You’ve probably seen plenty of bounty hunters on T.V shows and in movies. We’re here to separate fact from fiction. So if you’re wondering what a bounty hunter does or what it takes to become one, look no further.  We’ve broken down everything you want to know about one of the most mysterious law enforcement professions.

What Is a Bounty Hunter and What Do They Do?

The first thing you’re probably wondering is, what is a bounty hunter exactly? A bounty hunter is a professional agent tasked with tracking down, capturing, and returning a fugitive, by a bail bondsman.  In return, they receive a percentage of the bail usually around 10 to 20 percent. Bounty hunters are an important part of the criminal justice system.

Becoming a Bounty Hunter

Being a bounty hunter might seem like a fun job but a career in the field shouldn’t be taken lightly. Bounty hunting is a dangerous, stressful, and complex job. Those looking to enter the career must be trained in all manners of law enforcement, state, and federal laws. They must also be resourceful and adaptive as the job is inherently unpredictable.

The first step in being a bounty hunter is meeting the minimum requirements. These include being at least 18 years old, a U.S citizen, a resident of the state in which they operate, no felony convictions, and completing the 40-hour Police Officer Standard Training program as well as the 20-hour Department of Insurance approved pre-licensing bail education class.

From there, it’s encouraged that potential bounty hunters pursue a degree in criminology, law, or psychology. These will provide preparation for some of the challenges faced while on the job.  Additionally, the degree can help when searching for a future employer and provide a higher starting pay salary.

Lastly, you will need to sign up with a Bail Bond’s agency. To act as a bounty hunter, you need to be directly working with an agency and carrying the paperwork for the case along with your license. Search the top agencies in your area and look for potential employment opportunities and internships programs.

Bounty Hunting as a Job

Bounty hunters do a lot more than arrest fugitives. Most of what bounty hunters do are investigate, research, interview, and observe the situation and the fugitive. They hone their skills in self-defense, firearms, and law in order to excel at their job. Bounty hunters can make a lucrative career tracking down those who’ve skipped bail and by working for a reputable bail bonds agency.


Now you have an understanding of what bounty hunters do and the skills and licenses required of them. If you’re looking to enter a career in bounty hunting, use this list as your guide on deciding if the career is right for you as well as getting started!