Bailiff Salary: What You'll Earn

A Career as a Bailiff in the Criminal Justice System Can Offer You Lucrative Earning Opportunities

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), bailiffs and correctional officers earn $44,400 per year on average. Although many facilities only require candidates to hold high school diplomas or GEDs, these law enforcement professionals make significantly more than other people with the same education, as the average for all workers with high school diplomas stands at $35,580 annually.

It should be noted, however, that the BLS projects a 7% decrease in correctional officer and bailiff growth between 2016 and 2026. Those looking to enter this law enforcement career can set themselves apart from the competition by obtaining higher education.

How Much Do Bailiffs Earn?

How much a professional can earn in a bailiff career depends on factors like industry, location, experience, and education. For example, the average bailiff salary at federal government facilities sits at $58,010, while bailiffs who work in facility support services earn $38,990 on average. Educational attainment may account for some of this nearly $20,000 difference. While some facilities hire candidates with high school diplomas and no training, others require a bachelor's degree or previous work experience.

Bailiffs also earn above average wages in some areas of the country. The BLS reports that bailiff salaries remain highest in New York, California, Colorado, Illinois, and Georgia. Some of these states contain major federal prisons, which may account for the high pay. Furthermore, bailiffs tend to earn higher salaries as they gain work experience.

What's My Earning Potential as a Bailiff?

The BLS projects that the total number of correctional officer and bailiff jobs may fall 7% in the next 10 years. However, the decrease in correctional officers makes up the bulk of this decline, as the BLS also projects bailiff positions to decrease by about 2% and all law enforcement careers to grow by 1%. Bailiff salaries start at about $35,000 per year when professionals hold up to five years of experience. By the time these criminal justice workers gain 20 years of experience or more, they earn $59,000 annually on average.

Average Pay by Experience Level for Bailiffs
Entry Level (0-12 Months) $35,000
Early Career (1-4 Years) $39,000
Midcareer (5-9 Years) $52,000
Experienced (10-19 Years) $60,000

Source: PayScale

How Do Bailiff Careers Compare to Other Criminal Justice Careers?

Those interested in law enforcement careers may also consider jobs as security guards, gaming surveillance officers, lawyers, paralegals, police officers, and detectives. On average, bailiff salaries remain higher than security guards and gaming surveillance officers. Several factors account for the differences in law enforcement salaries, including the amount of education and training each position requires.

Lawyers must earn a professional degree, for example. However, police officers and paralegals sometimes only need an associate degree. Furthermore, the BLS expects the demand for lawyers, paralegals, police officers, and detectives to grow at or above average rates. As the number of these jobs increase and bailiff job openings decrease, bailiffs may consider earning higher education and additional training that allows them to work in higher paying law enforcement careers. Working in the field during school lets learners build both professional networks and their resumes.

Position Median Annual Salary Projected Growth Rate
Corrections Officers and Bailiffs $44,400 -7%
Security Guards and Gaming Surveillance Officers $28,530 6%
Lawyers $120,910 8%
Paralegals $50,940 15%
Police and Detectives $63,380 7%

Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics

Take the Next Step Today

A bailiff career offers high school graduates the chance to earn more money and launch a successful law enforcement career. Those interested in becoming bailiffs should check out the websites below to learn more about law enforcement degrees and strategies for finding careers.