Judge, Trial Court Salary

Trial Court Judges in the United States can look forward to a sizeable six-figure salary — around $131K per year on average. Male Trial Court Judges who responded to the survey are more common than women; more than half (66 percent) are men. Nearly all report receiving medical coverage from their employers and the larger part collect dental insurance. It's heartening to note that most people in this field love their work, finding it both fun and rewarding. The figures in this rundown are based on the results of PayScale's salary questionnaire.
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$89,521 - $177,455
MEDIAN: $131,423

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National Salary Data (?
XAll compensation data shown are gross 10th to 90th percentile ranges. Take the PayScale Survey to find out how location influences pay for this job.
$89,521 - $177,455  
$0.00 - $9,899  
Total Pay (?
XTotal Pay combines base annual salary or hourly wage, bonuses, profit sharing, tips, commissions, overtime pay and other forms of cash earnings, as applicable for this job. It does not include equity (stock) compensation, cash value of retirement benefits, or the value of other non-cash benefits (e.g. healthcare).
$86,806 - $176,965  
Country: United States | Currency: USD | Updated: 12 Jan 2016 | Individuals Reporting: 80
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Job Description for Judge, Trial Court

Trial court judges preside over cases between prosecutors and defendants, and may also perform nuptials. This position commands respect, and a person holding this position is often referred to as “your honor."


Judge, Trial Court Tasks

  • Preside at preliminary hearings and settlement conferences.
  • Read documentation on pleadings and motions and provide written decisions with evidentiary and legal analysis.
  • Advise and direct attorneys, juries, and court personnel regarding court conduct, issues, and proceedings.
  • Conduct trials, hearings, and arraignments and issue rulings and sentences that interpret and enforce law.
  • Supervise subordinate staff, such as law clerks or secretarial staff.

Judge, Trial Court Job Listings

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Pay by Experience Level for Judge, Trial Court

Median of all compensation (including tips, bonus, and overtime) by years of experience.

The average inexperienced employee pulls down a cushy six-figure sum; the median salary for people claiming fewer than five years of experience is $137K. Trial Court Judges bring in $127K after working for 10 to 20 years. Big financial gains seem to result from working for more than two decades; veterans in this group report earning $140K on average.

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Experience Affects Judge, Trial Court Salaries

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National Average

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Job Satisfaction

Extremely satisfied
Rated 5 out of 5
based on 13 votes.


34 %
66 %

Years of Experience

Less than 1 year
1-4 years
5-9 years
10-19 years
20 years or more

Common Health Benefits

medical benefits
Medical: 96%
dental benefits
Dental: 63%
medical benefits
Vision: 56%
dental benefits
None: 4%