How do I Become a Bounty Hunter?

Article Details
  • Written By: Margo Upson
  • Edited By: Bronwyn Harris
  • Last Modified Date: 01 September 2017
  • Copyright Protected:
    2003-2017
    Conjecture Corporation
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Bounty hunters capture fugitives for a monetary reward. They usually work for bail bondsmen. Every year, about 31,000 fugitives skip bail. Bounty hunters track down and catch about 90% of these fugitives for a percentage of the bail paid by the bondsmen.

To become a bounty hunter, you must first learn about any state or federal laws that apply to the job. In some states, no licensing is needed, and you only need to be hired by a bail bondsman to work as a bounty hunter. In other states, performing the work of a bounty hunter without being specially licensed is a felony. In California, for example, bounty hunters must undergo a special training program, and be properly licensed for the job.

After receiving the proper licensing, it is time to begin marketing yourself to bondsmen. This may mean sending letters and résumés, phone calls, and visiting offices in person. Be ready to explain why you would be an asset to their company. In order to become a bounty hunter, you need to convince someone to hire you. Any applicable training you may have received may help you to get into this job.

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Upon the completion of your first job, be certain to follow through. Complete any paperwork that may be necessary, and thank the bail bondsman for the opportunity to work for him. Building a reputation for being dependable and personable will help you to gain work later on. Some bounty hunters work specifically for one bondsman, while others will receive work from multiple sources, depending on who is offering the best pay at the time. If you plan to work for various bondsmen, be prepared to market yourself to each one, building on your previous success as a bounty hunter.

The term bounty hunter is popular in television, movies, and books. However, to a professional in this career, it is often viewed as a derogatory expression. “Bounty hunter” makes people think of the men who were hired to apprehend criminals, dead or alive, for a reward back in early days of American history. The preferred job title is bail enforcement agent. In order to become a bounty hunter, and be taken seriously by other professional, it is important to know this distinction between the terms.

To become a bounty hunter, you must be strong, agile, and intelligent. You must be able to use surveillance and tracking knowledge to be able to find and apprehend fugitives. Before trying to be hired as a bounty hunter, it is advisable to take self-defense courses. It is a physically and mentally demanding job. You must also be able to work well with others, as you will need a backup team to help you apprehend fugitives.

Those who want to become a bounty hunter are in the position of being able to help society, by getting fugitives off the street, without getting stuck in a boring desk job. Bounty hunters live exciting lives. Because of the exhilaration and danger associated with this career choice, it is perfect for adrenaline junkies and those who don't want to spend their lives behind a desk.

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