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If you have an interest in law enforcement and the legal system, there are several career opportunities available to you. While a job as a lawyer will take extensive training and education, you can get into the courtroom quickly with a different path. Do you have strong conflict management skills, organizational skills, and communication skills? Do you enjoy watching courtroom proceedings and keeping a keen eye on the happenings around you? You can blend an interest in security and law seamlessly with a career as a bailiff.
Bailiffs have an essential role in the courtroom. They're present for all proceedings, offering critical support that ranges from security to the practical delivery of documents. Consider whether this career path may be the right fit for you.
The bailiff is the law enforcement officer present in the courtroom to help maintain order and safety. Bailiffs are alternately known as court officers or marshals. Their specific duties vary depending on the court that they're in. However, they are always responsible for guarding the safety and security of those in the courthouse. Whatever rules are in place in a particular courtroom are enforced by the bailiff so that legal proceedings can take place as efficiently and peacefully as possible.
In court hearings where a jury is present, the bailiff also helps ensure that legal proceedings take place accordingly. They may assist in isolating the jury from the public when necessary, and will help ensure that witnesses and attorneys have no undue contact with those on the jury.
Though responsibilities vary by location, this is a job that always requires a critical degree of decorum, mindfulness, and responsibility.
The job outlook for bailiffs is expected to decrease about two percent over the 2016 to 2026 decade, according to data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics. This is far less than the national average job growth which is 7 percent for all occupations in the United States. This may be the result of changes in criminal law that impact how many people are arrested and incarcerated and how courtroom proceedings take place.
Though there is minimal growth in this field, there will be job opportunities as a result of bailiffs and corrections officers who retire or leave the field. The states with the highest employment level for bailiffs are New York, Ohio, Florida, Texas, and Kentucky. However, the highest concentration of jobs per thousand is found in North Dakota, New York, Kentucky, Ohio, and Maine.
Bailiffs have a very limited work environment, as their jobs center solely around the courtroom. About 71 percent of bailiffs work in local government while 28 percent are employed by state government. The bailiff's work hours depend upon the hours of the court. They can be scheduled anytime the court room is open, but this will often give them a regular daytime schedule with weekends and holidays off.
Though there are more jobs overall for bailiffs in metropolitan areas, the concentration of jobs per thousand is similar in both metropolitan and nonmetropolitan areas. As long as there is an active courtroom nearby, there will be some number of jobs for bailiffs in the area.
The requirements for a bailiff may vary by location. These professionals need a minimum of a high school diploma. Most employers require bailiffs be at least 21 years of age and in good physical condition. Some knowledge of law enforcement is important for those hiring in this field. Continuing education can help you increase your employability. This is particularly valuable for a career as a bailiff, since employment growth is minimal, and competition may be stiff.
An option like the Criminal Justice and Security Services Diploma from Bryant & Stratton College requires just 30 credit hours so you can enjoy fast completion. Courses cover law enforcement, justice information systems, security in the 21st century, and emerging trends in juvenile justice. This will give you a solid background in the justice system that can help you prepare for a career as a bailiff. This educational program can also prepare you for other roles in the criminal justice system and security industry.
A criminal justice and security services diploma will equip you for a variety of jobs. A career as a bailiff is just one of your options. As you're looking for job openings, you might want to consider some of these following job titles:
Students interested in the Criminal Justice Studies Associate Degree program must first successfully complete the Criminal Justice and Security Services Diploma. Completion of either or both programs does not guarantee a student has met all the requirements for employment in the criminal justice field. The Bryant & Stratton College’s programs are educational programs and the college makes no representations regarding whether a particular program will qualify a graduate for employment in any specific position, is necessary for attaining any such position or whether potential employers may require additional training or education.* Before enrolling in a program, potential students are encouraged to consult any relevant agency with which the student may wish to seek employment for a complete list of position requirements and pre- requisites. All applicants should be aware that criminal justice employers may consider numerous factors when determining eligibility or suitability for employment including but not limited to: criminal background screening, citizenship, state residency, physical and psychological health, age and military discharge information. A criminal conviction and or record of certain other conduct may prevent or hinder a graduate’s employment as a law enforcement officer or other positions in security, corrections and others depending upon the requirements in various jurisdictions.
*Virginia residents should be aware that neither program will provide the required training for entry level positions in law enforcement, corrections, armed security, certain unarmed security and other careers requiring certification, licensure, or registration with the Virginial Department of Criminal Justice Services (DCJS). Students who complete these programs in Virginia will be required to obtain certification through DCJS- approved training facilities to meet minimum requirements for those positions.
With this diverse selection of job opportunities available to you, your education in criminal justice and security services can help you find a related job in many locales.
Please note that all data provided by the Bureau of Labor Statistics is intended to provide averages, only. This is not a guarantee of employment opportunities. This information can give you a broad overview of the trends expected in this field.
For more insights into the job opportunities available with a criminal justice and security services degree, check out the criminal justice section of our blog. You'll find a variety of career insights to help guide your future in this field.