Judge and Magistrate at a Glance

Projected Job Growth

  • +0% Job Growth for
    Judge and Magistrate

  • 2013
  • 2023

Average Salary for Judge and Magistrate

  • $0 Annual Pay
    National Average
  • $0 Hourly Pay
    National Average

Best States for Judge and Magistrate

in 2011
Annual Salary
Hourly Pay
New York 3,330 $129,410 $62
Alabama 690 $96,310 $46
West Virginia 550 $49,180 $24

Becoming a Judge or Magistrate

Jobs in judge and magistrate positions require a law degree and adequate experience working as a lawyer. In addition, most of these positions require that you are either elected or appointed. Jobs in local or state legal systems usually have fixed terms, which can range from four to 14 years, depending on the specific seat. Other positions are lifetime appointments, but these are not the most common and are usually at the federal level.

First, prospective judges and magistrates must earn their law degree, which includes four years of study at the undergraduate level and three years in a law program. As undergraduates, majors such as political science may be popular, but this is not a requirement. Below are some common classes found in law school curricula:

  • Civil Procedure
  • Constitutional Law
  • Criminal Law
  • Property Law

Once they have completed law school, graduates will need to pass the bar exam in their state. Then, after gaining experience working as a lawyer, you may be considered for a judge or magistrate position. All states have orientation for judges who are newly elected or appointed and many require continuing education courses as well.