How To Become A Bounty Hunter
Career Video: Bounty Hunter
A bounty hunter is responsible for capturing fugitives that are on the run from law enforcement. This is a dangerous and risky job, one that certainly is not for everybody. In this position, you will be traveling long distances, tracking down criminals and bringing them into custody. If you are somebody who loves law enforcement, a career as a bounty hunter may be perfect for you.
Why Become A Bounty Hunter
A bounty hunter is a person whose responsibility is to capture fugitives and criminals for monetary reward. This person is also called a bail enforcement agent, a recovery agent, a bail agent, or many other terms. This career is performed only in the United States and in the Philippines. In other countries it is illegal to perform this task.
When a person is arrested, bail money is often set to ensure that the criminal shows up in court. For very serious crimes, the person is kept in custody without bail. Higher bail amounts indicate more serious crimes. Sometimes people cannot afford to pay their bond. In this case, a bail bondsman offers a bail bond, with a percentage on top of the original bond. Many times people decide to not show up at their court appearance. In this situation, the bail bondsman hires a bounty hunter to track down the person who has fled their court appearance and refused to pay.
A bounty hunter must be able to keep calm in a crisis. They must be brave, physically strong and fit, and capable of making quick decisions. There are many different kinds of people that a bounty hunter will encounter. Because of the nature of the job, there is high chance of a bounty hunter encountering dangerous and violent people. This is a great job for somebody who enjoys taking risks and putting themselves in dangerous situations. It is a good job for a person who values justice, honor and the law.
Bounty Hunters must possess the following qualities and skills:
- Risk Taker
- Critical Thinking
- Follows Orders
- Obeys the Law
- Physically Fit
- Good Communicator
- Values Justice
Bounty Hunter Work Environment
Bounty hunter work in the United States, tracking down fugitives who are on the run from the law. The traveling for this job can be extensive, as criminals might travel to a different town, county, or state to escape custody. Bounty hunters work days and nights trying to capture fugitives. There are many different laws regarding the work of bounty hunters, and these laws vary by state. In some states, bounty hunters are not allowed to carry weapons. In other states, they are not allowed to trespass onto any territory without a warrant. The bounty hunters need to be knowledgeable of these laws.
Bounty Hunter Salary
The bounty hunter is paid a percentage of the bail bond amount, typically 10 percent of the bail bond price. Because of this commission price, their salary can vary. The average salary for a bounty hunter was $79,899 in 2016 according to PayScale. A bounty hunter has the ability to increase their salary by taking more criminals into custody and by taking on people with higher bails.
Bounty Hunter Career Outlook
The career outlook for investigators of all kinds is five percent from 2014 to 2014, according to the United States Bureau of Labor Statistics.
The demand for bounty hunting is impacted by the supply of criminal activity in an area. If there are more fugitives, then there will be more work for the bounty hunter. Bounty hunters may choose to become licensed and work in other states where there is more work or different laws.
Bounty Hunter Degree
Not just anybody can become a bounty hunter. It takes a special person to travel the country, taking people into custody and transporting them back into the hands of law officials. There is a significant amount of training that goes into this profession.
1. Apply with a bail bondsman. Approach bail bondsman in your area and ask if they are hiring for bounty hunters. Bondsman work closely with bounty hunters to get the task completed; this is a closely knit community. You will receive your orders from the bondsmen in your area.
2. Receive training and licensure. The American Institute of Bail offers a state certificate course, which people can complete at home. This is not a requirement in most states, but it does look professional to have a certification. Bail bondsmen may be more likely to work with a bounty hunter who has been certified in the profession.
3. Additional education. Consider going to a local community college, vocational school or online university. There are many colleges that offer degrees in criminal justice and similar programs. These programs will help you gain more insights into the criminal justice system, law enforcement, ethics, proper negotiation and capture techniques, and more.