How to be a Bounty Hunter
Like any other career, bounty hunting necessitates skills that can be acquired through formal schooling and informal training. If you are interested in knowing how to become a bounty hunter, you can read the information below pertaining to education, training and qualifications to become a licensed fugitive tracker.
Why Be A Bounty Hunter?
- If you become a bounty hunter, you will play a crucial role in the country’s legal system. You will work alongside police, lawyers and judges. You may also pave the road to the capture of notorious criminals who preyed on their unsuspecting victims.
- As a bounty hunter, you will earn moderate to high income. On average, a bounty hunter earns $30,000 annually. Your salary as a bounty hunter, however, may vary depending on the bail bond firm you are working for, the state with jurisdiction in the fugitive’s case, each fugitive’s bond amount and your experience. You can earn as low as $25,000 to as high as $75,000 annually.
- You will get a regular dose of mental and physical exercise. As a bounty hunter, you need to participate in training programs and tests regularly to maintain agility, stamina and mental alertness.
- You will improve your interpersonal skills. In bail enforcement, you need to deal with different people including the fugitive’s family and friends to gain information. The more polite and personable you are, the greater your chances of having valuable leads.
Education And Training To Become A Bounty Hunter
Crime-related and legal knowledge is the groundwork of education and training for a bounty hunter. The field of study that can provide you with the most education and training is criminal justice.
Criminal justice is commonly offered as an associates, bachelors and masters degree. If you pursue an associates degree, you will learn about criminal behavior and the law for 2 years. If you go for a bachelors degree, you will gain a more in depth knowledge of contemporary legal issues.
If you pursue a masters degree, higher level and varied opportunities await you. Aside from becoming a bounty hunter, you can also assume a leadership role like a criminal justice administrator or an investigative consultant.
Some schools also offer free online criminal justice courses. You can find free criminal justice courses online at Weber State University, University of Notre Dame and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT). You can only gain real college credit from these free courses either through College Level Examination Program (CLEP) or Prior Learning Assessment (PLA).
Qualifications To Become A Licensed Bounty Hunter
While some states explicate their qualifications for prospective licensed bounty hunters, others do not allow the commercial bail bond system and prohibit the practice of skip tracing. In states that permit skip tracers, moderate to restrictive licensing is in effect.
As a bounty hunter, some states may require you to hold a bail agent or private investigator license. It may also ask that you to take security guard, bail education and power of arrest classes. These classes may take 60 hours to complete, but again, this depends on the state in which you want to work and that state’s particular regulations.
Certain states will prohibit you from displaying badges or clothing similar to law enforcement officers. Most states do not allow police officers, lawyers or anyone officially involved with the operations of the court system to simultaneously work as bail bondsmen or bounty hunters In an instance where force becomes necessary, a local law enforcement officer will most likely need to be in the scene.