Job type


£18k - £40k

Typical salary

35 – 40

Hours per week

Bailiffs visit properties to collect debts, serve court documents or give notices or summons.

More info

  • Help recover debts for those who are owed money
  • May often involve solitary work, and long periods spent waiting outside properties
  • Requires tact, an assertive and confident manner, and excellent diplomacy and negotiation skills

Bailiffs, sometimes known as ‘Enforcement Agents’, are the enforcers of court judgements and work to recover debts on behalf of creditors. They recover debt either by taking payment directly from the debtor or seizing possessions to sell. Bailiffs may work for private companies, the local council, or be self-employed.


  • Visiting and writing to debtors to ask for payment
  • Offering money management advice
  • Arranging for people to repay debts in instalments
  • Attending court to apply for a warrant to enter property
  • Serving court papers
  • Taking away goods
  • Arranging for goods to be sold at auction
  • Being responsible for any money and goods recovered
  • Keeping accurate records


You could work in a court or in an office. Your working environment may be physically demanding and you'll travel often.

You'll need

You'll need a confident manner, to be good with people, and have patience and the ability to stay calm under pressure. There are no set entry requirements, but some employers may ask for GCSEs, including English and maths or equivalent.

Experience in dealing with the public and handling difficult situations is more important than qualifications. It isn't essential, but you could complete a college qualification in a subject like debt enforcement. Or you could do a credit control and debt collection specialist advanced apprenticeship before moving into bailiff work.

Your employer will give you the training you need to get a Bailiff General Certificate. You'll need this before you can carry out any bailiff duties by yourself. You'll also need to prove to a county court judge that you're a ‘fit and proper person', with no criminal or debt record, have knowledge of bailiff law, put a £10,000 bond in place with the court - you can take out an insurance policy to cover this, provide 2 references.

You might find it useful to have work experience in sales, the military, the prison service (HMPPS), housing or the police, and experience in dealing with the public in difficult situations.


With experience, you could move into a supervisory role, leading a team of bailiffs. You could also move into senior management or business development.