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How to Become a Bounty Hunter: A Quick Career Guide

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What is a bounty hunter? A gritty antihero for hire. They track down fugitives, drag them back to jail and collect the reward.

They’re basically one step away from being a vigilante crime-fighter. The difference is that bounty hunting is a legitimate and 100% legal career.

Anyone can become a bounty hunter if they follow the proper steps. And we’ve listed these bounty hunter requirements below. Keep reading to learn how to become a bounty hunter.

A Word of Warning

It probably sounds like fun having a job that’s cool enough to make a TV show out of. But chasing down, catching, and transporting runaway criminals is a potentially life-threatening job.

Not to mention you must be very careful to obey state laws and not interfere with local law enforcement. You may be transporting fugitives across several states, each with different laws applicable to your bounty hunting activities.

This is not a career to be taken lightly. You must be serious before you commit to bounty hunting.

How to Become a Bounty Hunter in 7 Steps

Now let’s check out the steps to becoming a bounty hunter.

Step 1: Get Trained

There is a lot you’ll need to learn to make it as a bounty hunter. And by “make it” we mean “not get arrested or killed.”

You can find bounty hunting training courses at community colleges or private institutions to provide you with this knowledge. Here are some things these courses will teach you.

First, you’ll learn what laws you’ll need to obey and how to obey them. You’ll learn how to work independently of law enforcement without interfering with them or being mistaken as a criminal yourself.

Also, you’ll be trained in the necessary bounty hunting skills. This can involve investigating, tracking, surveillance, negotiation, combat and more.

Before you start training, make sure the program is legitimate. Some states require fugitive recovery agents to receive training from specific, state-approved training programs.

Finally, it’s a good idea to work with a mentor at first. You can find such mentors through organizations like the National Association of Fugitive Recovery Agents (NAFRA).

Step 2: Get Licenced

Some states require a license for bounty hunting. Typically, they’ll require bounty hunters to be 18 or 21 years of age.

You’ll be fingerprinted and undergo a background check. You’ll probably be denied a license if you don’t have a clean criminal record. You may also need a surety bond, work experience, and proper weapons licenses.

Step 3: Find Work

You can find work through local bail bondsmen. Find out who does bail bonds in your area and contact them for assignments.

Step 4: Join the NAFRA

With a freelance job like bounty hunting, you don’t always have work. And if there’s no work, there’s no money to pay the bills.

When you register with the NAFRA, they can contact you for help retrieving fugitives in your region. This will help get you enough work to stay ahead of your bills.

Step 5: Continue Training

Continued training throughout your career is key for honing and refreshing your skills. It also may be required for license renewal.

Happy Hunting!

Now that you know how to become a bounty hunter, decide if it’s the right career for you. If you think you can handle it, follow the steps on this list to get this adventurous career started. Have fun, obey the laws, and be safe!

Want more freelance career advice? Check out How To Become A Freelance Makeup Artist.