Find Now

Careers in Conflict Resolution

Conflict resolution is not necessarily an independent profession like an airline pilot or a nurse for example. Instead, it symbolizes a role that a professional may assume in addition to his/her existing career responsibilities. To illustrate, practicing lawyers, retired judges, and certified public accountants (CPAs) may work in conflict resolution from time to time.

So what careers could you choose from that deal with conflict resolution? There is a variety of careers you may pursue after obtaining necessary training in conflict resolution. You do not have to work for the United Nations or the U.S. Department of State if you are not interested in working for the government (these two, however, remain the top employers). You may work in the following fields:

  • Conflict resolution consulting firms
  • International relief and developmental organizations
  • Community centers
  • Educational institutions
  • Court systems
  • Religious groups
  • Government agencies
  • Labor unions
  • Businesses

What is conflict resolution?

Conflict resolution is an interdisciplinary field which combines international relations, political science, religion, communications, sociology, psychology, law, public policy, and anthropology.

The historical roots of conflict resolution are in post-World War II, and the realization that conflicts must be resolved peacefully with a sense of satisfaction for all the involved parties. Conflict resolution may be basically described as a process in which at least some of each party’s demands are addressed.

Why is conflict resolution important?

Conflict resolution (also known as dispute resolution) is, as clichéd as it may sound, for the peace of mind. At an individual level, conflict resolution helps to ensure productive work and family life. It also helps ensure productive community life. At a government level, it helps provide peaceful solutions that are fair for all parties involved.

What types of careers are in conflict resolution?

It is challenging to cover all the careers that a person with conflict resolution skills may qualify for; however, the following careers may serve as a general guide on the roles of conflict resolution professionals and not necessarily their titles.


Think of arbitrators as attorneys in arbitration proceedings. They act as a neutral third party and decide disputes between opposing parties. They may work alone or in a group, so their communication skills may be of great importance. They may also decide the scope of arbitration and instruct the parties on how to proceed in a manner. Also, they may be legally empowered to hand down decisions which may be challenged in a court of law by the aggrieved party.

Are you still wondering what an arbitrator does? A nice example would be to think of Judge Judy.


Mediators perform the same role as arbitrators with one exception, they cannot hand down decisions. Rather than setting scope of the proceedings and procedural requirements, they guide parties to reach a mutually acceptable agreement. In case the mediation fails, the parties are free to pursue other options.

Retired judges, lawyers, and business professionals may qualify as mediators. There may be no academic training requirements for mediators in a private setting, but court-appointed mediators or other state-funded mediation cases may need to complete a 40-hour basic course in mediation, in addition to completing a 20-hour specialized or advanced training course. First-time mediators may have to mediate under the guidance of an experienced mediator for a certain amount of cases before becoming independent.


Conciliators are like mediators with one big difference, they meet with the parties separately. They may make recommendations given that the parties agree. Like mediators, they cannot give decisions or make awards, call witnesses, or seek evidence.


Conflict resolution professionals may also perform the role of ombudsmen. Ombudsmen are like mediators with the exception that they manage conflict within an organization. Ombudsmen may be trained as mediators and employ their techniques and skills to problem solving.


Facilitators perform the following duties:

  • Act as neutral party to moderate discussions between parties.
  • Keep record of the meetings and discussions.
  • Monitors speaking time of each party.
  • Provide constructive feedback.
  • Create an environment of trust conducive to conflict resolution.


Fact-finders perform a slightly different role than what other conflict resolution professionals perform. In many ways, they are like mediators; impartial. They, unlike mediators, do not bring parties to a mutually agreeable solution. They are more concerned with the substance of the case.

They may issue a nonbinding report on the findings, and this will be based on arguments and evidence presented by the parties. They perform a different role from arbitrators, since fact-finders recommendations are non-binding.

Is a career in conflict resolution for me?

Your role as conflict resolution person may not be glamorous or adventurous. Most of your work is listening to the parties involved and working with them to come to mutual agreements. The work is important, and could make a major difference.

It may be a solo career, which pays well, but requires long hours and work on the weekends. Are you still interested? If so, you should look into the career, especially if you possess the following personal qualities:

  • Critical-thinking skills
  • Writing skills
  • Reading skills
  • Listening skills
  • Interpersonal skills
  • Decision-making skills

Educational Requirements

The following may serve as supplemental degrees to existing degrees and work experience in other fields:

  • Certificate in conflict resolution
  • Master's degree in conflict resolution
  • Doctoral degree in conflict resolution or conflict management

Is the career worth pursuing?

The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) reported that conciliators, mediators, and arbitrators earned a yearly median salary of $61,280 in 2012. These professionals have a bachelor's degree in conflict resolution and with less than 5 years of work experience. Lawyers performing additional conflict resolution duties earned $75,270 in 2012.

Top 5 employers of conflict resolution professionals

  • Law firms
  • Insurance and finance
  • Civic and religious organizations
  • State and local governments
  • Social assistance and healthcare

States with the highest employment level in this occupation:



Employment per thousand jobs

Location quotient

Hourly mean wage

Annual mean wage

California 1660 0.11 1.26 18.13 37720
Florida 1130 0.14 1.68 17.97 37370
Illinois 960 0.16 1.92 17.9 37240
Texas 760 0.07 0.78 16.62 34570
New York 650 0.07 0.85 20.12 41840


Frequently Asked Question(s)

Q:Are the best degree for negotiation programs offered online?

A:Yes. Most of the best degree for negotiation programs are also offered online. Distance learning programs offered by accredited universities like Colorado technical University provide students with the ease of completing their education at their own pace.

