Federal judges were first lawyers, unlike state judges who need not have to be lawyers. Federal administrative judges are first expected to be lawyers and pass an examination by the US Office of Personal Management. Their primary job is to protect the legal rights as enshrined in the Constitution. They always strive to ensure that hearings and trials are conducted in a very fair manner by strictly adhering to the stipulated procedures. Among their duties are issuing decrees to sentence a defendant in criminal cases as well as determining the quantum of punishment in civil cases. The average federal judge salary is $100,000.