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.
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