How to Become a Bounty Hunter

handcuffsGoing into a career as a bounty hunter can be an excellent choice for those who enjoy excitement and unpredictability. A bounty hunter, also commonly referred to as a bail recovery agent, is a person responsible for hunting down fugitives who have skipped out on bail and failed to appear at their court dates. A bounty hunter is able to make arrests of such fugitives and return them to jail. Most often, bounty hunters are hired by bail bond companies that need to recover the bail money that the fugitive borrowed from them to begin with.

Requirements for Becoming a Bounty Hunter

A career as a bounty hunter is very unpredictable; any given day could be spent tracking down a fugitive, making an arrest, or sometimes even just trying to find work with a bail bond company. Of course, not just anybody can work as a bounty hunter; there are strict guidelines that must be followed and requirements that must be met.

Those considering a career as a bounty hunter should research their state’s specific guidelines, as they can vary. However, most states require all bounty hunters to be licensed by a state board. In order to obtain one’s license, a certain number of credit hours of coursework in criminal justice, bail education, and related fields must be successfully completed. Often times, a 40-hour power of arrest course and a standard security guard class must also be completed prior to one’s licensing.

While these are typically the bare requirements, obtaining a full Bachelor’s degree in criminal justice or a related field can be a great option for those who may someday want to pursue other careers in the field, such as that of a police officer, SWAT team member, or corrections officer.

Qualifying for a License

Most states require aspiring bounty hunters to take an exam and pass with a score of 70% or higher. Often times, there are training courses available that can help a person to prepare for the licensing exam. Once the text is passed and the license is obtained, most states require that bounty hunters continue their education by having the equivalent of six hours of continuing education each year in order to keep their licenses current.

Finding the Right School

Those who are thinking about becoming a bounty hunter should get started by finding the right school that offers criminal justice or other related coursework. From there, enrolling in classes to get a feel for the type of work is a good way to gauge whether or not a career as a bounty hunter is the best option.

Upon becoming licensed, bounty hunters can begin working right away. Often times, the struggle is to find work; this often means offering initial jobs to bail bond companies for free in the hopes that they will hire the same bounty hunter for long-term work. Upon becoming established as a bounty hunter, however, this can be a truly rewarding and exciting career.

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