Bounty Hunter Job Overview
Bounty hunters work throughout the country to help capture fugitives and ensure that they face the justice system. Because of the historical legacy of the term"bounty hunter," they are often called bail enforcement agents. They are also sometimes professionally referred to as bail agents or bail recovery agents, among other names. Bounty hunters work long, unpredictable hours, and they usually must travel to complete their jobs. The most common job duties of a bounty hunter may include:
- Evaluating cases to determine the best courses of action
- Reviewing information about the fugitive
- Driving long distances to track down a fugitive
- Monitoring fugitives
- Conducting surveillance
- Apprehending a fugitive
- Collaborating with law enforcement officers
Candidates who have a lot of patience and can work both independently and in close collaboration with others may enjoy working as a bounty hunter. Bounty hunters must remain calm under extreme pressure, and they need to stay up sometimes for many hours at a time to complete their duties.
Bounty Hunter Job Education Requirements
Most bounty hunters don't have to meet specific education requirements, but many people don't intend to pursue bounty hunting as a long-term position. Also, it would help bounty hunters thrive in their jobs if they do pursue at least a bachelor's degree in criminal justice, law, or related fields. Candidates who hope to go on to other security positions may pursue higher education to later pursue other law enforcement jobs and detection jobs. Those jobs would likely provide greater job security and a more stable schedule.
Bounty Hunter Job Market
The job market for bounty hunters changes frequently. It is illegal to be a bounty hunter in many other countries, so most bounty hunters work domestically. Within the United States, though, many states also have strict laws against bounty hunting. For example, seven states and Washington, D.C., have placed extreme restrictions on the practice, and Wisconsin has gone so far as to outlaw the bail bond industry. However, in the states where it is allowed, there will likely always be fugitives who try to escape justice, which means that bounty hunters will continue to be necessary.
Bounty Hunter Job Salary Information
Bounty hunters make salaries that typically range from $50,000 to $80,000. The typical bounty hunter may balance as many as 160 cases in a single year, and they may sometimes receive a bonus for specific cases. The National Association of Bail Enforcement Agents reports that bounty hunters ultimately catch a huge majority of fugitives who skip bail. That may lead some to believe that bounty hunters should be given a raise in salary.