Court Administrator: Job Description, Duties and Salary

Learn about the education and preparation needed to become a court administrator. Get a quick view of the requirements as well as details about degree programs, job duties and professional certification to find out if this is the career for you.

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Essential Information

A court administrator manages the daily operations of a federal, state or local courthouse. Typical job duties for this kind of administrative service manager include acting as a court liaison, managing the court's budget and directing court employees.

Minimum qualifications can vary; while employment is attainable with a bachelor's degree, some courts call for a master's degree. Voluntary professional certification is also available; some employers require it or require that new hires without it begin the process of getting it upon hire.

Required Education Bachelor's or master's degree
Other Requirements Voluntary Certified Court Manager (CCM) and Certified Court Executive (CCE) credentials
Projected Job Growth (2012-2022) 12% for administrative service managers*
Median Annual Salary (2014) $53,755**

Sources: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, **PayScale.com

Job Description for a Court Administrator

A court administrator plans and oversees a courthouse's administrative operations, facilities, budget and case management procedures. He or she also might act as a liaison between the court and public or private organizations, as well as the state or federal government.

Some administrators manage a specific division of a courthouse, such as the trial court, while others manage the entire courthouse. Additionally, court administrators can work for a single courthouse or a group of courthouses in the same area.

Requirements

Court administrators generally need a bachelor's or master's degree in a related field, such as public administration, business administration or judicial administration. Most positions require experience and specific knowledge of relevant areas, including court procedures, budgeting, management and legislation. Some employers also require professional certification.

Typical Job Duties

Financial management tasks can include establishing and submitting budgets to the legislature, disbursing money in the budget to the appropriate court sectors and overseeing the court's accounting practices. Administrators also establish and implement facility maintenance, management and operations plans, such as deciding where divisions of the court are located in the court building.

If a court is anticipating building a new structure or renovating a portion of its building, the administrator also might oversee those changes. Some administrators also are responsible for the information technology aspects of the court, including determining the types of computers and networks the court uses.

Court administrators might act as managers for non-judicial staff, such as clerks of court, assistant clerks of court and other general employees. This includes establishing hiring, training and firing practices. They also can run the court's communication, which includes speaking with the public about the court's activities or acting as a liaison for the court.

Salary and Career Information

Salary can depend on the number and size of the courthouses under the administrator's management, as well as education and experience. According to PayScale.com, court administrators made a median annual salary of $53,755 as of September 2014.

While the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) does not collect information about court administrators specifically, it does report on administrative service managers in general. Employment of administrative service managers is expected to increase 12% from 2012-2022, per the BLS; employment across all occupations is predicted to increase 11% during that same decade (www.bls.gov).

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