Judges, Magistrate Judges and Magistrates: Salary, Job Description, How To Become One, and Quiz

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Job description

Judges, Magistrate Judges and Magistrates 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.

  • Rule on custody and access disputes, and enforce court orders regarding custody and support of children.
  • Read documents on pleadings and motions to ascertain facts and issues.
  • Sentence defendants in criminal cases, on conviction by jury, according to applicable government statutes.
  • Grant divorces and divide assets between spouses.
Read more about what does a Judge, Magistrate Judge and Magistrate really do at work and what is it like being and working as one.



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Average salary
$121130 per year

Average hourly wage
$58 per hour

Judges and Magistrates with little to no experience tend to make between $34790 and $71430 while the more experienced ones can earn over $163050 per year.

Top 5 paying statesHourlyAnnual

One of the easiest ways to increase your salary as a Judge, Magistrate Judge and Magistrate is to move to a higher paying state like CA. Right now, the highest paying states for Judges and Magistrates are CA, CT, NY, NV and CO.

However, a higher pay at CA doesn’t guarantee that you will make more because the living expenses at CA might be twice as high than where you are currently at now.

Three other factors that can increase your salary as a Judge, Magistrate Judge and Magistrate is the degree you hold, the industry you work in, and lastly the company you work for.


Recommended degree level
Doctoral Degree

We asked other Judges and Magistrates what degree they had when they got the job and most of them said they had a PhD followed by a High School Diploma.

Other than that, we also asked them what did they major in and here are the most popular majors that came up.

Read more about how to become a Judge, Magistrate Judge and Magistrate and the degree, training and education you need.

Pros and Cons

Here are some of the pros and cons of being a Judge, Magistrate Judge and Magistrate.

Suitable for people who likes to start and carry out projects
Suitable for people who wants independence and likes to work on their own and make decisions
This career is perfect for people who love to work indoors.
One of the highest paid careers in the world
Not suitable for people who likes practical and hands-on work
It is very hard to get into this career. Extensive skill, knowledge, and experience is required for this career.
Long working hours (More than 40 hours per week)

What is the job like

Job satisfaction

Is this job meaningful

72% of Judges and Magistrates said they were satisfied with their job and 47% said they feel like their job is making other people’s lives better.

Is this right for me

Best personality for this career
The Entrepreneurs and The Helpers

You can read more about these career personality types here.

People who are suitable for this job tends to like starting up and carrying out projects. They like leading people and making many decisions. Sometimes they require risk taking and often deal with business..

They also like working with, communicating with, and teaching people. They like helping or providing service to others.

Learn more about Judges, Magistrate Judges and Magistrates

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