How to Become a Bounty Hunter: the Untold Guide

Do you want to work in law but don’t want to become a lawyer or a judge? Are you wondering about other private jobs like this? Have you ever thought of becoming a bounty hunter? ๐Ÿ’ฐ

As it is a very well-known occupation, becoming a bounty hunter is not what everyone thinks about. But it is a very important job nonetheless. I have found that it is directly connected to the field of both law and judiciary and still has a lot of freedom because it is not a government job. ๐Ÿšจ

I have done my best to explain everything about the job below. Hope this article helps you out as much as you need.ย 

Question and Answer

You might still have some questions about becoming a bounty hunter. It’s understandable, which is why I have put together some questions for you to think about. 

Answering them will help you think and become more sure about becoming a bounty hunter. 

  1. Do I know enough about the law and other rules and regulations? 
  2. Am I trained enough to handle such matters?
  3. Am I prepared for dangerous situations?
  4. Do I have a support system?
  5. Do I know enough about the work I will be doing?
  6. Can I handle the pressure and the stress?
  7. Do I have insurance?

If the answer to most of these is a yes, then you are ready to start working towards becoming a bounty hunter. 

Let’s start discussing more questions and the process behind this profession now. 

Who is a Bounty Hunter?

The first question that comes to mind is – What is a Bounty Hunter? If you have a pirate in mind for the answer to this question, then I am afraid you are half wrong; you are right in the sense that a bounty hunter searches for something. But what they are searching for isn’t a chest full of gold and jewels. ๐Ÿ’Ž

A bounty hunter is someone who looks for fugitives and criminals who might have evaded debts or other things and are wanted. They are private agents and work after receiving commissions, which we call a ‘bounty.’ ๐Ÿ’ธ

Hence, a bounty hunter has more freedom than other individuals working directly under the government. This doesn’t mean they are not bound by legal boundaries. They also have to carry out such operations with utmost care of regulations set by the lawmaking bodies. 

They are most often hired by recognized organizations such as the government. It can be quite risky, but you work as a private agent who has the law’s best interests at heart.๐Ÿ•ต๏ธ 

A very famous bounty hunter is Duane Chapman, who became a bounty hunter in the 1970s.ย 

Scope of Bounty Huntersย 

There’s no age limit to becoming a bounty hunter. Statistics from Zippia show that the average age of bounty hunters in the United States is 40+. 61% of the bounty hunters are of this age in the states.ย 

More and more women are also opting to work in the field. According to reports from Zippia, about 6.92% of bounty hunters in 2010 were women. Now, this percentage has jumped to 25.62% in 2021. 

 A lot of the bounty hunters only have a bachelor’s (38%). A lot of them are even working with just a high school diploma (35%). Also, the number of employees is also growing rapidly. About 40% of companies have hired more than 50 bounty hunters to work under them. 

Skill Set required to become a bounty hunter.ย 

You will have to develop a certain skill set to become a successful bounty hunter. Some of the most important skills have been compiled and mentioned down below by me. 

Read these carefully and understand them. 

  1. You will have to read up about laws regularly and memorize them. 
  2. Being physically fit is a must. 
  3. Work on your investigative skills. 
  4. Risk assessment is also a necessary skill to have. 
  5. Self-defense skills are also important to learn. 
  6. Try to work on your communication skills, too. 

If you want to learn and develop your risk assessment skills, then you can take up this course

How much can a Bounty Hunter earn?

Bounty hunters receive commissions per project they take on. This means that they have become able to earn quite well through these commissions. 

It all depends upon the amount they choose to receive in return for their services. We have been able to analyze the salary trends and have found an average for their earnings. ๐Ÿ“ˆ

You can expect a base pay of $92,660 per year. If we talk about entry-level jobs, we found that the average for an entry-level job in this field is $52,120 per year. More experienced individuals can make up to $110,000 per year. 

Maryland is where the highest pay has been recorded in the US. According to the reports, it was about $117,000 for one project in Maryland.

