Employment Prospects


Approximately 18,900 bailiffs are employed in the United States. Most work for the state and local courts and are employed by sheriff departments. Some bailiffs are assigned to actual courtrooms and others are assigned to specific judges. Bailiffs work throughout the country, but more bailiff positions are usually found in larger cities as compared to the smaller ones. Independent bailiffs also work all across the country, although they too usually find more work in larger cities. States with the best employment prospects include New York, Florida, Georgia, Ohio, and Texas. 

Starting Out

To get into the bailiff field, you must either be appointed by the sheriff 's office or be hired after gaining experience as a peace officer. Most bailiffs are usually court officers or sheriffs' deputies who are assigned to work in the courts by the sheriff. After you begin working in the sheriff 's department, making your desire to be a bailiff known is the best way to get an opportunity to move into that position when it becomes available.

Advancement Prospects

Bailiffs can advance to many careers in the area of law enforcement. Because most bailiffs are appointed by the sheriff's office, they remain under the supervision of the sheriff. Bailiffs can often move into supervisory roles within the sheriff's department when they are prepared to end their work as bailiffs. Bailiffs can move laterally and become deputies focusing on something other than court security, or they can move up to become second-in-command or even sheriff. Additional training and experience are needed to move up to higher positions. Other possibilities include correctional officer and supervisory police officer. The many duties that a bailiff performs are an excellent preparation for most all other positions in law enforcement.

Tips for Entry

Talk to bailiffs about their careers. Ask them for advice on preparing for and entering the field.

Be willing to relocate. It may open more job opportunities. 

Consider joining ROTC in college or the military as a source of training for developing the skills and abilities needed to become an effective bailiff.