Court administrative officer
Court ushers make sure that everyone involved with a court case is present and that they know what to do.
Salary range: £15,000 to £22,000
How to become a court usher
You can get into this job through:
- a college course
- an apprenticeship
- applying directly
You could take a college course like a Level 1 or 2 Certificate in Business Administration before applying for work.
You’ll usually need:
- 2 or fewer GCSEs at grades 3 to 1 (D to G), or equivalent, for a level 1 course
- 2 or more GCSEs at grades 9 to 3 (A* to D), or equivalent, for a level 2 course
You could do an intermediate or advanced apprenticeship in court and tribunal administration.
You’ll usually need:
- 5 GCSEs at grades 9 to 4 (A* to C), or equivalent, including English and maths, for an advanced apprenticeship
- some GCSEs, usually including English and maths, or equivalent, for an intermediate apprenticeship
You could apply directly for jobs. You’ll usually need at least 2 GCSEs at grades 9 to 4 (A* to C) including English.
Experience in a similar role like customer service or office administration will be useful. Employers will also look at your personal qualities and life experience.
You can find out more about careers in the courts and tribunals service from Skills for Justice.
What it takes
Skills and knowledge
- administration skills
- to be thorough and pay attention to detail
- the ability to work well with others
- the ability to accept criticism and work well under pressure
- patience and the ability to remain calm in stressful situations
- excellent verbal communication skills
- active listening skills
- the ability to read English
- to be able to carry out basic tasks on a computer or hand-held device
Restrictions and requirements
You’ll need to:
What you’ll do
In this role you could be:
- preparing the courtroom and meeting and greeting court users and visitors
- keeping people informed of changes to hearing times
- checking that witnesses, defendants and lawyers are present
- calling defendant and witnesses into court
- directing the taking of oaths
- labelling evidence and passing it to the judge and jury
- passing messages between lawyers and legal advisers
- keeping order in the public areas
- inputting data to the computer system, filing and photocopying
In crown court cases, a ‘sworn usher’ swears on oath to stop anyone who is unauthorised from approaching the jury. In this role, you’ll also spend time:
- escorting the jury to and from the courtroom
- being on duty outside the jury room
- taking messages between the jury and the judge
- organising hotel accommodation if jurors need to stay overnight
You could work in a court or in an office.
Career path and progression
With experience, you could supervise a team of ushers, or become a court administrative officer.