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Bailiff Career

Career Description

A Bailiff is a law enforcement officer who maintains safety and order in courtrooms.

Common Work Tasks

  • Enforce courtroom rules, assist judges, guard juries from outside contact, deliver court documents, and provide general security for courthouses
  • Collect and retain unauthorized firearms from persons entering courtroom
  • Guard lodging of sequestered jury
  • Provide jury escort to restaurant and other areas outside of courtroom to prevent jury contact with public
  • Enforce courtroom rules of behavior and warn persons not to smoke or disturb court procedure
  • Report need for police or medical assistance to sheriff’s office
  • Check courtroom for security and cleanliness and assure availability of sundry supplies for use of judge
  • Announce entrance of judge
  • Stop people from entering courtroom while judge charges jury
  • Contact animal owners to inform them that their pets are at animal holding facilities

Other Job Titles

Bailiffs are also known by other titles, including:

  • Marshals
  • Court Officers
  • Correctional Officers
  • Jailers

Education, Training, and Experience

Education and Training
  Correctional officers learn most of what they need to know for their work through on-the-job training. Qualifications vary by agency, but all agencies require a high school diploma or equivalent, and some also require some college education or full-time work experience.

      Candidates for employment generally are required to meet formal standards of physical fitness, eyesight, and hearing. In addition, many jurisdictions use standard tests to determine applicant suitability to work in a correctional environment.  Good judgment and the ability to think and act quickly are indispensable.  Applicants are typically screened for drug abuse, subject to background checks,  and required to pass a written examination.


The median annual salary for a Bailiff is $37,000. The top 10 percent earn more than $61,000, and the lowest 10 percent earn less than $20,000.  Median earnings in the industries employing the largest number of bailiffs are:

  • Local Government- $34,140

Job Outlook

  • 2006-2016 Employment growth:  11%
  • Number of new jobs created 2006-2016: 2,100
  • Employment 2006 : 19,000
  • Employment 2016:  21,000
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