If your exposure to bailiffs is only limited to what you’ve see in courtroom-based television shows, you should know that a bailiff does more than bring in the accused or stand near the judge.

If you think this might be a career you’d enjoy and you want to learn how you can begin your career, keep reading.

Bailiffs – Who Are They and What Do They Do

Average salary

If youre considering a career as a bailiff, youll need to take certain steps to achieve it. Heres the elemental steps to becoming a bailiff:


Depending on where you work as a bailiff, entrance requirements may vary. In general, you should expect to have a high school diploma or GED to become a bailiff at the state local level or a four-year degree for bailiff jobs at the federal level. Some people who become bailiffs pursue college degrees in criminal justice, which can be pursued in a traditional learning setting, like a college classroom, or online.


Much of the training you undergo as a bailiff will occur on the job. Sometimes new bailiffs are paired with more experienced bailiffs to learn from their partners experience.


Bailiffs improve as they learn from experience. Bailiffs can also achieve a law enforcement certificate at some colleges, taking course work like introduction to criminal justice and court security.


Having experience in law enforcement, military or criminal justice could provide good insight for perspective bailiffs. They should be individuals comfortable working with all different kinds of people. Bailiffs should be able to meet some basic physical requirements, like being able to lift or restrain. Other skills include:

What does a bailiff do?

A bailiff is a law enforcement officer who oversees procedure in the courtroom. Whether applying at the state, local or federal level, a bailiff career can be rewarding for those who are interested in the justice system. Theres usually a need for bailiffs as they are an important part of the legal system providing many practical and traditional tasks. A bailiff might also be known as a marshal, court security officer, sheriffs deputy or court officer.

Some tasks a bailiff may perform include:

How to become a bailiff

If youre considering a career as a bailiff, you can achieve it in these steps:

1. Determine if you meet minimum requirements

Minimum requirements vary from state to state and jurisdiction to jurisdiction. Get familiar with the requirements of the bailiff position you are seeking before applying to become a bailiff. To find the requirements you can look up local bailiff jobs on Indeed or check with your state and local government websites.

2. Pursue the training you need

Once you know what requirements you need from an education and training standpoint, make a plan to achieve it. This might mean pursuing a degree or certificate from a college or university or getting on-the-job training by working in an adjacent job in law enforcement.

3. Look and apply for opportunities

With minimum requirements and training met, you can begin to look for opportunities on job websites like Indeed, and apply for jobs. Make sure you have your resume updated to reflect your new skills, training and relevant achievements.

Bailiff work environment

Bailiffs work when court is in session. Most of the time, this is Monday – Friday during government office hours.

They spend long periods of time standing indoors. They may sometimes find themselves in high-stress situations that require critical thinking and the keen ability to discern whats right. Bailiffs communicate with judges, defendants and even the jury throughout the day, paying attention to verbal and non-verbal communication. They quietly observe throughout trials and court proceedings waiting to perform their duties.

Courtrooms are quiet, rule-driven environments that command respect. Due to the nature of the work bailiffs perform, work conditions and situations can sometimes be challenging. However, for those passionate about criminal justice, a career as a bailiff allows you to be a part of the inner-workings of the justice system.

Bailiff job description example

Hillsborough County Court Officers provide an esteemed duty to the court ecosystem, offering assistance to judges and jurors and being generally observant, communicative security and administrative professionals. When you work for Hillsborough County, youll get all the benefits of a county worker, with the excitement of someone who gets an inside look at the legal process at work. Our Court Officers are highly organized and appreciate upholding order.

Hillsborough County Court Officers must perform the following operations:

To be a Hillsborough County Court Officer, you must have your high school diploma or GED.

Related careers

If youre thinking of becoming a bailiff, here are some related careers:


What is the role of the bailiff?

A bailiff is a law officer who makes sure that the decisions of a court are obeyed. Bailiffs can take a person’s furniture or possessions away if the person owes money.

What does bailiff mean in court?

A bailiff is an officer of the courtroom, and the role is an important one. He or she provides security for all parties, including judges, plaintiffs, defendants, and juries. It is the job of a bailiff to impose all courtroom policies, keep disturbances to a minimum, and to execute the judge’s orders.

What is a bailiff in England?

Bailiff Skills & Competencies
  • Verbal and written communication: Ability to read and write simple instructions, short correspondence, and memos.
  • Interpersonal skills: Ability to effectively present information in one-on-one and small group settings to judges, juries, lawyers, and the public.

What is an example of a bailiff?

When court is in session, the bailiff’s duties include letting the judge know when everyone is ready to proceed, making sure that the defendant is seated with counsel before the jury is summoned, and escorting the jurors to and from the box. The bailiff may be responsible for calling the court to order.

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