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Career Profile: Administrative Law Judges, Adjudicators, and Hearing Officers

Conduct hearings to recommend or make decisions on claims concerning government programs or other government-related matters. Determine liability, sanctions, or penalties, or recommend the acceptance or rejection of claims or settlements.

Salary and Outlook

According to the US Department of Labor, there are 15,500 people employed as administrative law judges, adjudicators, and hearing officers in the United States. The median annual salary is $97,500. Entry level employees earn approximately $47,580 per year and senior employees earn approximately $180,910 per year.

Estimates do not include other potential benefits such as health insurance, overtime pay, or retirement benefits that may be offered by employers.

Job Duties

  • Determine existence and amount of liability according to current laws, administrative and judicial precedents, and available evidence.
  • Monitor and direct the activities of trials and hearings to ensure that they are conducted fairly and that courts administer justice while safeguarding the legal rights of all involved parties.
  • Prepare written opinions and decisions.
  • Authorize payment of valid claims and determine method of payment.
  • Conduct hearings to review and decide claims regarding issues, such as social program eligibility, environmental protection, or enforcement of health and safety regulations.
  • Research and analyze laws, regulations, policies, and precedent decisions to prepare for hearings and to determine conclusions.
  • Review and evaluate data on documents, such as claim applications, birth or death certificates, or physician or employer records.
  • Recommend the acceptance or rejection of claims or compromise settlements according to laws, regulations, policies, and precedent decisions.
  • Rule on exceptions, motions, and admissibility of evidence.
  • Explain to claimants how they can appeal rulings that go against them.
  • Confer with individuals or organizations involved in cases to obtain relevant information.
  • Issue subpoenas and administer oaths in preparation for formal hearings.
  • Schedule hearings.
  • Conduct studies of appeals procedures in field agencies to ensure adherence to legal requirements and to facilitate determination of cases.

Career List

Job Outlook


Total Current Jobs:
15,500
Annual Openings:
700
Increase in Openings by 2030:
1%
Annual Salary Range:
$47,580 - $180,910
Education Requirements:
Master's degree or higher