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Engaging Conflict for Fun and Profit: Current and Emerging Career Trends in Conflict Resolution

A new report has been published by the Maryland Mediation and Conflict Resolution Office (aka MACRO) exploring career trends in Conflict Resolution. Based on my initial review I think it represents the best information available at the moment (early 2014) on this important topic.

The report is entitled Engaging Conflict for Fun and Profit: Current and Emerging Career Trends in Conflict Resolution and it was developed by Robert J. Rhudy in conjunction with the Maryland Mediation and Conflict Resolution Office (MACRO).  You can find the full report here (pdf).

As the representative quotes (see below) from the report that I have selected suggest, it is quite a mixed bag (some positive, some not so much) regarding employment opportunities. First up is an example of a hopeful finding coming from the US Bureau of Labor Statistics:

The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, in its May 2012 report, projected a 14% growth rate in the conflict resolution field for the period 2008-2018, stating that:
[E]mployment of arbitrators, mediators and conciliators is expected to grow faster than the average for all occupations through 2018. Many individuals and businesses try to avoid litigation, which can involve lengthy delays, high costs, unwanted publicity and ill will. . . . Demand will also continue to increase for arbitrators, mediators and conciliators because all jurisdictions now have some type of dispute resolution program.

On the other hand, there is considerable evidence to suggest that jobs are not easy to come by, as suggested by this quote:

Making a living as a mediator… is anything but fun for many of those trying…[While] there are some mediators who are busy enough to gross a million dollars or more per year…the private mediator market is similar to markets for entertainers or professional athletes…[S]upply exceeds demand. More mediators want to enter the market than there are mediation jobs…

The author of the report, Robert Rhudy, has also posted an online version (shortened?) of the study over at Mediate.com if you want to browse it that way.  Robert has done the field a real service by pulling together this information and sharing it publicly.