Q:What degree do I need to pursue to get jobs involving negotiations?

A:To pursue a career in negotiations and conflict management, you need to choose your degree accordingly. Degrees that will offer you the competitive edge in the job market include Bachelor of Business Administration in Negotiation and Conflict Management and the Masters of Business Administration in Negotiation and Conflict Management. These degrees can easily be taken online from the list of institutes mentioned on our website.

Q:How can I get into the Negotiating profession?

A:In order to enter the profession of Negotiation Resolution, you will need to opt for degree programs with concentration in conflict resolution and negotiation. These are easily available in various online schools listed on our website. Here are the names of a few for your guidance: Creighton University, Colorado Technical University Online, and Jones International University.

Q:While going through the Negotiating careers, there was mention of the course on Statistical Analysis. What are the contents of this course?

A:It is common to get to study about the course on Statistical Analysis course in the Negotiating careers. This is a 4 credits worth course that stresses on providing the students with an introduction to the basic foundations of the field of statistical analysis. Some of the topics included are sampling and methods of testing, decision analysis, hypothesis testing and probability.

Q:Which industry will negotiation career opportunities land me into?

A:Negotiation career opportunities offer students job prospects in a plethora of industries. They can work as communicators and negotiators in any industry and organization since internal and external communication is of utmost significance to any company wishing to grow. Negotiation specialists have the opportunity of not restricting themselves to one industry but be flexible to small changes and adjust anywhere their services are required.

Q:Which is the best career in Negotiation?

A:After graduating in Negotiation and Resolution, one can get a managerial post right away in any organization. Currently the best offered positions are in government sector such as international organizations and agencies. Other than government jobs, many of the non-profit organizations and counseling centers are also offering very good posts.

Q:While I went through the best negotiation careers, there was mention of the course on Introduction to Computers. What are the contents of this course?

A:It is common to get to see the mention of the course on Introduction to Computers while going through the articles on best negotiation careers. This course is designed to provide the students with comprehensive understanding of the basic concepts as well as the terminology that is related to the software, design and graphics and hardware of computers.

Q:What are the jobs in negotiation and conflict resolution?

A:With a Masters degree in this field you can easily start your career at a managerial positions in any private organization, but the most scope in this field is afforded by working in government agencies and international organizations like the UN. Here, conflict resolution and negotiation is an essential part of the job. Jobs with such organizations are mostly very lucrative, especially with a graduate or a postgraduate degree.

Q:How negotiation as a career is viewed? And can you tell me the job opportunities for it?

A:Negotiation as a career is gaining importance as more institutes are hiring such people who can tackle conflict situation expertly. It can open up multiple opportunities that include negotiating services in corporations, human resource departments, government agencies, military, police and hospitals. In addition to this, these skills can also be availed to handle peacemaking efforts at government level or for hostage rescue situations.

Q:Are negotiation jobs very limited and restricted to only certain fields?

A:Negotiation jobs are quite varied and not limited to a particular field anymore. In this age the power of communication is greater than ever. The realization of powerful negotiating skills is dawning on many industries who are hiring such people. Negotiators can add value and productivity to their organizations by handling conflict and delicate matters.

Q:Can you give me information on negotiator careers?

A:As a negotiator your responsibilities will include conflict resolution and negotiation facilitation through dialogue. You oversee the settling of conflicts outside the court room through mutual understanding of the parties involved. The mean salary for a negotiator is around sixty thousand dollars. Actual salary figures are dependent on several factors.

Q:What are the specialization options available in conflict negotiation jobs?

A:Once you have acquired a degree in conflict negotiation or a related field, you can choose to work in specific areas to acquire specialization. Some of the specialization areas include arbitration, ombudsman, and facilitation. You can also specialize by conducting research as a part of your graduate program in fields such as education, law, and international conflicts.

Q:To prep for high paying careers in negotiation and conflict resolution, what degree do I need?

A:If you are planning to pursue well-paying careers in negotiation and conflict resolution, you need to make sure you are equipped with the right degree and professional skills. You can opt for a degree in this specific area. Many institutes are offering bachelor and masters degree in negotiation and conflict resolution.

Q:Can you tell me about jobs in negotiation?

A:With a degree in conflict resolution and negotiation, one can look forward to a number of high paying job positions. Some of the job positions related to this field includes the following: mediators, arbitrators, and conciliators. There are a number of federal agencies that require such professionals to handle local and international matters.

Q:What are major skills required by business negotiation jobs?

A:Business negotiation jobs require a number of skills that students can acquire with the help of formal education and experience. Since the job requires dealing with a wide variety of people, there are some essential skills that you should possess. These include problem solving, excellent communication, persuasion, negotiation, and analytical skills.

Q:What can be the options in careers involving negotiation, once I complete my master's degree in the field?

A:You can have a number of options in careers involving negotiation, after completing your master's degree. You can apply for managerial positions in any organization. A number of challenging positions are offered by government agencies and international organizations. Most sought after jobs are offered by international organizations, where conflict resolution and negotiation are quite common.

Q:Can you tell me about the different specializations for careers in negotiations and conflict management?

A:After a negotiations degree you can work in specific areas to acquire on the job training and specialization in facilitation, arbitration, and ombudsman. You can also specialize in different areas with a graduate degree. Specialization areas normally include education, law and justice, immigration and refugees, and finance. The best way to acquire specialization is to gain work experience in the particular areas.

Ask your Question

* All Fields are Required
Call Now(877) 721-2529