Bailiffs are law enforcement officers whose main role is to maintain order during courtroom proceedings. Judges depend on bailiffs to ensure that the public, jury, legal teams, witnesses and defendants proceed through trials and other court proceedings with the required decorum. A future career as a bailiff can begin by enrolling in a bachelor’s degree program in criminal justice.
Bailiffs may also be known as court officers or marshals depending on the jurisdiction in which they serve. They fulfill numerous important functions but primarily serve to enforce courtroom rules and maintain security during trials and other proceedings. Job responsibilities may include:
According to a 2013 national survey conducted by the U.S. Department of Labor, the average annual salary for bailiffs nationwide was $40,620. Those in the highest 10% bracket earned more than $67,700 annually. Because salary potential may vary depending on location, and an individual’s education and experience, prospective students are encouraged to conduct independent research to determine earning potential.
Depending on the location, bailiff positions may require candidates to have some college and/or on-the-job training. Some employers will prefer to hire candidates with a bachelor’s degree in criminal justice or a related discipline. Training programs typically include custody and security procedures, as well as firearms and self-defense training. Some employers may show preference to candidates with supervisory experience or familiarity with legal settings.
An undergraduate degree program in criminal justice typically includes coursework in community policing, criminal justice ethics, law enforcement systems and criminology.
Individuals who have earned a Bachelor of Arts in Criminal Justice should be able to:
Employer-based continuing education programs may provide employees with tuition assistance in order to pursue advanced qualifications.
If you are a quick thinker, good decision maker and have an interest in the legal system, you could be a candidate for a law enforcement career as a bailiff. This position also requires a high degree of responsibility, integrity and good judgment. Augmenting your skill set by enrolling in a bachelor’s degree program in criminal justice can be the first step toward this career.