Becoming a Fugitive Recovery Agent: Requirements, Training, and License

Fugitive recovery agents, also known as bail recovery agents and bounty hunters, are responsible for apprehending those who have failed to return for their court dates and returning them to face justice. Regulations of fugitive recovery agents vary widely so read below to learn more. Schools offering Corrections degrees can also be found in these popular choices.

Career Overview

Fugitive recovery agents, also known as bail recovery agents and bounty hunters, track down and apprehend people who have failed to appear for a court date after posting bail.

The chart below shows the education requirements, job duties, and median salary of fugitive recovery agents.

Degree Required High school diploma or GED (all private detectives and investigators)
License Required Needed in some states
Amount of On-the-Job Training Moderate (all private detectives and investigators)
Job Outlook 11% (all private detectives and investigators)*
Median Salary (2018) $50,868 (bounty hunters)**

Sources: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) **Payscale.com

What Are the Requirements to Become a Fugitive Recovery Agent?

Requirements to become a fugitive recovery agent vary from state to state. Twenty-two states require licensing while others may regulate fugitive recovery agents but do not require licensing. You will need to look up the regulations in states where you intend to operate. There is no college degree required but some states mandate that fugitive recovery agents complete a certification course.

Are Fugitive Recovery Agents Law Enforcement?

No. Fugitive recovery agents are not considered to be law enforcement officers. While fugitive recovery agents aid the courts by taking those who skip bail into custody, they are not government employees nor are they empowered to enforce the law. In some states fugitive recovery agents have fewer restrictions on their actions than do police officers. For example, in some states fugitive recovery agents are permitted to enter private residences without a warrant while police are not. In states that regulate fugitive recovery agents, such agents are not permitted to present themselves as members of law enforcement.

What Sort of Training Does a Fugitive Recovery Agent Need?

Fugitive recovery can be a dangerous job. While some states do allow individuals to start working as fugitive recovery agents with no prior training or experience this is inadvisable. Those who wish to begin working as fugitive recovery agents can gain experience through a certification course or through an apprenticeship. Apprentices can meet mentors through the National Association of Fugitive Recovery Agents website.

How Are Fugitive Recovery Agents Paid?

Upon the successful arrest of a fugitive, the fugitive recovery agent is paid a percentage of the bail money. This means the income of a fugitive recovery agent can vary widely based on the number of individuals who skip their court dates and the number of individuals he or she successfully apprehends. Additionally, an agent's income varies based on the value of the bail, so the capture of individuals with higher bail will earn an agent more money than will the capture of an individual with lower bail.

What Are Some Related Alternative Careers?

Those who are interested in careers as fugitive recovery agents may also be interested in careers as police officers or game wardens. Police officers are responsible for enforcing laws, conducting investigations, and maintaining order. Game wardens enforce laws regarding fish and game as well as investigate instances of property damage caused by wildlife. Additionally, a career as a correctional officer is another option. Correctional officers guard inmates within prisons and jails and while they are being moved. Correctional officers are responsible for ensuring prisoners do not escape and become fugitives.

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

  • Purdue University Global

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

    Popular programs at Purdue University Global:

    Online Programs Available

  • 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

    Online Programs Available

  • Regent University

    Regent University responds quickly to information requests through this website.

    Popular programs at Regent University:

    • Master
    • Bachelor Degrees

    Online Programs Available

  • Florida Tech

    Florida Tech responds quickly to information requests through this website.

    Popular programs at Florida Tech :

    • Bachelor Degrees
    • Associate Programs

    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

  • Grand Canyon University

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

    Popular programs at Grand Canyon University:

    • Master

    Online Programs Available

  • Colorado State University Global

    Colorado State University Global responds quickly to information requests through this website.

    Popular programs at Colorado State University Global:

    • Master

    Online Programs Available

  • Penn Foster High School

    Penn Foster High School responds quickly to information requests through this website.

    Popular programs at Penn Foster High School:

    Online Programs Available

  • Saint Leo University

    Saint Leo University responds quickly to information requests through this website.

    Popular programs at Saint Leo University:

    • Doctoral
    • Master

    Online Programs Available

  1. 1
  2. 2
  3. Next »