How Much Do Judges Make? (With Salary And Benefits)

Updated 26 January 2023

The judge plays an important role in maintaining law and order and is responsible for giving judgement in case of justice. The position of judge is one of the most prestigious and reputable jobs in the country. Learning about the average salary of judges and the necessary skills and qualifications to become a judge can help you decide if it is a good career option for you. In this article, we discuss how much do judges make and what skills they need and explore the steps to become a judge.

How much do judges make?

The average salary of a judge is ₹44,840 per month. The salary of judges may vary from one state to another. For example, the judges in Jodhpur, Rajasthan, can earn up to ₹39,648 per month while the judges in Patna, Bihar, earn ₹26,275 per month. Their salary also depends on the position, experience and qualifications. The salaries of judges depend on the hierarchy of the court. Judges in the Supreme Court earn higher than the judges in the High Court or District Court.

According to the Salaries and Conditions of Service Act 1958, the proposed salaries of judges based on the hierarchy of the court are:

  • Chief Justice of India: ₹2,80,000 per month

  • Supreme Court judges: ₹2,50,000 per month

  • High Court judges: ₹2,25,000 per month

Aside from the salary, judges get the following benefits and perks:

  • dearness allowance

  • travel allowance and vehicle maintenance

  • house rent and maintenance allowance

  • pension facility after retirement

  • electricity, water and telephone bill

  • educational allowance for children

Skills for a judge

Here are the essential skills that you may require to become a judge:

Communication skills

Communication and listening skills are crucial for judges as they serve as impartial people and make decisions after thoroughly understanding the arguments and evidence. Using positive language and simple words in the courtroom makes it easier for everyone to understand what the judge is saying. Judges can enhance their communication skills by avoiding the questions that make less sense to the argument. Instead, they can frame questions related to the incident and ask follow-up questions. Making clear and concise judgements minimises the risk of confusion in the courtroom.

Related: How To Become A Lawyer: A Complete Guide With FAQs

Knowledge of law

Judges preside over a court trial and hearing to come up with an unbiased decision. It is important for a judge to be well-learned and know all the laws before making any decision. Legal and professional knowledge are the most fundamental skills that judges require. A strong understanding of the law and court procedures helps judges to make fair and legal trials and hearings. They can improve their knowledge of the law by understanding common issues and problems in society and the concepts of social issues, such as fraud or discrimination.


Judges have the ability to read a convicted person's face and body language. A sense of empathy helps a judge to make a decision in the right direction. Developing empathy is helpful in understanding the case, emotions and listening to what both parties are trying to get out of the trial. Therefore, being empathic is of utmost importance in the judiciary system. The process of developing empathy is slow and requires regular practice. Candidates learn judiciary values, like empathy, from virtue-friendly institutions and practices.

Problem-solving skills

Judges understand all the problems occurring in the first place and use their good problem-solving skills to look for legal solutions. Problem-solving skills allow a judge to get help from everybody in the court to solve the dispute. They integrate different types of information and identify the best solution for a case. Candidates develop their problem-solving skills to resolve conflicts during the judicial proceeding. Analysis of different situations and arguments enhances problem-solving skills. Using logic and arguments to identify the strengths and weaknesses of multiple solutions helps in becoming an ideal judge.

Unbiased judgement

When it comes to making decisions, judges are independent and impartial and give judgements based on the law. The position of a judge is free from fear of criticisms or punishments of any kind. Judges require impartiality to give an unbiased judgement while addressing a case. To become an ideal judge, it is important to avoid external factors and pressures. Candidates can develop this skill by examining all aspects of the issue carefully. Investigating all aspects and relevant information can help them see other viewpoints. This may increase the chances of a fair decision.

Related: How To Become A Legal Advisor (With Salary And Job Duties)

Decision-making skills

A good decision-making skill shows how knowledgeable a judge is about the law and the case. Reading the case thoroughly and understanding all the facts helps in the decision-making process. After understanding all the facts and evidence, judges with good decision-making skills apply their knowledge and treat the case by the law. Judges often make efficient decisions in a very short time, which shows their decisiveness. Interacting with people of all ages help judges enhance their decision-making skills. Aspiring judges can also learn from their past mistakes and victories.

How to become a judge

Here are steps to becoming a judge:

1. Complete 10+2

Completing your higher secondary education, or 10+2, is the first step for becoming a judge. After your 10+2, you are eligible to appear in the Common Law Admission Test (CLAT). You can complete your 10+2 in science, commerce or arts. The minimum percentage for admission may vary from college to college.

2. Qualify for the entrance examination

The CLAT is an entrance examination for getting admission to undergraduate and postgraduate law courses. This national-level entrance examination allows candidates to take admission in National Law Universities across the country. You can appear in the CLAT after completing your higher secondary education. Many students appear for CLAT after their bachelor's degree to get admission to Master of Law or LLM. National law colleges and many other educational institutes use the CLAT score for taking admissions.

3. Select the right college

The selection for a good law college totally depends on how well you score in CLAT. Scoring really well in CLAT can get you admission to national law colleges, which provide a better environment for students. With a low score in CLAT, you can get admission to private colleges. It is important to check the curriculum, clinical legal programme, specialisation and placement before taking admission to a law college.

Related: What Is The Difference Between A Magistrate And A Judge?

4. Complete LLB degree

Completing your Bachelor of Laws or LLB degree from a university recognised by the Bar Council of India is the most important step towards becoming a qualified judge. You can enrol in the 3-year LLB degree or pursue a 5-year integrated law course. Candidates can pursue the 5-year integrated law degree right after completing their 10+2. You may require a bachelor's degree to pursue the 3-year LLB degree. After LLB, you can start practicing in the legal sectors, join a legal training course or pursue a master's degree.

5. Pass the judicial service exam

The Public Service Commission conducts the Judicial Services Examination (JSE) in every state. After completing LLB, candidates can appear in the JSE. You can become a judge in subordinate or lower courts by qualifying for the state JSE. Different states conduct their own JSEs. This is why the recruitment process and eligibility criteria may vary from state to state.

There are two levels of judicial services:

  • Lower judicial services: It is the best option for fresh law graduates as candidates without any experience can also apply.

  • Higher judicial services: Practicing lawyers with a minimum experience of seven years can become additional district judges by clearing this examination.

Related: How To Become A Criminal Lawyer: A Complete Guide

FAQs about a judge

Here are some frequently asked questions about judges:

What are the eligibility criteria for becoming a judge in the High Court?

Here are the eligibility criteria from Article 217(2) to become a High Court Judge:

  • Must be a citizen of India

  • Should have held a judicial office in the country

  • Should have been an advocate of a High Court for a minimum of 10 years (optional)

As per Article 217(1), the President consults the Chief Justice of India (CJI) and the Governor of a State to appoint a judge in the High Court of that state.

What are the eligibility criteria for becoming a judge in the Supreme Court?

Here are the eligibility criteria from Article 124(3) to become a Supreme Court Judge:

  • Must be a citizen of India

  • Should have been a judge in the High Court for a minimum of five years

  • Should have been an advocate in the High Court for a minimum of 10 years (optional)

As per Article 124(2), the President consults the CJI and other judges of the Supreme Court to appoint a judge in the Supreme Court.

What are the benefits of a career as a judge?

Here are some major benefits of becoming a judge:

  • highly respected job

  • job security

  • higher salary

  • pension upon retirement

  • decent work-life balance

  • high level of responsibilities

Salary figures show data listed on Indeed Salaries at the time of writing the article. Salaries may vary depending on the hiring organisation and a candidate's experience, academic background and location.

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