How to Become a Bailiff | Education Requirements, Salary, and Career Insights

How to Become a Bailiff

Are you interested in a criminal justice career that allows you to work in a courtroom setting and help trials run as smoothly as possible? If you’re willing to work with a variety of people and learn the intricacies of your criminal justice system, becoming a bailiff may help you enjoy career satisfaction. Continue reading below to learn more about becoming a bailiff. If you are wanting to know specific information about programs online, or in your area, we can help with that as well. Simply use our search tools on this page to find the right criminal justice program for your career goals!


Bailiff Job Description

Bailiffs take on a number of job responsibilities, depending on the size of the courthouse they serve and the types of cases tried at their courthouse. They may maintain order in the courtroom by introducing the arrival of judges, swearing in witnesses and those being tried, and closing court. Bailiffs also tend to respond to security issues in the courtroom by limiting disturbances, escorting out those who threaten the safety of the courtroom, and making sure that those who enter the courtroom do not have weapons.

Bailiffs are considered law enforcement personnel, so this job does require quite a bit of training and education. You may be able to meet the hiring requirements of your local court system in several different ways. However, federal courts and larger local courts tend to have more restrictive hiring requirements than small court systems. Learn more about becoming a bailiff to discover if this is the right career path for you.

 

Education Requirements for Working as a Bailiff

If you have ever been to court, you know how much a bailiff is responsible for when court is in session. That’s why there are such extensive requirements for bailiffs in many parts of the country! Of course, education and training requirements vary from place to place, so you may want to check out location-specific requirements if you know where you would like to work as a bailiff.

In some locations, particularly those with busy courtrooms or that see lots of high-profile cases, bailiffs need post-high school education. You may consider earning an associate degree or bachelor’s degree in criminal justice. This program can give you training in corrections, courtroom procedures, and legal procedures in your state. A bachelor’s degree in criminal justice, which takes four years rather than two years, may give you a more in-depth look at this career path. On-the-job training may be sufficient in some areas. For example, bailiffs in Ohio must attend the Peace Officer Training Academy. Rather than attending college courses for credit, this type of education gives you specific hands-on training in your job of choice. You may receive training in areas like firearm safety, human relations, courtroom procedures, and legal procedures.

To be accepted to a correctional or law enforcement academy, you must first meet the specifications of your county court. Many employers require that applicants not have any criminal history and that they be able to pass a thorough background check. You may also need to meet physical requirements, such as being able to stay on your feet for certain periods of time, being strong enough to intervene in courtroom conflicts, or being capable of lifting a specified amount of weight. Many employers have intensive testing processes that you must pass before you can even be considered for a bailiff position.

 

Bailiff Salary and Career Outlook

Though job openings for bailiffs may not be increasing quite as quickly as they are for other jobs, this career is still growing throughout the country. The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) expects to see a 7% decline in bailiff job openings from 2016 to 2026, meaning you’ll need to have an excellent resume to get your foot in the door in this field.

Bailiffs may also earn competitive salaries and get good benefits, since they are typically employed by the government. The average salary for a bailiff in the United States in 2017 was $43,510 per year, though bailiff salaries vary across locations. In New York, bailiffs earn an average of $61,530. The BLS reports that Illinois bailiffs earn an average salary of $37,070 annually.

You may also find specific salary information for your county or city, helping you decide whether to pursue this career path and where to work. For example, bailiffs that work for Maricopa County start at $12.75 per hour. Those who work for the Maryland Judiciary start at $16.32 per hour and get moved up to $17.92 per hour after receiving a Special Police Commission.

If you are already working in the criminal justice field and you’re looking for a career that can allow you to explore more of the field, you may find it as a bailiff. Foster’s Daily Democrat reports on Daniel Donovan, a police prosecutor who went on to become a court bailiff.

