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Judges, Magistrate Judges, and Magistrates

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Life As a Judge or Magistrate

Example of a Judge or Magistrate Job Arbitrate, advise, adjudicate, or administer justice in a court of law. May sentence defendant in criminal cases according to government statutes or sentencing guidelines. May determine liability of defendant in civil cases. May perform wedding ceremonies.

Life As a Judge or Magistrate

  • Rule on custody and access disputes, and enforce court orders regarding custody and support of children.
  • Sentence defendants in criminal cases, on conviction by jury, according to applicable government statutes.
  • Conduct preliminary hearings to decide issues such as whether there is reasonable and probable cause to hold defendants in felony cases.
  • Award compensation for damages to litigants in civil cases in relation to findings by juries or by the court.
  • Advise attorneys, juries, litigants, and court personnel regarding conduct, issues, and proceedings.
  • Write decisions on cases.

Things a Judge or Magistrate Should Know How to Do

Below is a list of the skills most Judges, and Magistrates say are important on the job.

Active Listening: Giving full attention to what other people are saying, taking time to understand the points being made, asking questions as appropriate, and not interrupting at inappropriate times.

Critical Thinking: Using logic and reasoning to identify the strengths and weaknesses of alternative solutions, conclusions or approaches to problems.

Judgment and Decision Making: Considering the relative costs and benefits of potential actions to choose the most appropriate one.

Reading Comprehension: Understanding written sentences and paragraphs in work related documents.

Complex Problem Solving: Identifying complex problems and reviewing related information to develop and evaluate options and implement solutions.

Types of Judge or Magistrate Jobs

  • Trial Court Justice
  • District Court Justice
  • Appellate Court Judge
  • Circuit Judge
  • Chief Judge

Job Demand for Judges, and Magistrates

In the United States, there were 28,400 jobs for Judges, Magistrate Judges, and Magistrates in 2016.

New jobs are being produced at a rate of 5.6% which is lower than average. The Bureau of Labor Statistics predicts 1,600 new jobs for Judges, and Magistrates by 2026. Due to new job openings and attrition, there will be an average of 1,400 job openings in this field each year.

Forecasted Number of Jobs for Judges, and Magistrates in U.S.

The states with the most job growth for Judges, Magistrate Judges, and Magistrates are Texas, New York, and Georgia.

Watch out if you plan on working in Maryland, New Jersey, or Wyoming. These states have the worst job growth for this type of profession.

How Much Does a Judge or Magistrate Make?

Judges, Magistrate Judges, and Magistrates Make between $34,790 and $193,330 a year. The median salary for this occupation is $133,920.

Salary Ranges for Judges, and Magistrates

How much do Judges, Magistrate Judges, and Magistrates make in different U.S. states?

Annual Mean Salary by State
State Annual Mean Salary





New York














North Dakota








New Jersey


























South Dakota


New Mexico




West Virginia




South Carolina










Tools & Technologies Used by Judges, and Magistrates

Although they’re not necessarily needed for all jobs, the following technologies are used by many Judges, and Magistrates:

  • Microsoft Office
  • Microsoft Excel
  • Adobe Systems Adobe Acrobat

How to Become a Judge or Magistrate

Learn what Judge or Magistrate education requirements there are.

Judge or Magistrate Degree Level

How Long Does it Take to Become Judge or Magistrate?

Judge or Magistrate Work Experience

Where do Judges, and Magistrates Work?

Judge or Magistrate Sectors


Bureau of Labor Statistics

College Factual

O*NET Online

Image Credit: Via Wikimedia Commons

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