So, regardless of the location, your salary as a bounty hunter depends on the experience you have accumulated on the job. These are statistically proven salary trends and are up to date. ๐Ÿ“Š

How to Become a Bounty Hunter? (More Tips)

Below are all of the steps that have been explained in detail for your benefit. You can note them down if you want because these are what you have to do to become a Bounty Hunter. โœ…

Finish your education

  • Like every other career option out there, becoming a bounty hunter also requires you to get adequately educated in specific topics best suited for bounty hunting. 
  • Some of these topics include fraud investigation, criminal justice systems, law enforcement, crime investigation, deviance, violence, Forensic Psychology, and research methods in Criminal Justice. 
  • You can complete a program in any of these that I have mentioned and get a diploma to certify that you have, indeed, completed your educational requirements. ๐Ÿง‘โ€๐ŸŽ“

Find out about the rules.

Now, it is time for you to find out all about bounty hunting in your area. This is because bounty hunters have it differently in different areas. 

  • The rules and regulations that the bounty hunters in your area may be bound by are not necessarily going to be the same for bounty hunters elsewhere. 
  • Moreover, if you ever have to cross borders and go to any other state or country, then you also need to know about bounty hunting there. 
  • A lot of countries have made bounty hunting illegal, which means you wouldn’t be able to go there. โŒ

This guide will help you understand some of them.ย 

Complete your training

  • Bounty Hunting can be quite risky because it involves going after wannabe criminals. 
  • Hence, you must get good training so that you become experienced enough to tackle such situations later on in the future. 
  • Although a lot of states leave the training up to the student, the rest require them to get licensed after getting training for it. 
  • This training will include topics that will teach you about investigation, research tools, and much more. ๐ŸŽ’

Here is an article about this topic which will help you out in this regard.ย 

Start for experience and networking.

  • After all this, you should start looking for experienced professionals with whom you can work to get more experience and useful advice. 
  • Working with different professionals from varying fields will help get you insight into those fields. 
  • Another important thing to keep in mind is networking. 
  • Meeting up with other bounty hunters and investigators would only help you more. 

So, it would be better for your career if you start networking with other people in this field. ๐Ÿคณ

You can do so easily via online platforms such as LinkedIn.ย 

How do you get licensed as a bounty hunter?

Getting a license can be a necessity in some states in the US. It is because of the varying requirements that might make it a bit confusing.

We have compiled a few steps involved in the process of getting licensed. ๐Ÿ“„

Find out about the rules.

  • A lot of states have made bounty hunting completely illegal. These states are Oregon, Wisconsin, Kentucky, and Illinois. 
  • States such as Kansas, Maryland, Michigan, Idaho, Wyoming, Hawaii, Vermont, Montana, Minnesota, Maine, Delaware, Alabama, Alaska, Pennsylvania, or Rhode Island have not made it necessary to get a license, which means you can do without it in these states. 
  • Now, for the remaining states, you should start by consulting the law enforcement authorities in your state. ๐Ÿ‘ฎ

More about the procedure

  • Try to find and become a part of a ball bond recovery agent training program that is also approved by the state and your licensing board. 
  • You can consult and find out about your training program of choice. 
  • After this, all that is left is to fill out the application for this program and send the processing fee. 
  • It also involves a background check, which is followed by a drug test. 
  • Appear for the test, and that’s it. If you pass, you get your license. ๐Ÿ˜

This article will help you out.ย 

Responsibilities of a Bounty Hunter

A bounty hunter has a lot of moral and legal obligations placed upon themself. This is because they are expected to enforce the law and apprehend runaway criminals to appear in court. But you’re still unofficially doing these things because you’re a private agent. 

So it’s important for them that they understand where the boundaries lie and what limits they shouldn’t cross as private agents. ๐Ÿค 

Don’t misuse your authority.

As we discussed earlier, bounty hunters should understand what limits they are not supposed to cross as private agents. They have to be educated in criminal justice and law so that they understand what they are supposed to do and what not. 

This is important so that they don’t make any mistakes while on duty. ๐Ÿง

Staying true to their jobs

As a law enforcer, it might be so that you, as a bounty hunter, encounter a lot of corrupt individuals. At times like this, always remember your job and the moral responsibilities that come along with it. 