 

How to Become a Court Clerk | Education, Salary, and Career Insights

Clerk of Courts

A smooth-running court system is important in any city. Without the support staff they need to run efficiently, courts can get backlogged with cases, consistently run behind schedule, and delay justice for those who deserve it. If you’re interested in supporting lawyers, judges, bailiffs, and other criminal justice personnel, consider becoming a court clerk. Use our criminal justice program listings to learn more about opportunities to work towards this career, or others in the field!


Court Clerk Job Description

Court clerks carry out many of the crucial and time-consuming duties that are legally required in a courtroom, saving the judges valuable time when it comes to trying and ruling on cases. As a court clerk, you may attend court, take notes on cases, help swear in witnesses and defendants, and document the appropriate paperwork after court has been completed. You may also carry out various assorted tasks and duties that are asked of you by overseeing judges and criminal justice personnel. Many of the tasks carried out by court clerks are of high importance in the courtroom, so you must have adequate training and education to work independently in a legal setting.

How to Become a Court Clerk

Court clerks are typically hired by municipal courts and other justice agencies, although they may also be hired by law firms. As a result, hiring requirements vary from place to place. If you’re considering becoming a court clerk, you may want to become familiar with hiring requirements in your area before you pursue a degree.

Education Requirements for Becoming a Court Clerk

Some places prefer to hire court clerks with a degree in legal assisting. This degree comes in several different lengths and degree formats. Some certificate programs can be completed in less than one year, so you can attend courses for one or two semesters to get an overview of the legal system and your role in it. You may also wish to earn an associate degree in legal assisting. This degree takes approximately two years of full-time study. You may also get the training you need from a bachelor’s degree in criminal justice. In some cases, you do not need any higher education in criminal justice or the legal system; work experience or on-the-job training may suffice.

You may take several different courses while studying legal assisting. After taking a brief look at law and the legal system, you may take courses like Legal Analysis, Legal Research, Civil Procedure, Law Practice Management, Computerized Legal Research, and Evidence.

Many legal employers have experience requirements for court clerks. You may need to have prior work experience in the legal system, whether as a court clerk or in another position. Furthermore, you need excellent clerical skills. Quite a few court systems require you to meet or exceed a certain typing speed.

If you’re looking for an entry-level job that does not require previous criminal justice experience, you may look for a job with looser work requirements. In some cases, work experience in an office or clerical setting may be enough for you to get started as a court clerk.

Court Clerk Salary and Career Outlook

If you start a career as a court clerk, you may be rewarded with a fairly solid job outlook. Between 2016-2026, O*Net anticipates a 5-9% increase in court clerk jobs across the country. States with the highest employment for court clerks include Texas, California, Ohio, New York, and Florida.

Salaries for court clerks vary widely across the United States. Per the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the average salary for a court clerk is $37,300 per year or $17.93 per hour. In New York, court clerks earn an average of $55,870, which is over $17,000 more than the national average (BLS, 2017). For clerks in Montana, on the other hand, their salaries top out at $33,690 (BLS, 2017).

Learn How to Become a Court Reporter | Explore Programs & Schools

Court Reporter

Where there is a court in session, there is a court reporter. Court reporters are essentially great listeners, tasked with providing an extremely accurate report of the events of a trial or meeting. In addition to working in court rooms and law offices, court reporters also often hold positions at television studios where they are in charge of closed captioning.

If you want to learn more about how to become a court reporter, contact the schools that offer criminal justice and court reporter training below.


Court Reporter Job Description

Court reporters may be employed by a court or legal office or may work freelance for a variety of legal clients. Any formal legal proceeding, from a private meeting in a judge’s chambers to a large-scale trial in a courtroom, requires the services of a court reporter. Breaking it down to the bare basics, a court reporter’s job consists of documenting official legal proceedings by creating verbatim transcripts of all statements – that includes every word said, as well as notes on physical and emotional gestures. Getting every word right is essential.

Most court reporters work using a stenotype machine connected to a computer. This machine allows them to note more than one key at a time and later turn notes into legible print. In other cases, a court reporter may use voice writing, repeating proceedings word-for-word into a special microphone, in order to record the trial or meeting.

