Bounty Hunting Jobs
When fugitives choose to skip bail, bounty hunters are essential for recovering these individuals. Most branches of law enforcement are overworked and cannot devote the time or the resources to tracking down every person who skips out on bail. In other cases, police may not have the jurisdiction to track down fugitives in other states. Bounty hunters have an 80% success rate in tracking down offenders, and because they are privately employed by bail bond companies they save taxpayers money while helping to bring fugitives to justice.
The average salary of a bounty hunter ranges from $25,000 to $50,000 a year depending on the availability of work. When you first start out, you can expect to be paid the industry standard, which is a percentage of the bond due. Bounty hunters report that figure as typically being 10% of the total bond. According to veteran bounty hunters, once you are established as a reliable fugitive recovery agent, you can set your own prices for your services, and some make well over $100,000 a year.
Fugitive recovery agents insist that it is important to treat both the job and the fugitives you are apprehending with respect. They try to dispel the old Wild West myths of bounty hunters as hard-nosed guns for hire that treat fugitives roughly. That can lead to negative publicity and can harm your potential earnings as a bounty hunter. Bail bond agencies want someone who is efficient and reliable, not a loose cannon.
A typical day for a bounty hunter begins with a call from a bail bondsman. When a person skips bail, a bondsman hires a bounty hunter to track down the fugitive. Once you have secured the job, you must go to the bondsman’s office to receive power of attorney. This gives you the legal authority to act on behalf of the bondsman to recover the fugitive. After getting legal authority, the actual tracking begins. Sometimes tracking is straightforward and can take very little time, but it is often painstaking work which requires patience and attention to detail.
Alternatives to Bounty Hunting
There are many jobs that utilize skills similar to those used by bounty hunters and are still integral to law enforcement. If you want to branch out from bounty hunting or do not want to pursue that career full-time, there are several closely related alternatives, such as skip tracing and private investigation.
Skip tracers perform work similar to bounty hunters, but are rarely in the field. Instead, they track fugitives by collecting as much information about the person as possible. Using information like phone records, credit reports, last known addresses and utility bills, a skip tracer sifts through information to find credible details of a person’s whereabouts.
Similar to skip tracing, working as a private investigator will give you experience tracking fugitives. Private investigation requires the ability to interpret information, like a skip tracer, but also perform field work, such as tracking and interviewing the public. Private investigators do not always apprehend fugitives, but can provide information essential for bounty hunters to locate fugitives and place them back into custody.