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Family mediator

Family mediators help divorcing or separating couples reach agreement without having to go to court.

Salary, a pound sign Salary: £20,000 to £35,000 average per year
Hours, a clock face Hours: 30 to 40 per week

1. Entry requirements

You’ll usually need a higher education qualification or up to 5 years’ relevant work experience in:

  • law
  • social work
  • counselling
  • therapy or education

You’ll also need paid or voluntary experience of working with families. You could do this in places like:

To fully qualify as a family mediator, you’ll need to complete training that is run by or approved by the Family Mediation Council (FMC).

2. Skills required

You’ll need:

  • excellent communication and listening skills
  • conflict management skills
  • the ability to relate to people from all backgrounds
  • creative thinking
  • the ability to deal with people who may be upset, vulnerable, angry or distressed

3. What you'll do

You’ll need to always be impartial, so you won’t tell people what to do, or give counselling or legal advice. Instead you’ll provide factual and legal information if required.

Your day-to-day duties may include:

  • meeting clients jointly or separately to explain the mediation process and decide on the issues to discuss
  • helping clients find ways of communicating with each other
  • listening to each client’s feelings and concerns
  • discussing issues like child residence and contact, property and money
  • helping clients to consider all options and suggesting and discussing solutions
  • keeping discussions fair, equal and focused
  • keeping accurate and confidential records of discussions
  • summarising agreements in writing
  • recognising when mediation is not working
  • working with solicitors and courts when necessary

In some jobs you may also talk to children, or deal with other family conflict situations.

4. Salary

Starter: £20,000 to £25,000

Experienced: £30,000

Highly Experienced: Up to £35,000

These figures are a guide.

5. Working hours, patterns and environment

You’ll usually work standard office hours, although some services offer evening and Saturday morning appointments to clients. 

You’ll be based in an office at a local family mediation service or solicitors’ practice.

6. Career path and progression

With experience you could set up your own mediation practice, train and supervise other mediators, or become a service manager. 

You could use your mediation skills in other careers like housing, social work or advice work.

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Last updated: 08 December 2016