 

How to Become a Court Reporter

Court reporters are generally required to have formal education, including an associate or bachelor’s degree. This training teaches future court reporters how to use the complicated technology necessary for the job and also covers important details like courtroom procedure and legal terminology.

The practice afforded by these court reporting schools also ensures that future court reporters will be able to keep up in the courtroom: the National Court Reporters Association (NCRA) certifies court reporter training programs which require graduates to be capable of typing at least 225 words per minute. Training to become a court reporter can take about 33 months as students master the skills needed for the stenotype.

 

Court Reporter Salary Career Outlook

The US Bureau of Labor Statistics projects an excellent job outlook for court reporters due in part to the retiring of older reporters and a diminished interest in the profession by job seekers. BLS data for 2017 reports the median annual salary for court reporters is $55,120, with government jobs offering the best opportunities. These days there are fewer trained stenotypists; instead the use of voice writing has become more widespread. Some courts, though, prefer traditional stenotypists, which means that someone with that particular skill would be in high-demand.

While many careers have been downsized, court reporting is expected to have more job openings than applicants. This projection translates to excellent job prospects and low competition. While courts and television stations, for example, still require the skills of a trained court reporter, qualified candidates can be hard to find. Someone with the appropriate training should be able to easily secure a position.

 

Court Reporter Resources

 

Become a Judge | Education Requirements, Career, and Salary Insights

Judge Education & Career Paths

Interested in upholding the law, improving the state of justice in your state or county, and making sure people are held responsible for their crimes? You may be interested in becoming a judge. If you are searching for ideas or information about career paths in this field, just use our search tools to contact schools. They can give you direct answers about your specific situation and goals in the field. Continue reading to learn more about what it takes to become a judge!

Working as a judge requires a strong understanding of and respect for the law, including national laws, state laws, and local laws. This may mean upholding laws that you do not necessarily support or agree with, simply for the common good. If you succeed in this field, you may be rewarded with the knowledge that you are making your community safer, supporting the great criminal justice system of the US, and making a difference in the world around you.


Judge Job Description

As a judge, you may be responsible for many job duties and tasks that come your way. In many cases, judges work alongside other judges to divide up cases and keep the workload fair. In small communities, however, there may be just one or two judges to hear every case that comes through.

Your job as a judge starts before the trial even begins. You are expected to be familiar with each case and its evidence. In addition, you play a major role in the choosing of a jury. You can dismiss jury members to ensure that defendants are given a fair trial in your courtroom. As a trial proceeds, you can ensure that lawyers are arguing fairly, watch to see if evidence is being presented correctly, and advise the jury.

Bear in mind that working as a judge often involves making tough decisions that may be mentally challenging and sometimes even high-profile. For example in April 2018, a federal judge ruled President Trump and his attorneys cannot have first access to materials seized by the FBI during a raid of his personal attorney’s office. The case continues to attract significant media attention, and each judge’s ruling is heavily scrutinized by the public and politicians on both sides of the aisle.

How to Become a Judge

The journey to becoming a judge starts with meeting the education requirements. To start, obtain a bachelor’s degree and major in a relevant field like criminal justice. A criminal justice degree may give you experience in courses like Juvenile Justice, Ethics and Diversity in Criminal Justice, Criminal Law for Criminal Justice Personnel, and Law Enforcement Theory, Policy, & Practice. After completing a bachelor’s degree with a strong GPA, it’s time to apply to law school. A J.D. (Juris Doctor) degree prepares you to work as a lawyer and practice many different types of law. You can plan on spending about three years studying fields like criminal law, torts, property law, and contract law. In the latter half of your law degree, you choose the electives and courses you take. This may help you specialize in one particular field of law and prepare for your future career as a judge. Many who want to become judges choose to focus on criminal law. You can use this degree to gain experience as a lawyer, preferably in the area in which you would like to become a judge.