Never become gullible enough to become a part of such wrongdoings, and always stay true to yourself and your job. ๐Ÿคฅ

Finish your projects on time.

The commissions that you will get will always have some time constraints. This means that you need to complete them in a given time. It is important for you that you don’t breach deadlines in this job as someone else might be inconvenienced because of your delay. 

This might pose a big problem, and clients might stop hiring you. So, it is advised that you adhere to time restrictions and finish your job on time. โŒ›

Top Bounty Hunter Courses in the United States

You will always feel like you need some extra skills in whichever job you decide to try out for. Gaining these skills is important for your career so that it can grow. 

The upper two courses given below are available on the online platform Coursera, the next two are available on another platform called Udemy, and the last one is also a free online course provided by FutureLearn. ๐Ÿ’ป

Forensic Accounting and Fraud Examination

  • This course will be taught by Dr. Richard Riley, Dr. Richard Dull, and John Gill. 
  • It has been divided into four weeks’ worth of material and further contains video and article content for you to access. It would take just 17 hours for you to complete the course in one go if need be. 
  • After completion, you will have enough knowledge about fraud detection and investigation. 
  • You will have to answer questions such as who committed this crime, why they did it, and how they got away with it. You will also learn about forensic accounting in this course. ๐Ÿ”
  • You can do the course for free, but if you want the certificate, you need to pay the fee.

International Law In Action: Investigating and Prosecutingย 

  • This course is taught by Carsten Stahn and Sergey Vasiliev. Both of the instructors are professors at Leiden University. 
  • It has been divided into five weeks’ worth of material and further contains video and article content for you to access. 
  • It would take just 7 hours for you to complete the course in one go if need be. 
  • The course aims to teach you all about international law, criminal justice, and the justice system. You will become able to think about perpetrators, the core regulations of criminal justice, and more. ๐Ÿš“
  • Just like the one above, you can do the course for free, but if you want the certificate, you need to pay a fee.  

Introduction to Criminal Justice

  • This course is to be taught by instructor Kevin W. Jennings, who is a professor of criminal justice based in the Southern United States. 
  • It is divided into 14 sections, which are further divided into 31 lectures, which makes it a total of 11 hours worth of material for the student to learn from. 
  • After you have completed the course, you will be able to solve problems related to criminology, law enforcement, and criminal justice. ๐Ÿƒ
  • This course will cost you around $24.99.

Psychology of Criminal Behaviour & Criminology

  • This course is going to be taught by instructor Elmira Strange, who is a motivational psychologist and is based in the UK. 
  • It is divided into five sections, which are further divided into 27 lectures, which makes it a total of approximately 3 hours worth of material for the student to learn from. 
  • After you have completed the course, you will have enough knowledge about criminal behavior, personality disorders, and the personality theory of criminal behavior. ๐Ÿ—ฃ๏ธ
  • You will have to pay around $24.99.

Cyber Crime Investigation – Cyber Security Training

  • This course has been divided into four weeks of material and is divided into weeks according to the student’s comfort. If you give three weeks’ worth of focus and study per week, you will be able to finish the course comfortably. 
  • The course is all about learning about the basics of cyber security and how to reinforce that. 
  • It also wishes to teach about preventing crime attacks upon reinforcement of cyber security. ๐Ÿ–ฅ๏ธ
  • You will have to pay a membership fee for this course. 

Top Bounty Hunter Schools in the World

Since we are done with extracurricular courses, we should now take a look at proper programs and the colleges that are offering them. 

It might not seem like it, but you need to be very well-versed in the law so that you know what lies under the legal boundaries. ๐Ÿซ

Southern New Hampshire University

  • Southern New Hampshire University offers you an AS, BS, and MS degree in Criminal Justice. 
  • All of these degrees ensure that you have full online accessibility and that you can complete your undergraduate degree from wherever you want. 
  • The BS (Bachelor of Science) degree promises a median salary of $66,020, and the schedule is divided into eight six-week terms. 
  • The AS (Associate of Science) degree promises a median salary of $47,920 and has the same schedule as the BS program. 
  • The MS (Master of Science) degree promises a median salary of $66,020. The Master’s program has multiple terms that start throughout the year, and you can complete it at your convenience. ๐Ÿค“

