Career Profile: Bailiff

Career Profile: Bailiff

The role of bailiff in the criminal justice industry is one that aims to keep the procedure of the courts up to snuff while also maintaining a level of security for those in the courtroom. You will see that the role of bailiff isn hat just related to the courtroom but the whole courthouse and wherever the job requires you to go (like security for jury members).

Physical Requirements of a Bailiff

A large part of your job is keeping the courtroom safe. There could be occasions where you hare required to remove an unruly courtroom member that might not go so quietly.

You will need to be prepared for these situations from the physical aspect. You will also patrol and survey both the interior and exterior of the courthouse to make sure that the level of safety is maintained so you will need to be mobile enough to conduct these daily checks.

Bailiff Education Requirements

Typically, the educational requirements around the role of bailiff require a high school diploma but different states could see varying requirements. While an Associates or Bachelors degree may not be required, the degree itself may help teach you about procedure. A GED may also suffice for the educational requirements of a bailiff.

Most of what we hare talking about refers to the local level for bailiffs but if you look to move to the federal level, a criminal justice degree may be desired (or varying classes related to criminal justice). Be sure to check the requirements before you decide your educational path.

Bailiff Career Outlook

Whenever we hare trying to show the career outlook around a specific job, we try to pull ONET statistics whenever available. ONET lists the median salary of a bailiff at $38,150 annually with a current estimate of 12,000 employees in this type of role (as of 2012 according to the ONET site).

They estimate that the role of bailiff will grow 3% – 7% from 2012 to 2022 with 5,400 projected job openings according to ONET. Bailiffs are typically a government role which means that each state could see that projected growth vary greatly as budgets are created or cut. Be sure to check out the latest political trends with the state you hare considering employment in to get a better idea of what that career outlook might be.

Daily Activities of a Bailiff

A bailiff at a courthouse could see a variety of different job duties that range from the outside and front of the courthouse all the way to the judge’s bench. Outside of the actual courtroom, you might see some of these activities as a bailiff:

  • Escort various courtroom officials (like judges) from their mode of transportation to their chambers.
  • Along with escorting officials of the court, you may also be required to escort prisoners into and out of the courthouse. You may also be required to maintain custody over those prisoners while they are on the courthouse grounds.
  • You may also be required to go to where the jury is staying and stand guard for the various members of the jury. If the jury goes out to dinner or eat somewhere, a bailiff could also be required to escort them to and from those places.
  • A bailiff could also be required to operate x-ray and metal detectors at the entrance of the courthouse. Their goal is to prevent unauthorized firearms or other contraband from entering the courtroom.

The job of a bailiff doesn hat end with the duties outside and around the courthouse but also stretch to within the courtroom. Bailiffs can expect to see some of these activities from within the courthouse:

  • There are courtroom rules that are meant to keep the procedure of the court going as well as keep the safety of everybody in the courtroom. As a bailiff, you are meant to enforce those rules and address anybody that is interrupting those procedures.
  • You will need to go over the courtroom before and after proceedings to make sure that the courtroom is secure and that any foreign objects are removed.
  • Before, during, and after you might be required to handle evidence between different parties within the court as well as process it too.
  • While it may seem like a small thing, announcing the entrance of the judge into the courtroom is probably one responsibility you are aware of (most likely due to seeing courtroom dramas on TV).
  • Most courts have a formal docket system setup and as a bailiff you may be required to assist or handle those dockets.
  • Another requirement is keeping the supplies of the courtroom stocked that could range from the judge all the way to jury members (paper, pencils, etc.).

You can see that there is a variety of daily duties required from a bailiff that are not just limited to the courtroom and extend well past that. Depending on the day, time, and whether a trial is occurring, you could see a variety of job duties in a given week.