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Bailiff Training and Certificate Program Overviews

Certificate programs consist of introductory coursework in law enforcement and criminal law theories and prepare participants for entry-level careers. An associate's degree program will cover similar topics along with general education subjects.

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Essential Information

Bailiffs, also called court officers or marshals, provide security in a courtroom setting and are often educated through on-the-job training programs, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS). This type of training may be available through individual court systems and police academies, but there are also school degree and certificate options that can offer a foundation in court security and criminal justice. Some courses may be available online. Law enforcement certificate programs and associate's degree programs require a high school diploma or equivalent.


Law Enforcement Certificate

Sometimes called a peace officer certificate, this type of program is a short-term series of courses designed to provide entry-level education and training to those wishing to pursue careers in security and law enforcement. Students are exposed to issues in criminal law, firearms and enforcement. Introductory coursework explores sociology, psychology and interpersonal communication. Law enforcement certificate programs typically have a mix of courses in criminal justice and law enforcement, along with training to work with the public. Some course topics may be:

  • Criminal justice introduction
  • Court security
  • Effective speaking
  • Police and community relations
  • Law enforcement patrol

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Associate's Degree in Criminal Justice

An associate's degree program in criminal justice, also called criminology or administration of justice, is usually offered as an Associate of Science or Associate of Applied Science. Most are longer than certificate programs and include some general education coursework in addition to criminal justice. Some associate's degree programs include the option for work experience or an internship. Several include some type of criminal justice research project. Course topics may include:

  • Investigating a crime scene
  • Today's social problems
  • Law in criminal justice
  • Crime patrol
  • Arrest, search and seizure
  • Crime control techniques

Popular Career Options

An associate's degree in criminal justice can prepare individuals for a number of career paths in law enforcement. Some possibilities include:

  • Private investigator
  • Court officer
  • State trooper
  • Private security officer
  • Emergency dispatcher

Employment Outlook and Salary Information

The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) predicts that bailiff positions will grow by 5% from 2014 to 2024, a bit slower than average for all careers (www.bls.gov). The average annual salary for bailiffs was $44,900 in May 2015, the BLS reported.

Continuing Education and Certification Information

Peace officers are licensed in some states, but requirements vary between them. The American Corrections Association offers certification opportunities for corrections officers and continuing education opportunities. Certification requirements vary depending on the credential program, but they all generally involve having a high school diploma and a certain amount of work experience as well as passing an exam (www.aca.org). Those who are interested in further study as a police officer or similar authority official may find training academies in individual police and sheriff's departments.

Certificate and associate's degrees are available for individuals interested in becoming bailiffs. They both provide coursework in law enforcement and criminal law and can prepare students for additional careers in law enforcement as well. Licensing requirements vary according to state.

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