Bounty Hunter Certification: Online Programs

Bounty hunters locate and apprehend fugitives from the law. Learn about education and training programs for these workers, including online options, and find out about state licensure requirements and firearms regulations. Schools offering Criminal Justice & Security degrees can also be found in these popular choices.

Can I Obtain Bounty Hunter Certification Online?

While you can't receive formal certification or recognition as a bounty hunter over the Internet, there are some stand-alone courses and training programs you can complete online. Bounty hunter certification is state-specific, and some states - such as Oregon - prohibit bounty hunters from operating. Some states require a license, including Connecticut, Arizona, Nevada, Indiana and New Hampshire.

Online AvailabilityIt is not possible to be certified online, though some courses may be available in an online format
Educational RequirementsThere is no specific degree or college education required in order to become a bounty hunter, though training programs are offered through some for-profit institutions
Key Job ComponentsLocating a fugitive, court document analysis, tactics and methods of apprehension, handcuff techniques, defensive shooting
Training RequirementsThe length and amount of training required will vary by state
Firearms TrainingFirearms training is required if you wish to openly carry a pistol; rules by state
LicensureClean criminal history, minimum age requirement (18 or 21), completion of training curriculum may be required
Median Salary (2018)$50,090 (Private Detectives and Investigators)
Job Outlook (2016-2026)11% growth (Private Detectives and Investigators)

Source: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS)

What Are the Educational Requirements?

You don't necessarily need a degree or formal college instruction to be certified as a bounty hunter. In fact, there aren't any college programs specific to bail enforcement agents.

Some states allow anyone with a clean criminal record to be certified. Other states require a certain degree of training in law enforcement, weapons or defensive tactics, which you may receive through an undergraduate degree or certificate program in law enforcement or police science. These programs - which are also offered online - can teach you how to use handcuffs, firearms, mace, batons and stun guns. If you're looking to learn about due process and police procedures, you can earn your Associate of Science or Associate of Applied Science in Criminal Justice, which is also available online.

You can also find bounty hunter training through other sources. These are mainly private, for-profit institutions and organizations offering stand-alone courses and training programs - some of which can be completed online. Students should review these programs carefully as there is no independent accrediting body that governs them.

What Will I Learn in a Bounty Hunter Training Program?

Bounty hunter training programs cover the basics of locating a fugitive, including how to look through court documents, interact with people who know the fugitive and identify a fugitive's most recent location. You'll also learn how to identify the safest time and location to apprehend a fugitive. This instruction leads into the tactics and methods of apprehension and transport.

Training also provides information on handcuff techniques, defensive shooting, tactical entry and how to operate within a team of bounty hunters. Some programs cover weapons and self-defense certification, which may or may not be recognized by certain states.

How Much Training Will I Need?

How much training you'll need depends upon where you want to operate as a bounty hunter. This is because you may or may not be considered a member of law enforcement in some locations. In some states, you may need to meet the same requirements as a police officer to apprehend a fugitive. Other states, such as Texas, only allow certified peace officers to apprehend fugitives who've jumped bail. Connecticut, among other states, won't let you work as a bail enforcement agent if you're currently working as a police officer. Because of these varying requirements, you may want to check the laws in your particular state before pursuing bounty hunter training and certification.

Will I Need Firearms Training?

You'll only need firearms training if you wish to carry a firearm while working as a bail enforcement agent. Bounty hunters choosing to carry firearms usually go through the same training requirements to carry a pistol as average citizens seeking a permit to carry a concealed weapon. Some states, like Connecticut, require that bounty hunters carrying a pistol complete additional training. You may not need to complete firearms training if you wish to carry a pistol openly in certain states.

What are the Qualifications for Licensure?

In states that require a license, you'll need to be at least 18 or 21 years of age, depending upon where you're looking to work. You'll also need a clean criminal history, which means no felony convictions. Some states, such as Connecticut, are more strict - they won't license bounty hunters who've been convicted of certain misdemeanor offenses.

Applicants for bounty hunter licenses usually have their fingerprints taken and must pass a criminal background check. States that license bounty hunters usually require the completion an approved training curriculum. Approved training curricula will cover:

  • State penal codes
  • Criminal extradition
  • The bail process
  • State resources for bounty hunters
  • State-specific bail enforcement regulations

To continue researching, browse degree options below for course curriculum, prerequisites and financial aid information. Or, learn more about the subject by reading the related articles below:

  • 1. Degree Options:
The schools in the listing below are not free and may include sponsored content but are popular choices among our users. Tuition and costs will vary across programs and locations. Be sure to always request tuition information before starting a program.

Popular Schools

  • Strayer University

    Strayer University responds quickly to information requests through this website.

    Popular programs at Strayer University:

    • Bachelor Degrees

    Online Programs Available

  • Southern New Hampshire University

    Southern New Hampshire University responds quickly to information requests through this website.

    Popular programs at Southern New Hampshire University:

    • Master
    • Bachelor Degrees

    Online Programs Available

  • Grand Canyon University

    Grand Canyon University responds quickly to information requests through this website.

    Popular programs at Grand Canyon University:

    • Master

    Online Programs Available

  • Purdue University Global

    Purdue University Global responds quickly to information requests through this website.

    Popular programs at Purdue University Global:

    Online Programs Available

  • Regent University

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    Popular programs at Regent University:

    • Master

    Online Programs Available

  • Trident University

    Trident University responds quickly to information requests through this website.

    Popular programs at Trident University:

    • Bachelor Degrees

    Online Programs Available

  • Full Sail University

    Full Sail University responds quickly to information requests through this website.

    Popular programs at Full Sail University:

    • Bachelor Degrees

    Online Programs Available

  • New England College

    New England College responds quickly to information requests through this website.

    Popular programs at New England College:

    • Bachelor Degrees
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    Online Programs Available

  • Walden University

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    Popular programs at Walden University:

    • Doctoral
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    Online Programs Available

  • Liberty University

    Liberty University responds quickly to information requests through this website.

    Popular programs at Liberty University:

    • Master

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