Becoming a Bailiff: Job Description & Salary Info

About this article
A bailiff's average salary is around $41,000. Is it worth the education and training requirements? See real job descriptions and get the truth about career prospects to find out if becoming a bailiff is right for you.
View available schools

Pros and Cons to Becoming a Bailiff

Many bailiffs find pride in working with the government and law enforcement agencies. You get to uphold various laws by ensuring courts are protected. Additional pros and cons to becoming a bailiff can be read below.

Pros to Becoming a Bailiff
Participate in the justice system by guarding the judge and jury*
Transfers and retirees are expected to open up new bailiff positions*
On-the-job training is normally provided*
Promotional opportunities with training, experience and certification*

Cons to Becoming a Bailiff
Slow job growth (5% between 2012-2022)*
Injuries can occur from conflicts at the court*
Must to be constantly alert, which can cause stress*
Paid overtime can be required*

Source: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.

Career Information

Job Description

Bailiffs are typically assigned a post at the start of the day. For example, you might be assigned to screen people who are entering the courthouse, which is done to collect dangerous items and contraband, like firearms. A bailiff also patrols the outside and inside of a courthouse for suspicious activity. When a court employee, like a judge, needs an escort for protection purposes, you'll provide it. Additionally, you may be required to escort a prisoner while that person is on the premises. When a courtroom is in trial, you'll maintain the proper procedures and warn anyone who happens to be in violation of them. If someone is repeatedly disruptive, you'll remove them from the courtroom.

Salary Info

As of May 2013, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) reports that bailiffs on average earn about $19.53 a hour and around $40,620 yearly (www.bls.gov). The top tenth percentile of wage estimates for bailiffs was reported to be roughly $67,700. The local and state governments are the primary employers for bailiffs. New York, California, Nevada, Iowa, and Florida are the top paying states for bailiffs.

Essential Career Requirements

Training and Education

Bailiffs are required to have a GED or a high school diploma in most cases. Work experience in the area of law enforcement or security is generally preferred. An associate's degree or a bachelor's degree in police science or criminology is beneficial as well. Sometimes, you'll also be tested on your physical attributes to ensure you can perform your work duties.

Bailiffs should have good moral character. They should also be trustworthy and possess an excellent sense of judgment when it comes to assessing a situation. Remaining disciplined while in interpersonal situations is important to keep emotionally distraught people under control.

What Do Employers Want in Bailiffs?

In addition to education and experience, most employers require applicants to pass a background check. To learn more about what employers look for in a bailiff, read the following real job postings that were available in April 2012.

  • An employer with a bailiff opening in Nevada prefers applicants to possess post-secondary education in police science or criminology.
  • In Arizona, the state is looking for a bailiff that has two years of experience in clerical court tasks.
  • A sheriff's office in Florida wants a bailiff with a Corrections Training or Basic Law Enforcement Certification.

Standing Out as a Bailiff

Completing a formal training program in law enforcement or correctional work can help give a bailiff the necessary experience to stand out amongst other applicants. For example, the American Correctional Association sets training guidelines for correctional officers. By attending a formal academy, you'll receive instruction on security procedures. Additionally, you'll learn about proper operations and regulations to handling prisoners. A police training program can help you get into the shape necessary to be a bailiff. Finally, any and all experience that you have working around courtrooms is beneficial to standing out as a bailiff.

Alternative Career Options

Instead of working in a courtroom, you can work on the streets as a police patrol officer. Normally you'll be assigned a specific area to patrol in order to keep an eye out for suspicious activity. When a call comes in over the radio, you'll answer it and report to the location given to you. Once there, you'll investigate and assess the situation at hand and act appropriately to enforce the law. In May 2011, the BLS reported that police patrol officers made roughly $56,000 on average annually.

If you'd rather work in the private sector, consider becoming a security guard. In this occupation, you'll protect your employer's property and enforce necessary laws at the location you're assigned. Your job is to repel and deal with criminal activities. You might patrol the grounds or use surveillance equipment to monitor your employer's place of business. The average yearly earnings for security guards were about $27,000 according to the BLS in May 2011.

