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Career Overview

Bailiffs are enforcement officers charged with keeping order in courtrooms. They are also responsible for transporting incarcerated defendants to and from jail on every day the defendant is required to appear in court. In criminal courts the bailiffs work closely with court clerks to coordinate court dockets with the availability of incarcerated individuals.

When necessary, bailiffs assist the judge in maintaining order in the courtroom, to the point of escorting uncooperative or belligerent people out of the room. If the judge asks that the court be cleared, it is the bailiff's job to see that all spectators vacate the premises.


Bailiffs work at the state, county and municipal court level. Bailiffs for superior court are often members of the county sheriff's office, while municipal bailiffs are usually an arm of the court organization itself. Education requirements for some bailiff positions may not extend beyond a high school diploma; however all local law enforcement agencies are tending to favor applicants with at least an associates degree in criminal justice or a related field.

Current Employment

In 2006 there were 460,000 bailiffs and jailers, according to the U.S. Department of Labor. That figure is expected to rise over ten years to 537,000 in 2016, a 17% increase.

Job Outlook

According to the Department of Labor the job outlook is excellent, due both to the growth in the number of positions available and to large numbers of retirements in the job category.

Salary Range

Low 10%  $9.20  $19,130
Median Salary  $17.74  $36,900
High 10%  $29.44  $61,230

Source: U.S. Department of Labor

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