How to Become a Bailiff

Become a Bailiff

In our review of different careers, we take a look at how to become a bailiff, what a bailiff does, and what skills and attributes are required to become a bailiff.

What Does a Bailiff Do?

As a bailiff, it would be your job to ensure that people pay off their debts.  You might take payment from them yourself or take people's belongings that can be sold to pay off their debts.  A bailiff can also take property and evict people.

If you worked as a bailiff, you could work in two different roles.  A court appointed bailiff who works for the courts or a civil enforcement agent who works for private firms.  What you will be doing depends what role you have.

As either a bailiff, or a civil enforcement, officer your day to day duties might include visiting and writing to people in debt to ask for payment, arranging for people to pay their debt in installments, attending court to apply for a warrant to enter property, serving court papers, taking away belongings and arranging for the items to be sold at auction, keeping records of action you have taken and planning your future work. 

Bailiffs will often be self-employed and will work all hours that you will set yourself.  This will probably involve a fair amount of evening and weekend working as that is when you will find people are at home and easier for you to contact. 

Is Becoming a Bailiff Right For Me?

To become a bailiff you will need the following skills and attributes:

  • Assertiveness and confidence
  • Good negotiation skills
  • Tact and diplomacy
  • The ability to learn relevant laws
  • Basic maths skills
  • Good communication skills
  • The ability to deal with different kinds of people commercial awareness so you can assess the value of goods

How Much Can a Bailiff Earn?

As a bailiff for HM courts, you will be on £19,000 to £23,000 a year.  As a civil enforcement officer you can earn between £18,000 and £25,000 a year, and as a self-employed bailiff you could earn up to £40,000 a year but you would be paid by commission and would have no guaranteed income.

What Qualifications Do I Need To Become a Bailiff?

There are no qualifications to become a bailiff, but you must become a bailiff general certificate.  To get this you need to apply and prove to the court you are a fit and proper person; this will involve a full DBS.  You will also need to provide two references.