How Much Does a Judge Make? In 2024

Judges are legal experts with a wide range of job options. To become a judge, you’ll need a lot of schooling and experience to get the requisite skills, knowledge, and talents.

If you are thinking of a career as a judge, you might wonder how much does a judge make. That is one of the questions we will try to answer in this article.


GuideHow Much Does a Judge Make?
Average Income$133,840 annually
Highest Income$270,000 annually
Education QualificationMust pass the state bar

Who Are Judges?

A judge acts as an unbiased referee during a trial or hearing, deciding whether arguments, questions, and evidence are admissible.

Judges have the authority to determine the severity of sentences imposed during trials. In some cases, a judge is also in charge of issuing a decision in the case.

Although many judges hear cases on their own, some serve on courts with many judges who all hear the same case simultaneously and make decisions based on a majority vote.

Many federal judge seats are lifetime appointments that need congressional confirmation.

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How Much Does a Judge Make?

Judges in the United States earn an average of $133,840 a year. The remuneration of the Chief Supreme Court Justice, who is at the pinnacle of the court, is $267,000 each year.

The salaries of the remainder of the state and federal levels vary greatly, although practically every judge earns more than $100,000.

However, you must remember that the thing that affects your salary the most as a judge is the location you are working at, as the workplace will always be the same place, a federal court.

How Much Does A Judge Make an Hour?

A Judge makes a minimum of $5.53 an hour and a maximum of $95.43 an hour.

How Much Does A Judge Make a Month?

A Judge makes a minimum of $958 a month and a maximum of $16,542 an month.

How Much Does A Judge Make a Year?

A Judge makes a minimum of $11,500 a year and a maximum of $198,500 an year.


Highest Salary of Judges In 2024

Judge salaries vary a lot by the state you work in and the capacity you work in. You can be a different type of judge, like chief supreme court justice.

Generally, chief supreme court justices, the highest-earning judges, earn around $270,000 annually.

Is Being a Judge Good or Bad?

Being a judge is not an easy profession because you need to make the final decision in a court, and this is a lot of burden depending on the case and the criminals.

You might have to make decisions that are impossible to make. However, the pay is extremely well, and you become the judge of every decision.

If you are interested in criminal justice and want to make the decision for the people, becoming a judge could be a good decision for you.

Pros And Cons Of Being A Judge


  • Prestigious Job
  • Good pay
  • Job security
  • You play an important role in the justice system
  • Every day is different


  • Stressful
  • Lot of paperwork
  • Get life threats
  • Requires long years of practice & education


How to Become a Judge?

Judges have different requirements based on where they serve.

Here’s how you can become a Judge:

  1. Find a good law school, take the LSAT and apply for a bachelor’s degree in law. Make sure you graduate from a school that is approved by the American Bar Association; only then will you be able to become a judge in America.
  2. Next step is to pass the bar exam. A candidate must pass the state bar to be eligible for a judgeship in most states.
  3. Start your practice as a lawyer and keep applying for the position of judge by means of election, appointment, or temporary appointment.
  4. There are no official prerequisites for federal appointments. Despite the lack of an official system, there are several expectations that act as unofficial qualifications for a potential judge, whether it’s to obtain enough votes in an election or to gain confirmation from a legislative body.

A judicial nominee needs to demonstrate legal competence, a record of success in trial practice as a lawyer, and good standing with a state bar organization.


How Many Hours Does a Judge Work?

Being a judge is not easy, and this career requires you to work for long hours. A judge usually works full-time and spends 25 hours in a week in court.

But the major portion of time goes into paperwork that they can carry out from their office.

What is the Starting Pay of a Judge?

The starting pay for a Judge on average is $5.53 an hour or $11,500 a year.

The pay increases with experience and time and with years of experience and practice you can easily make $270,000 annually.

Who is the Richest Judge?

Judith Susan Scheindlin, or Judge Judy, is the richest Judge in the world. She is a very popular American author, lawyer, television personality & producer.

She has a staggering net worth of $440 million, making her one of the richest self-made women in America.

Training Programs

There are no special training programs for judges because you get all the information you need during your education, and you also work as a lawyer before you become a judge, and that teaches you everything, and you also need to take certifications and other exams proving that you know what a judge does. You learn the practical stuff on the job.

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To conclude, judges earn a lot of money because they do a lot of stressful work, and they determine justice in the country, which makes it even more stressful.

However, for those who have an interest in criminal justice and those who want to participate in it, becoming a judge is the top level you can contribute to in the criminal justice system.


How much does a judge make when they are a new judge?

When you start as a judge, you get a starting salary that is lower than the average but still higher than the $100,000 mark.

How much does a judge make if they are a senior judge?

Once you become a senior judge with your experience, you tend to become in the top 10% of judges in terms of income, and you earn according to that.

How much does a judge make per court they take?

There is no income you earn per each court you take. You have a salary, and you take as many courts as necessary.

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