Becoming a bounty hunter in Maryland follows this simple process:
|Get the Right Education in Maryland|
|Network with Bail Bonds Companies for Employment in Maryland|
Although bounty hunters are allowed to operate in Maryland, no license is needed and no laws are in place governing their activities. However, as in all states, bounty hunters must have authorization to pursue a fugitive and that empowerment is generally gotten from the bail bondsman who put up the bond.
Bounty hunters in the “Old Line State” either work in-house for a bail bonds agency or work as independent operators contracted by a bail bondsman to bring a specific bail jumper to justice. Unlike bounty hunters, bail bondsmen in Maryland are strictly regulated and they expect the bounty hunters they hire to be well qualified for the job. That’s true whether the bounty hunters are hired as employees or independent contractors.
Step 1. Education and Skills Needed to Qualify for Bounty Hunter Jobs in Maryland
In order to get hired by reputable, licensed bondsmen, bounty hunters need to have working knowledge of the legal issues surrounding bail, including federal/state laws, the court system, law enforcement procedures and corrections. The best way to acquire this knowledge is to earn a degree or, at the very least, a certificate in criminal justice.
There are 28 accredited schools in Maryland that have programs in criminal justice. A certificate typically involves about 15 hours of course work covering key issues and concepts of the criminal justice system, like court procedures, criminal psychology and addictive behavior. An associate’s (two-year) or bachelor’s (four-year) degree increases one’s employability. Course work includes such subjects as:
- Introduction to Justice Administration
- Courtroom Procedures
- Criminal Behavior
- Sociology of Law
- Investigative Techniques
- Skip Tracing
- Criminal Justice Technology
- General Policing
- Search and Seizure
- Substance Abuse and Crime
In addition, bounty hunters need to have excellent computer and self-defense skills, as well as physical and mental agility, patience and plenty of stamina.
Step 2. Networking with Employers of Bounty Hunters in Maryland
There are hundreds of licensed bail bonds agencies in Maryland, ranging from small, one-man operations to large national bail bonds chains. There are 234 bail bonds listings just in Baltimore, the state’s largest city. While most agencies have predictable names like “Liberty Bail Bonds” or Professional Bail Bonds,” some have opted for something more original, like these Baltimore establishments:
- Strong Arm Bail Bonds
- Smiling Faces Bail Bonds
- 1 Down and Out Bail Bonds
- Freedom Fighters Bail Bonds
- Big Boyz Bail Bonds
According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the annual mean salary for bounty hunters (listed as private detectives/investigators) is $41,700 in Maryland as a whole and $51,310 in Baltimore specifically.