Court Bailiff: Job Duties and Requirements for Becoming a Court Bailiff

Court bailiffs may or may not require formal education, depending on their employer. Learn about the training, job duties and additional requirements to see if this is the right career for you.

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Bailiffs maintain order within a courtroom and protect judges, jurors, an other court personnel. While the educational requirements generally are not extensive, the nature of the bailiff's job places them at risk when dealing with dangerous prisoners.

Essential Information

People interested in a law enforcement career, and who like the idea of working in a courtroom setting, may want to consider becoming court bailiffs. Court bailiffs work in local, state and federal courts, protecting courtroom members and ensuring that trials go smoothly. These professionals must have high school diplomas or GEDs at minimum, and they may be required to complete formal training prior to and after being hired. Certain positions require bailiffs to hold degrees.

Required Education High school diploma or GED for entry-level; 4-year degree required for federal employment
Other Requirements State or federal training programs; firearms training; CPR and first aid skills
Projected Job Growth (2014-2024)* 5%
Median Salary (2015 )* $41,670

Source: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

Court Bailiff Job Duties

Court bailiffs are law enforcement officers who are situated in courtrooms to maintain order and provide security. Along with guarding juries and enforcing rules of the courts, bailiffs open court by announcing the judges' arrival and close court by announcing the judges' departure. They may call witnesses to the stand and present the oath before witnesses take the stand. Court bailiffs might also provide administrative support to judges and jurors, stock courtroom supplies, deliver court documents and take custody of offenders.

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Court Bailiff Requirements

Becoming a court bailiff entails at least a high school diploma or GED. Supplemental training, either at a 2- or 4-year college, vocational school or police academy, may be an asset in pursuing a position as a court bailiff. Coursework in fields like criminal justice, law enforcement or civil rights can provide a relevant background for careers in law enforcement and administration. In fact, employment at the federal level may require a bachelor's degree as well as related work experience. After obtaining employment, court bailiffs often complete formal training programs regulated by the state or federal government.

Additional Qualifications

Since court bailiffs maintain safety in the courtroom, they may benefit from CPR and first aid training. Some court systems require court bailiffs to attend firearm training classes and to be comfortable using chemical sprays, such as pepper spray. Successful court bailiffs pay attention to detail, have the ability to work well in teams and have strong communication skills. They must also meet physical fitness standards and have clean criminal records.

Career and Economic Outlook for Court Bailiffs

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), the median annual salary for court bailiffs was $41,670 in May 2015 ( The lowest-paid ten percent earned just over $22,650 per year, while the top-paid ten percent earned over $73,070 annually (BLS). The BLS also reported that jobs in this field were expected to increase five percent from 2014-2024. The rising demand will be an effect of the growing population and the need to replace retiring employees or those who leave the profession.

Bailiffs are law enforcement officers charged with keeping order in a courtroom. A high school diploma may be all that's required for most positions, but bailiffs for federal court need a bachelor's degree. They usually must complete a law enforcement training program as well.

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