Family mediators help divorcing or separating couples reach agreement without having to go to court.
Salary range: £20,000 to £35,000
How to become a family mediator
You can get into this job through:
- a university course
- applying directly
- training with a professional association
You could do a degree or postgraduate diploma in:
- social work
You’ll need several years’ experience in your chosen profession alongside a qualification to move into mediation work.
You’ll usually need:
- 2 to 3 A levels, or equivalent, for a degree
- a degree in a relevant subject for postgraduate study
- equivalent entry requirements
- student finance for fees and living costs
- university courses and entry requirements
Volunteering and experience
You’ll need paid or voluntary experience of working with families to get into this job. This could be in settings like family support centres, counselling services or child contact centres.
Volunteering at a local community mediation service, for instance helping to settle neighbour disputes, can also be useful experience.
You could apply for a job as a trainee family mediator if you have a higher education qualification and experience in an area like:
- social work
As part of the selection process, you’ll need to show you have the right personal qualities and skills to be a family mediator.
You can do training with a professional association that works in mediation. Training entry requirements vary between them but most will expect you to have relevant experience from paid work or volunteering.
Some family law solicitors and legal executives choose to train and work as mediators although law qualifications are not essential for this job.
You’ll find more advice about working in family mediation through the Family Mediation Council.
What it takes
Skills and knowledge
- patience and the ability to remain calm in stressful situations
- persuading and negotiating skills
- active listening skills
- the ability to accept criticism and work well under pressure
- excellent verbal communication skills
- sensitivity and understanding
- to be thorough and pay attention to detail
- knowledge of English language
- to be able to carry out basic tasks on a computer or hand-held device
Restrictions and requirements
You’ll need to:
What you’ll do
In this role you could be:
- 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
You could work in an office.
Your working environment may be emotionally demanding.
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.