Once you’ve become a skilled, experienced, and respected lawyer, you may begin your path to judgeship. The path to becoming a judge varies between counties and states. In some areas, judges are assigned by lawmakers and politicians. In other areas, they are elected. In this case, you need to be willing to campaign for your position. After you become a judge, your work isn’t done! You still need to maintain your position. This comes through making sound decisions, representing the interests of your community and its people, and upholding the law. You may need to re-run for your position, advocate for yourself with lawmakers, and defend your decisions.

Judge Salary and Career Outlook

Judges can earn fairly competitive salaries, thanks to the common long hours and the stress of the position. Per the Bureau of Labor Statistics the average salary for an American judge is $115,520 per year. However, salaries for judges differ significantly from place to place. In Texas, judges earn an average salary of $89,940 per year. The average salary for a California judge is $190,560 per year. In New York, judges have an average income of $160,280 per year. At the federal level, judges may earn much more. The Federal Judiciary reports that district judges earned an average of $208,100 per year in 2017, while chief justices earned an average salary of $267,000 per year.

From 2016-2026, the BLS does anticipate a significant change in judge job openings across the country. As of 2017, the states that employed the most judges were California, New York, Texas, Pennsylvania, and Illinois.

If you’re interested in the integrity and value of the judicial system, becoming a judge might be the perfect career move for you. Though it’s a challenging career path, it can pay off if you’re willing to put in the work. Learn more about criminal justice programs in your area, or online, that can help you get started!


How to Become a Mediator | Career & Salary Insights

Mediator

Mediators are a less visible but essential part of the criminal justice system, working behind the scenes in out-of-court dispute resolution. In many ways, a mediator is like a less formal judge: mediators serve as an impartial party, overseeing private hearings outside of the court room. A mediator is in charge of managing dispute proceedings and keeping the discussion relevant and polite. While a mediator will often offer suggestions as to how to resolve the disagreement at hand, it is up to the two opposing sides to ultimately reach their own agreement.

If things in a debate turn nasty and a shouting match ensues, it’s up to the mediator to calm everyone down and reestablish constructive discussion.


Mediator Job Description

Mediators spend most of their time meeting with clients to oversee disputes. Most mediators work out of private offices or, in some cases, travel to meet with clients at a chosen location. While a mediator often takes notes during a dispute settlement to keep track of each party’s demands, these notes are kept private and confidential and no public record of them is kept.

Mediators may also oversee specific procedures like executive mini-trials, which can serve as a sort of pre-negotiation conducted in hopes of avoiding a formal trial.

How to Become a Mediator

The job of a mediator requires a cool head, good communication capabilities and excellent people skills. A good mediator also has an assertive personality which permits him or her to step in and regain control of the proceedings if discussions swerve off track. Education and training requirements for mediators vary from one state and court to another, but in most cases a minimum of a bachelor’s degree in a relevant field, such as criminal justice or counseling, is necessary. Many mediators also choose to complete advanced degrees in relevant fields like dispute resolution, conflict management, law or public policy. Regardless of degree, most mediators undergo on-the-job training before beginning to practice on their own.

Mediator Salary and Career Outlook

Mediating is a mentally and emotionally-demanding job and a good mediator is well-rewarded for this difficult work. In 2018, the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) reported the the median annual wage of arbitrators, mediators and conciliators as a group to be $60,670 as of May 2017, with the top ten percent of earners breaking into the six-figure salary range. Job prospects for mediators are expected to be excellent, with the BLS predicting faster-than-average growth in the job field over the coming decade.

Money is at the heart of mediators’ excellent job prospects. Formal legal procedures are incredibly time-consuming and extremely expensive – and the longer a proceeding lasts, the more money clients have to pay out. For this reason, both corporate and private clients are increasingly choosing to turn to mediator services instead of going to trial. Mediators offer a cost-efficient alternative to official legal proceedings and can help warring parties resolve their dispute in a timely and effective manner.

Mediator Resources