How To Become A Bailiff
Career Video: Bailiff
Are you interested in a career within the criminal justice system? Do you seek an occupation in law enforcement but want to work within the courts? Are you at peek physical and mental fitness, prepared to maintain courtroom safety and order? If you aspire to provide security and organization to court proceedings, then a career as a bailiff could be right for you.
Why Become A Bailiff
Bailiffs, otherwise known as marshals and court officers, are law enforcement officers who work within the court system, providing order, security, and efficacy. Their role is to ensure the safety for all individuals within the courtroom but also to make sure that court proceedings progress efficiently. Some of their duties include swearing in witnesses, escorting defendants, guarding juries, announcing and dismissing judges, and maintaining general order within a courtroom.
The responsibilities of a bailiff vary widely, from performing clerical duties to protecting civilians during a crisis. Bailiffs must be trained to handle a variety of tasks, especially when serious threats disrupt the civility of a courtroom. For these reasons, it is essential that bailiffs possess the following traits and skills:
- Interpersonal skills
- Communication skills
- Sound judgment
- Professional appearance
- Computer literacy
Bailiff Work Environment
Bailiffs work for local, district, state, and federal court systems. Local sheriff and police departments provide bailiffs for local and district courtrooms, while state supreme courts receive services from state police departments. Individuals who work for United States district courts and other federal courts will most likely be employed by the U.S. Marshals Service.
The physical work environment of a bailiff is typically within a courtroom; however, much of their work also consists within the courthouse. They are sometimes responsible for escorting defendants to and from court proceedings, which may require travel. Bailiffs may also stand guard over jury deliberations and outside judges’ chambers.
The work of a bailiff is typically fulltime; however, their schedules are subject to the schedules of court hearings.
The salary of a bailiff is contingent upon the level of employment and experience. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the median annual salary for bailiffs in 2014 was $38,150. The bottom 10 percent of individuals in this occupation made about $20,630, per year, while the top 10 percent made approximately $70,970. Bailiffs who work for state governments typically earn a higher salary, as well as those working in geographic locations that see more hearings, such as New York, California, and Nevada.
Average Bailiff Salary
- Executive bailiffs (Top 10%) earn $74,300 ($35.72 an hour)
- Senior bailiffs (Top 25%) earn $60,930 ($29.30 an hour)
- Mid Level bailiffs (Median) pay is $42,670 ($20.52 an hour)
- Junior of bailiffs (Bottom 25%) earn $31,700 ($15.24 an hour)
- Entry Level of bailiffs (Bottom 10%) earn $23,300 ($11.20 an hour)
Bailiff Salary By State
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Bailiff Career Outlook
The job growth for bailiffs, from 2014 to 2024, is expected to be 5 percent. While slower than the average occupation, bailiffs will still be in demand as prison and jail populations grow. Not only will local, district, state, and federal courts require bailiff services, but immigration courts will also see an increased need for bailiffs to maintain order as court officials reside over this complex and growing issue.
All bailiffs must be certified law enforcement officers—local police, sheriff’s deputies, state troopers, and federal Marshals. To become an officer, an individual must complete basic training through an accredited law enforcement academy. Most federal agencies require their officers to earn at least a bachelor’s degree in a relevant program.
Step 1: Become a law enforcement officer. All law enforcement officers must have at least a high school diploma or equivalent G.E.D. to enroll in an academy. Individuals must also meet the following requirements:
- U.S. citizenship
- 21 years of age or older before academy graduation
- State residency
- Clean felony record
- Clean misdemeanor record involving domestic violence
- Relevant educational training
Step 2: Obtain a bachelor’s degree (optional and for federal employment). Many educational options exist for bailiffs, including associate and bachelor’s degrees. For those seeking eventual employment at the federal level, it is recommended that individuals obtain a bachelor’s degree in criminal justice, law enforcement, civil rights, or other related fields. Obtaining any additional educational training is an excellent way to improve skills and promotion through the criminal justice system.