Bounty Hunters, also called bail enforcement agents, bail agents, bail recovery agents, or fugitive recovery agents, work closely with bail bondsmen and courts both criminal and civil to capture criminals who have not been caught by police or who have failed to report after making bail. They share many skills and serve similar functions to private investigators, and as much may work closely with them as well. Bounty Hunters are required to inform local police departments and in some cases state law enforcement agencies when persuing a criminal and must follow all relevant laws related to surveillance, search, and apprehension.
With all the responsibilities of such a demanding career, it may surprise you that becoming a bounty hunter is a fairly basic process.
Be Legal to Work
To work as a bounty hunter, you must be at least 18 years of age and either a United States citizen or a legal resident with authorization to work. However, if you want to carry a firearm while working (to not do so would be highly ill-advised) you will need to be 21 to become firearm certified.
Get Your Certifications
There is no specific license for bounty hunters in Pennsylvania. It is not strictly a requirement to be firearms certified, either, but you will rarely find a bounty hunter who works unarmed. Firearm certification costs $50 for the licensing fee and $27.50 for the required background check. If you want to work independently, you need to be licensed as a bail bondsman. You must also pass a psychological exam to become firearms certified, the cost of which will depend on your care provider and insurance coverage options.
Earn a Relevant Degree
There are no education requirements to work as a bounty hunter in Pennsylvania, but some areas of study will make you more effective at your job, and thus more employable. In the state of Pennsylvania, bounty hunters need to be hired by a bail bond company Allentown PA or become a licensed bail bondsmen themself. Relevant degrees include criminal justice, criminal psychology, sociology, various law degrees, and forensics.
The process of becoming a bounty hunter may seem simple enough, but the job itself is demanding and potentially dangerous. Despite this, most bounty hunters will tell you that the rewards are worth the risk. Not only could you make upwards of $48,000 a year, but you can take pride in knowing you are an integral part of our justice system.