Bailiffs are court attendants or peace officers who provide security to the courthouse, its staff and juries. They are sometimes known as court marshals or court officers, and their job is to keep order in the court.

Individuals interested in a career as a bailiff require authority, leadership and the ability to provide security. They must have a deep respect for the spirit and the letter of the law, and a sincere interest in protecting anyone within their jurisdiction.

Degrees for Bailiffs

There are no formal educational requirements for employment as a bailiff other than those imposed locally, but to excel in this career, focused attention and coursework in criminal justice is beneficial, and so is the determination to ensure order in court operations.

Bailiff Job Description

In addition to assuring the security of the courthouse, the bailiff’s responsibilities include maintaining appropriate decorum in the courtroom and supervising juries when the court is not in session. Other daily duties of the court bailiff may include:

  • Protect juries from outside contact
  • Serve court documents
  • Escort prisoners to and from court
  • Swear in witnesses
  • Perform various errands as directed by the judge or the court clerk

In some jurisdictions, bailiff services fall under the domain of the Sheriff’s Department. In others, the bailiff is hired directly by the court. Some bailiffs have the authority to arrest offenders with outstanding civil bench warrants. In all of their various duties, bailiffs serve as representatives of the law enforcement branch of the criminal justice system within the court.

Knowledge of both law enforcement and the judicial system, which can be gained by obtaining one of many degrees in criminal justice, can help advance the career of a bailiff.

Bailiff Salary

According to the U.S. Department of Labor Statistics, the median annual salary of bailiffs is around $35,000, with a range running from a low of about $28,320 to a high of more than $58,580.

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