Popular Schools

  • Online Programs Available
    1. Kaplan University

    Program Options

    Master's
      • Master: Criminal Justice
      • MS in Homeland Security and Emergency Management
    Bachelor's
      • BSCJ: Law Enforcement
      • BS in Corrections
      • Bachelor: Criminal Justice
      • BSCJ: Homeland Security
      • BSCJ: Juvenile Justice
      • BSCJ: Crime Scene Investigation
    Associate's
      • Associate: Criminal Justice
      • AAS in Public Safety and Security
      • AAS in Criminal Justice and Criminology
  • Online Programs Available
    2. Regent University

    Program Options

    Master's
      • Master of Arts in Law - Criminal Justice
      • Master of Arts in Law - National Security
      • Master of Public Administration - Emergency Management and Homeland Security
      • Master of Arts in Law - Mediation
    Bachelor's
      • Bachelor of Science in Criminal Justice - Law Enforcement
      • Bachelor of Arts in Leadership Studies - Criminal Justice
      • Bachelor of Science in Criminal Justice
      • Bachelor of Science in Criminal Justice - Corrections
      • Bachelor of Science in Professional Studies - Criminal Justice
      • Bachelor of Science in Paralegal Studies
  • Online Programs Available
    3. Northcentral University

    Program Options

    Doctorate
      • Doctor of Business Admin - Homeland Security: Leadership & Policy
      • Doctor of Business Admin - Criminal Justice
      • PhD in Business Admin - Homeland Security: Leadership & Policy
      • PhD in Business Admin - Criminal Justice
    Master's
      • MBA - Homeland Security
      • MS - Organizational Leadership: Criminal Justice
      • MBA - Criminal Justice
  • Online Programs Available
    4. Saint Leo University

    Program Options

    Bachelor's
      • BA: Criminal Justice
      • BA: Criminal Justice - Criminalistics
      • BA: Criminal Justice - Homeland Security
    Associate's
      • AA: Criminal Justice
  • Online Programs Available
    5. Utica College

    Program Options

    Master's
      • Master of Professional Studies in Cyber Policy and Risk Analysis
      • MS in Data Science: Financial Crime
    Bachelor's
      • BS in Cybersecurity - Cybercrime and Fraud Investigation
      • Bachelor of Science in Fraud and Financial Crime Investigation
      • BS in Fraud and Financial Crime Investigation - Financial Investigation
      • BS in Fraud and Financial Crime Investigation - Fraud Prevention and Detection
  • Online Programs Available
    6. Baker College Online

    Program Options

    Bachelor's
      • Law Enforcement Academy (Police) - Bachelor
      • Criminal Justice - Bachelor
  • Online Programs Available
    7. Colorado Christian University

    Program Options

    Master's
      • Criminal Justice, M.S.
    Bachelor's
      • Criminal Justice, B.S.
      • Psychology, B.S. - Emphasis in Criminal Justice
    Associate's
      • Criminal Justice, A.S.
  • Online Programs Available
    8. Penn Foster High School

    Program Options

    High School Diploma
      • Penn Foster High School with Early College Courses
      • HS Diploma
  • Online Programs Available
    9. Colorado State University Global

    Program Options

    Master's
      • MS - Criminal Justice and Law Enforcement Admin
    Bachelor's
      • BS - Criminal Justice and Law Enforcement Admin
      • Undergraduate Specialization - Criminal Forensics
  • Online Programs Available
    10. Benedictine University

    Program Options

    Master's
      • MPH - Emergency Preparedness Focus

Featured Schools

Kaplan University

  • Master: Criminal Justice
  • BSCJ: Law Enforcement
  • Associate: Criminal Justice

Which subject are you interested in?

Regent University

  • Master of Arts in Law - Criminal Justice
  • Master of Arts in Law - National Security
  • Bachelor of Science in Criminal Justice - Law Enforcement
  • Bachelor of Arts in Leadership Studies - Criminal Justice

What is your highest level of education completed?

Northcentral University

  • Doctor of Business Admin - Homeland Security: Leadership & Policy
  • Doctor of Business Admin - Criminal Justice
  • MBA - Homeland Security
  • MS - Organizational Leadership: Criminal Justice

What is your highest level of education?

Saint Leo University

  • BA: Criminal Justice
  • BA: Criminal Justice - Criminalistics
  • AA: Criminal Justice

What is your highest level of education completed?

Utica College

  • Master of Professional Studies in Cyber Policy and Risk Analysis
  • MS in Data Science: Financial Crime
  • BS in Cybersecurity - Cybercrime and Fraud Investigation
  • Bachelor of Science in Fraud and Financial Crime Investigation

What is your highest level of education completed?

Baker College Online

  • Law Enforcement Academy (Police) - Bachelor
  • Criminal Justice - Bachelor

What is your highest level of education?

Colorado Christian University

  • Criminal Justice, M.S.
  • Criminal Justice, B.S.
  • Criminal Justice, A.S.

What is your highest level of education completed?

Penn Foster High School

  • Penn Foster High School with Early College Courses
  • HS Diploma

What is your age?