Bailiffs are also known as enforcement officers, and their job is to track down people that owe debts, remove belongings equivalent to the value they owe, and then sell this on to make up the money owed.
It’s a tough career, not least because it’s extremely emotionally demanding, but if you understand the balances of justice and you can remain tough on the outside whilst maintaining fairness in the face of overwhelmingly upsetting situations, it might be the job for you.
You’ll need to be extremely self-confident and be able to show authority in a whole host of different situations, as well as remaining calm under pressure. It’s a tricky balancing act, but if you think you’re up to the task, read on.
Salary & benefits
If you work for Her Majesty’s Courts and Tribunals, you will earn between £18,000 and £23,000 per year, although you will gain the benefits of being part of the Civil Service, which are plentiful, and include elements such as insurance and gym membership.
If you choose to work for a private firm, you can often be paid more, with salaries rising to over £25,000 with experience. However, some firms offer a more basic salary but offer a commission-based bonus which boosts your wages based on the amount of successful work undertaken.
Bailiffs are expected to work around 40 hours per week, but these can often include unsociable hours such as mornings, late nights and weekends, because these are the times that people are often home. Whilst you would be based in an office, most of the work is done out visiting people.
Some companies would expect you to drive yourself to the locations you have to visit, although others may provide a company car. It’s a good idea to have a full, clean, driving license if you want to pursue this career path.
In order to become a bailiff, you need to gain a Bailiff General Certificate. In order to gain one you must apply to your county court, prove that you have a good knowledge of Bailiff Law, provide two references, and put down a £10,000 bond with the court – which is used to pay compensation if it was ever ruled you had acted unlawfully.
In order to prove your knowledge of Bailiff Law, you first must do some studying. Private firms often offer tuition to candidates wishing to join them, but you could also learn at a college or training provider, where there are courses targeted at those who wish to join the profession.
Training & progression
There is a lot to learn on the job, mostly to do with the people you will encounter and learning how to handle situations that you might not have been in before. Depending on whether you work for a private or public firm, training might be offered to you as part of your working life.
The Civil Enforcement Association offers this to members working for the public courts, making sure the behaviour and standards of their membership is in accordance with their code of conduct.