Campbellsville University

  • Campbellsville University offers online programs for an AS degree in Criminal Justice, a BS degree in criminal justice administration, and MS degrees in criminology and leadership in social justice. 
  • The BS degree has a duration of four years and 120 credit hours. 
  • The AS and MS degrees both have a duration of two years. 
  • The credit hours for the AS degree are 60 hours, while the MS degree has 36 credit hours. ๐ŸŽƒ

Liberty Universityย 

  • Liberty University offers a criminal justice program that every student can complete online. 
  • They promise numerous benefits, such as complete flexibility for completing the course, easy credit transfer, and full access to all of their academic resources. 
  • They also promise the students offline benefits even if they are completing the program online, and financial aid for those who might not be able to be financially well off. 
  • It is a non-profit college and has no profit-gain mindset to cater to. ๐Ÿ—ฝ

Utica University

  • Utica University offers you both offline and online programs with which you can major in Criminal Justice and Fraud investigation at its premises in New York. 
  • They also offer minor programs in both of the aforementioned courses. 
  • The University promises that more than half of the students will get secure internships during the duration of their program. 
  • The career opportunities after finishing the course aren’t any less either, and there are a lot of jobs available in this sector. 
  • The faculty is big and booming and assures that you will be taught about everything in criminal justice – from the basics to master-level concepts. ๐Ÿ™๏ธ

Eastern Kentucky University

  • Eastern Kentucky University offers both online and offline BS programs in Criminal Justice. 
  • Other than these, there are options available for you to opt into other internships and also pursue independent study as a Criminal Justice Research major. 
  • If you want, you can also look for more subjects on the University’s online web portal and find more subjects for yourself, such as police studies and so on. 
  • You will also find that the University offers scholarship programs as well. ๐Ÿ’ธ

University of Maryland

  • The University of Maryland has a very active department dedicated to Criminology and Criminal Justice. On the department’s online web portal, you would be able to see a variety of resources made by the students there. 
  • There is an undergrad blog managed by the students, a newsletter, several statistical lectures, and a separate section for finding job opportunities. 
  • They offer majors in themes in Criminology and Criminal Justice, bachelor’s programs, extracurricular programs, and internships. ๐Ÿšจ

Where to find Bounty Hunter opportunities online?

It is important to keep track of whatever sources you might have that will help you secure your career.

You can make accounts on various online sources so that third-party employees can reach out to you to make commissions. ๐Ÿ’ผย 

Bounty Hunter Jobs

  • Bounty Hunter Jobs is one of the few platforms on the net that is exclusively dedicated to bounty hunters and their education, career opportunities, etc. 
  • The platform provides a lot of features, such as guides about the educational requirements to become a bounty hunter and where to find them. 
  • It also has a feature that helps you find a suitable school for yourself and one other feature that provides training to gain the skill set required to work in this field. ๐Ÿ’ป


  • BountyJobs is another platform that is also dedicated to bounty hunting. 
  • It is quite similar to the previous site in the sense that it also has a lot of features that will help you navigate through your career. However, this platform is more focused on helping you find a job. 
  • It has numerous options that help you find more third-party recruiters.
  •  You can pick a role for yourself- it can be that of a partner, customer, recruiter, or employer – and customize your job hunting according to that. ๐Ÿง


  • Another platform you can access is Indeed, which is the choice for a lot of job hunters. 
  • The reason why you are sure to find some job opportunities on this platform is that every person looking for a job and every person looking for employees has an account on this site. 
  • They understand that a lot of people choose to find jobs here. 
  • It allows you to choose your preferred job with the help of filters like place, expected salary, etc. โœ…

Key Takeaways

In conclusion, we realize that this job requires a very well-thought-of and elaborate skill set along with the normal educational requirements. It is a risky job as it involves communicating with criminals as well. 

If you have any more queries, then drop them down in the comment section below. I will answer as soon as I can. ๐Ÿ˜‰

You need not be afraid, though, because you are acting on orders of the legal authorities. You just need to be very careful and mindful along the way. ๐ŸŽ‰

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