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Court Officer Training Program Information

Court officers, also known as bailiffs, maintain order within courtrooms. Training programs for this profession adhere to the Peace Officer Standards and Training (POST) or equivalent guidelines designed by their respective states. Programs are offered at approved police training academies, including many 2-year colleges.

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Essential Information

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, bailiffs, or court officers, fall under the category of correctional officers. These professionals have varying levels of educational requirements. Some local and state agencies require court officers to have just a high school diploma, while others prefer candidates complete a training program or some college credits.


Court Officer Training Program

Court officer training programs generally train candidates to provide security to members of court and to sequester and protect juries. While enrolled at an academy, trainees must undergo preliminary mental and physical fitness screenings and then complete a curriculum in law enforcement courses. Trainees can learn about courtroom security, defendant handling, temporary holding and court officer authority. They might study weapons handling, emergency response and courtroom structure. Programs, which result in a certificate, can be completed in a year or less. All program graduates who find work at state or local agencies complete additional field training in areas such as interpersonal relations.

Education Prerequisites

To enter a court officer training program, applicants must be citizens of the United States, according to California's POST guidelines (post.ca.gov). A high school diploma and a valid driver's license are also common prerequisites. Due to court officers being members of the law enforcement community, applicants in all states must be able to pass a background check.

Training Program Topics

POST guidelines require aspiring court officers to be knowledgeable of basic criminal justice. They must also demonstrate their proficiency with firearms and in common law enforcement scenarios. Courses might include:

  • Judicial protection
  • Court systems
  • Defensive tactics
  • Emergency preparation
  • Firearms training
  • Civil processes
  • Criminal procedures
  • Writing courtroom reports

Employment Outlook and Salary Info

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), correctional officers, including bailiffs, are expected to have a nine percent growth rate in employment from 2008-2018 (www.bls.gov). The BLS postulates that this projected growth is a result of increases in the U.S. population and the national incarceration rate.

Court officers can find employment at local and state governments. In May 2010, the BLS estimated that the mean annual wage for all bailiffs was $40,910. Bailiffs employed by state governments received a $54,720 wage, somewhat higher than the $36,310 wage for those employed by local governments.

Continuing Education and Advancement Info

Experienced court officers may be eligible to pursue positions as parole officers or sergeants of corrections, according to the BLS. A bachelor's degree in a field like justice administration can increase candidates' prospects for such advancement.

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