Article written by Western Homes
Maybe you were an attorney, a construction expert witness, consultant or worker looking for a new opportunity. Mediation can be that opportunity for the right person. In many cases, you can enter non-degree programs that train you in arbitration. The key concept is to already have some involvement in construction at some level. You may need some certifications, but this is a long term goal to shoot for.
When construction delay claims can’t be solved, there is a need for mediation before going to trial in most cases. Mediation is valuable because it helps both parties recoup some of their losses and leads to a decision both parties can accept on amicable terms.
Most states have some basic requirements to be a mediator, but they don’t always include law school. Mediators should have some understanding of the law, but construction mediation is a bit more nuanced than regular mediation. That’s why so many in the construction field pursue this career later in their lives.
Mediators must be effective communicators above all else, so those who practice successfully will need to complete several hours of training learning how to resolve disputes. There are also voluntary mediation programs accepting students and those looking to break into the field, which would be an excellent place to start and build some clientele.
That said, a mediator with a law degree will have more opportunities for work than one without. Dispute resolution is a growing field, and it carries an average salary of somewhere around $60,000 per year.
For more than 40 years, Lyle Charles has worked to help settle construction disputes. Mr. Charles is a construction expert witness and a consultant.