A mediator can often help resolve a dispute less expensively and with less conflict, whether it's a divorce, a discrimination claim, or the parent of a special-education student seeking more services from a school. Mediators don't decide who's right. They guide a discussion so the disputants can more wisely reach agreement and move on with their lives. Most mediators love their work, helping people beat their swords into plowshares.
The median salary, with eight years in the field is $59,700, with most experienced mediators making 42,700-$116,000. (US News.)
The future prospects for organizational ombuds are similar. Ombuds use a similar skill set and serve as an alternative dispute resolution resource for the stakeholders of an entity. Like mediators, ombuds are confidential, neutral, independent and informal. Unlike mediators, however, ombuds can work with individuals even before a dispute arises and provide feedback to the organization about systemic problems. Hundreds of entities have created ombuds programs, including universities, large corporations, government agencies and NGO's. For those with the aptitude, this is an important and growing profession.