Bounty Hunters


Education and Training Requirements

High School

Although you will not find a class at school called Bounty Hunting 101, there are some courses that can help you prepare for a job in this field while you are still in high school. Classes in government, political science, communication, and business will help you prepare for the legal and business side of bounty hunting. If you have the opportunity to take self-defense or martial arts courses, they can give you skills sometimes necessary in the actual apprehension of a fugitive. Foreign languages may come in handy as well, depending on the area of the country where you may be working.

Postsecondary Training

You are not required to have any college training to be a bounty hunter. However, some training in law enforcement and criminal justice is important and recommended for success and safety as a bail enforcement agent. If a college degree or vocational school is in your future, aim for criminal justice studies or police academy training. If you want to focus immediately on bail enforcement, some training opportunities are available. 

Certification, Licensing, and Special Requirements

Certification or Licensing

Regulations covering bounty hunters' activities vary by state. It is, therefore, very important that you check with your state's attorney general's office, department of public safety, or professional licensing board to determine the rules for your area. In addition, it is important to be aware of other state's regulations in case your work takes you there. For example, some states, such as Illinois, prohibit bounty hunting. Some states, such as North Carolina, have as part of their requirements that "bail runners" work for only one bail bondsman or bail bond agency. Other states, such as Mississippi and Connecticut, have licensing requirements for bail enforcement agents; however, the licensing requirements themselves vary from state to state. And finally, some states, such as Georgia, have requirements such as registration with a sheriff's department or other agency. Generally, licensing involves passing a written test, passing a drug test and background check, being at least a certain age, being a U.S. citizen, and having completed some type of approved training. Anyone using a gun must, of course, have a license to do so.

Experience, Skills, and Personality Traits

Any prior experience in law enforcement explorer programs in high school and college or in law enforcement jobs will be useful for aspiring bounty hunters.

Bounty hunters must be able to handle high-stress situations that are often dangerous. Because of the nature of the work, the bounty hunter should be trained in the use of firearms and other weapons. Bounty hunters must be physically fit and able to defend themselves in dangerous situations. If they own their own business, they need basic accounting and business management skills.