All judges and hearing officers are employed by local, state, and federal governments. Most work in courts. The majority work full time.
How to Become a Judge or Hearing Officer
Judges usually have law degrees and work experience as lawyers. However, some administrative law judge, hearing officer, and magistrate positions only require a bachelor’s degree.
In May 2012, the median annual wage for judges, magistrate judges and magistrates was $115,760. The median annual wage for administrative law judges, adjudicators and hearing officers was $87,240 in May 2012.
Employment of judges and hearing officers is projected to show little or no change from 2012 to 2022. The number of federal and state judgeships is projected to remain steady because nearly every new position for a judge must be authorized and approved by legislature.