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Bailiff


Description

Bailiffs are a little bit like police officers, a little bit like counselors, and a little bit like movers. They work as security guards, bouncers, and salespeople. They do everything from accompany witnesses to high-profile murder cases to counsel people who've just had their TV repossessed. Bailiffs are dedicated, trustworthy, and patient people who do what they can to keep us all safe and on the right side of the law.

Bailiffs work in two areas. They can be found in courtrooms, assisting the judge by supervising prisoners, keeping order, and by serving criminal documents. This means they take letters about upcoming trial dates to witnesses, present people with warrants and summonses and orders to pay alimony, among other court documents. They act as security at courthouses, and they prepare reports about their duties.

The other place bailiffs are found working is with private repossession agencies, or independently. They are hired by landlords, banks, and car dealers, to deliver eviction notices, repossess cars, and other property. They do this if there are too many unpaid bills or too much accumulated back rent, for example. Private sector bailiffs may also be hired by solicitors to deliver summonses.

A small population may only have one or two bailiffs at work, but a larger community will have a number of bailiffs. A bailiff can specialize - they may work exclusively in courtrooms, but those in smaller communities will perform a number of different and challenging tasks every day.
 
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  Average Earnings  
Lowest 10% of Earners:
$16,870
 
Median Salary:
$32,710
 
Highest 10% of Earners:
$55,270

  Interests and Skills  
Bailiffs generally require a lot of physical and mental stamina, and should be able to stand for hours on end. It is important for these individuals to be calm, patient, and good listeners. They should feel comfortable and non-judgmental with people from a variety of backgrounds and be interested in the law. Diligence, common sense, and persistence are good qualities. Another language is also an asset.
 

  Typical Tasks  
  • Find people for whom there are arrest warrants and take them into custody
  • Accompany and provide protection to prisoners, jurors, and witnesses on the way to or from courtrooms
  • Guard hospitalized prisoners or witnesses
  • Collect debts
  • Perform evictions and repossessions
  • Deliver legal documents on behalf of the judicial system or private interests
  • The typical day for a bailiff depends where they work. Those who work for courtrooms are inside most of the day, monitoring cases, while bailiffs who work independently or as part of an agency travel the community, repossessing, evicting, and serving notices. They calm and comfort those who are most upset, and explain the reasons for the negative actions.

  Workplaces, Employers and Industries  
  • Bailiffs who work in courts spend most of each day standing in courtrooms, observing silently, as the cases are brought before the judge. They travel to and from the prisons with those on trial. They may accompany and monitor key witnesses or jury members.
  • Those who work for banks, creditors, or are self-employed work long, irregular hours, as they spend most of each day trying to track down people. Their days can take them into any number of locations.
  • Both bailiffs work evenings and weekends, especially those who work in the private sector.

  Long Term Career Potential  
With additional education and training, bailiffs can go on to work as police officers, lawyers, counselors, psychologists and criminal and consumer rights' advocates. They may also choose to work as security guards or corrections officers.
 

  Educational Paths  
There is no set path to take if you want to work as a bailiff. While some people are hired straight out of high school, the majority have a college diploma or university degree with courses related to the position. Law, security, police studies, physical education, psychology and sociology are all areas to consider studying if you would like to work as a bailiff.
 

Sources:
Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, Occupational Outlook Handbook, 2014-15 Edition, http://www.bls.gov/ooh/
Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, Occupational Employment Statistics, 2002, http://www.bls.gov/oes/2002/oes_nat.htm

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