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What is a Judge or Magistrate?

Example of 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: What Do They Do?

  • Instruct juries on applicable laws, direct juries to deduce the facts from the evidence presented, and hear their verdicts.
  • Rule on admissibility of evidence and methods of conducting testimony.
  • Grant divorces and divide assets between spouses.
  • Interpret and enforce rules of procedure or establish new rules in situations where there are no procedures already established by law.
  • Monitor proceedings to ensure that all applicable rules and procedures are followed.
  • Perform wedding ceremonies.

What Every Judge or Magistrate Should Know

When polled, Judges, and Magistrates say the following skills are most frequently used in their jobs:

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.

Speaking: Talking to others to convey information effectively.

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

Types of Judge or Magistrate Jobs

  • Federal Judge
  • General Magistrate
  • Circuit Court Magistrate
  • Justice
  • Trial Justice

Judge or Magistrate Job Outlook

In 2016, there was an estimated number of 28,400 jobs in the United States for Judge or Magistrate. New jobs are being produced at a rate of 5.6% which is above the national average. The Bureau of Labor Statistics predicts 1,600 new jobs for Judge or Magistrate by 2026. There will be an estimated 1,400 positions for Judge or Magistrate per year.


The states with the most job growth for Judge or Magistrate are Utah, Nevada, and Texas. 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.

Salary for a Judge or Magistrate

The typical yearly salary for Judges, and Magistrates is somewhere between $34,790 and $193,330.


Judges, and Magistrates who work in California, Connecticut, or Nevada, make the highest salaries.

Below is a list of the median annual salaries for Judges, and Magistrates in different U.S. states.

State Annual Mean Salary
Alabama $59,780
Arizona $108,080
Arkansas $122,840
California $178,700
Colorado $150,890
Connecticut $160,410
Delaware $140,680
Florida $140,720
Georgia $108,150
Indiana $122,510
Iowa $82,240
Kansas $87,270
Kentucky $130,230
Maine $109,730
Maryland $145,960
Minnesota $135,730
Mississippi $50,640
Missouri $127,270
Montana $52,370
Nevada $156,290
New Jersey $126,760
New Mexico $82,460
New York $158,970
North Dakota $132,550
Ohio $90,960
Oklahoma $77,130
Oregon $127,800
Pennsylvania $60,120
South Carolina $68,080
South Dakota $85,710
Tennessee $111,440
Texas $90,350
Utah $102,340
Washington $124,440
West Virginia $80,990
Wisconsin $114,820

What Tools do Judges, and Magistrates Use?

Below is a list of the types of tools and technologies that Judges, and Magistrates may use on a daily basis:

  • Microsoft Excel
  • Microsoft Office
  • Web browser software
  • Email software
  • Word processing software
  • Adobe Systems Adobe Acrobat
  • LexisNexis
  • Online databases
  • Videoconferencing software
  • Instant messaging software
  • Thomson Reuters WestLaw
  • Courtroom scheduling software

How to Become a Judge or Magistrate

What education is needed to be a Judge or Magistrate?


How many years of work experience do I need?


Where do Judges, and Magistrates Work?


Below are examples of industries where Judges, and Magistrates work:



Image Credit: Okan Г‡alД±Еџkan via CC0 Public Domain

More about our data sources and methodologies.

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