Process Server Job Description, Career as a Process Server, Salary, Employment
Definition and Nature of the Work, Education and Training Requirements, Getting the Job
Education and Training:— High school education is necessary. Some states have licensing requirements.
Salary: Median— $70,000 annually
Employment Outlook:— Fair
Process serving refers to the act of serving summons, notifications, and other relevant documents to people who are caught up in court matters. It is a part of the legal system of United States. Process servers are responsible for delivering the necessary paperwork to the concerned individuals. It may sound like a simple job, but process serving involves a lot of complications.
Process servers need to firstly find defendants before serving them notice papers. In many cases, defendants do not wish to be served court summons and hence may not be available at their contact addresses. In such instances, process servers need to use techniques like “skip tracing” to locate them. Secondly, the process of delivering the papers may become difficult if the person on the other end refuses to accept them. Process servers need to have an extensive knowledge of laws and the legal system in order to be able to deliver notifications as per the proper process serving procedures. If the process delivery does not take place in a legal way, the entire case against the defendant may be dissolved. Therefore, the role of process servers is challenging and also an extremely important part of the legal system.
Education and Training Requirements
Though there are no specific criteria when it comes to academic qualifications of process servers, it is beneficial to enroll for a formal training program. Courses in the field are offered by a number of colleges, private firms, and state process server organizations. These programs focus on the laws and ethics pertaining to process serving. They also provide information regarding licensing requirements in different states.
Certain states require process servers to be licensed. In some jurisdictions, the process of obtaining a license involves passing a written test, and getting fingerprinted, bonded, and background checked. One can get bonded by paying a fee to a local surety or insurance company. In some other states, prior to taking up the profession, process servers need to register and request for authorization. Again, in Alabama, there are no licensing or registration norms for process servers.
Getting the Job
Information regarding job opportunities for process servers is easily available on Internet job sites. One can begin by getting in touch with several companies that hire process servers and looking up openings with them. This is not particularly difficult since a lot of organizations recruit freshers. It is also beneficial to join a professional association of process servers. Such societies help build networks and also provide valuable information regarding employment opportunities.
Advancement Possibilities and Employment Outlook
Process servers should ideally find employment in a professional set up. This is a great way to begin one’s career since it provides opportunities for on-the-job training. As professionals, process servers need to be familiar with various laws and regulations, as well as with the tricks of the trade. These can be learnt only when one is working in an organization. After gaining sufficient experience, one can shift to larger corporations, or being working independently.
Process serving is an integral part of the legal system. Every state has several professional organizations that offer employment to process servers. Employment opportunities in this profession are likely to be favorable for qualified and experienced process servers.
Due to the nature of the job, process servers rarely work regular hours. Since notices can be served only when the defendant is available, process servers often end up working in the evenings and during weekends. Travel is an essential part of the job, and one may frequently have to journey to different locations. The profession also has an element of adventure and thrill, particularly if one needs to serve notices to evasive individuals.
Where to Go for More Information
National Association of Professional Process Servers
PO Box 4547
Portland, OR 97208-4547
International Process Servers Association
12335 Santa Monica Blvd. #300
Los Angeles, CA 90025
New York State Professional Process Servers Association
P.O. Box 632
Moriches, NY 11955
California Association of Legal Support Professionals
2520 Venture Oaks Way, Suite 150
Sacramento, CA 95833
Process Server Institute
667 Folsom St., 2d Fl.
San Francisco, CA 94107
Salary, Earnings and Benefits
The median annual salary of process servers in the United States is $70,000, according to data published in 2009. However, the salaries are largely dependent on a person’s experience and place of employment. Entry level salaries are in the range of $20,347 to $64,637 per year. Those with more than 10 years of experience are likely to earn between $53,495 and $91,200 annually, while those with over 20 years of experience can earn as much as $147,800 per year.
Process servers receive benefits in the form of sick leaves, vacations, pension plans, and medical and life insurance coverage.
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