How to Become an Arbitrator or Mediator

Written by jamie m. kisner
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How to Become an Arbitrator or Mediator
Make binding decisions rather than going to traditional court. (Group of business people working together in the office. image by Andrey Kiselev from

Becoming an arbitrator or mediator with the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) is a selective process. After all, it is the largest independent regulator for all securities firms doing business in the United States. You must have verifiable experience resolving disputes. However, there is not a specific profession that you must have experience with previously. Arbitration and mediation are used to avoid court costs to resolve disputes. FINRA provides training and opportunities to handle cases once you become an arbitrator and/or mediator.

Skill level:

Things you need

  • References (four)
  • Application
  • Work history (i.e., resume)

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  1. 1

    Collect documentation of your work history. Obtain four letters of reference (i.e., attorneys) describing your ability to resolve conflict disputes. Provide your resume to explain your work background.

  2. 2

    Register at the FINRA website as a new user. This will provide access to training after you are accepted into the program. To be included on the roster, you must meet the standards (i.e., location) set by the agency. It may be vital for there to be arbitrators and mediators only in certain parts of the country.

  3. 3

    Apply to be an arbitrator and/or mediator. Pay the non-refundable fee listed on each section page. Training must be completed for each one when approved. The difference is that arbitrators may decide on a case, while mediators help both parties see crucial factors. Therefore, you must decide if both or just one title is best.

  4. 4

    Check the status of your application and wait for a reply online. Typically, it takes 60 days for an applicant to be reviewed. There is a background verification included from an independent third-party selected by FINRA. Once approved, you will be included on the list of eligible individuals to resolve conflict. Training details will be provided upon acceptance.

  5. 5

    Complete the training and pay the tuition cost for arbitration and/or mediation. FINRA's Learning Management System will be used to complete the online module training. See the website to determine the current rate and for further details.

Tips and warnings

  • Set your own fee according to your education and experience. But beware that a £97 fee may apply for the job along with a £130 annual membership with FINRA.
  • Due to the mortgage fraud in Florida and other states, there should be many work opportunities in certain regions that are seeking help. Becoming an arbitrator/mediator in those areas can be potentially lucrative.

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