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Salary, Wages, Pay: Judges, Magistrates, and Other Judicial Workers




Judges, magistrate judges, and magistrates had median annual earnings of $94,070 in 2002. The middle 50 percent earned between $44,970 and $120,390. The top 10 percent earned more than $138,300, while the bottom 10 percent earned less than $24,250. Median annual earnings in the industries employing the largest numbers of judges, magistrate judges, and magistrates in 2002 were $112,720 in State government and $54,750 in local government. Administrative law judges, adjudicators, and hearing officers earned a median of $64,540, and arbitrators, mediators, and conciliators earned a median of $47,320.

In Federal courts, the following salaries apply: the Chief Justice of the United States Supreme Court earned $198,600, and the Associate Justices earned $190,100. Federal court of appeals judges earned $164,100 a year in 2001 while district court judges had salaries of $154,700, as did judges in the Court of Federal Claims and the Court of International Trade. Federal judges with limited jurisdiction, such as magistrates and bankruptcy court judges, had salaries of $142,324.

According to a survey by the National Center for State Courts, annual salaries of associate justices of States’ highest courts averaged $120,100 in 2002 and ranged from about $89,381 to $170,319. Salaries of State intermediate appellate court judges averaged $116,064 and ranged from $91,469 to $159,657. Salaries of State judges of general jurisdiction trial courts averaged $109,811 and ranged from $82,600 to $150,000.

Most salaried judges are provided health and life insurance, and contributions to retirement plans are made on their behalf.