How to Become a Bailiff

A bailiff is someone who enforces laws in the courtroom in order to make sure judges and juries are safe. Most bailiffs are correction officers who work in a court rather than a penitentiary. In order to become a bailiff, there are a few things you should know:

Qualifications/Education

You will have to be at least 18 years old, and in some states, 21 years of age. You'll also have to be a citizen of the United States and pass a drug test. In many cases, you'll even need to undergo a physical endurance exam. You will need to be in good shape, both physically and mentally. You will also need to have a clean criminal record with CPR and first aid training.

Each state has different requirements for bailiffs. Some only will require for you to be a high school graduate or have your high school diploma, while others will expect you to attend the police academy, a trade school or a university. The more education you complete, the more job opportunities you will have available to you, so while an associate's degree is good, a bachelor's degree is even better. You can check with your prospective school to see if they offer either a corrections officer or court bailiff training program. If not, consider pursuing studies in a field like criminal justice.

In any case, you should have some experience with law enforcement. To get this experience, try to get an internship where you can shadow a bailiff to see exactly what the job entails. In order to set up an internship, contact your county courthouse to make arrangements.

Job Duties

As a bailiff, your primary responsibility is to provide security in the courtroom. You will be checking everyone who enters the courtroom for weapons. You will also make sure that the people attending court do not communicate with the jury.

You will announce the entrance of the judge into the courtroom and keep order during trials. You will go over the rules of the courtroom and then enforce these regulations. Some of these rules might include not smoking in the building and not talking during while the trial is proceeding. You will also be responsible for removing people who are not following the rules or who exhibit hostile behavior during the course of the trial.

In the event of a medical emergency, the bailiff the person that is responsible to call for help. Also, when trials last for an extended period of time and jurors have to stay away from home, you will have to protect the hotels and accompany jurors to restaurants to make sure they don't have contact with other people for the course of the trial. Other duties include opening and closing court, escorting prisoners to and from court, calling cases, making sure the judges have the files and other materials they need, calling and swearing in witnesses, handling evidence, dealing the unruly witnesses and making sure the courtroom is clean.

Earnings

Bailiffs can expect to earn approximately $35,000 a year. The amount will vary depending on your court assignment and jurisdiction. This particular field is predicted to have about 16% job growth in the next few years as the demand increases.