Bounty Hunter Salary
Bounty Hunter Salary Information
When you decide to become a bounty hunter, how much you get paid all depends on the type of work you choose to do and where you choose to work. Bounty hunter salary information is not tracked by state and federal organizations like the Bureau of Labor, so most of the details about salary are provided by bounty hunters themselves. How much you make also depends on your contacts and what state or area you choose to operate in, but the average bounty hunter can expect to make between $25,000 and $50,000 a year.
According to fugitive recovery agents, the industry standard is to be paid a percentage of the total bail, usually 5-10%. For example, if you recover a fugitive with a $5,000 bail, you can expect to make $500. However, if you take riskier cases or work in larger metropolitan areas the average bail is set much higher, and you will make much more per case.
Bounty hunting is a job that will require you to maintain good relations and contacts with bail agencies, local sheriffs, attorneys and other elements of law enforcement. Without these connections finding work will be more difficult and you will not make as much money as you would if good contacts had been kept. In the long term, reliability and good tracking skills will be more important, but many bounty hunters say that who you know can be more important than how good you are when you are attempting to break into the industry.
In cities and other well high-density areas there are usually many opportunities to connect with bail bond companies in need of a good bounty hunter or skip tracer. You might not get all the jobs you want at first, but working in this manner will allow you to build up relationships with members of the bail community and get your name out in the public. The average bail in many larger cities, which lies between $20,000 and $50,000, is an added incentive since you will be paid a percentage of that larger figure.
Working as a bounty hunter in an area with only one company will make it harder for you to establish working relationships. That company has probably been operating in the area for quite a while and will have built up a strong reputation that might be hard to compete with. The bounty hunters working for the established company will have the trust of local law enforcement and bail companies already and this will make breaking into the industry in that area more difficult. It also may affect the percentages are granted upon returning criminals. Another issue to keep in mind is that bounty hunters who work in more remote areas make less money because bail is generally lower.
No matter where you choose to operate, bounty hunters who make the most money have usually proven themselves to be reliable and adept at returning fugitives. This type of trust and hard work will make you the first call when someone skips bail and you can be sure to have steady work and solid pay.