How Much Does a Bounty Hunter Earn?

In recent years the profession of bounty hunting has been glamorized on television. But though bounty hunters are depicted as being rugged, almost above the law personalities, they are rarely shown to be wealthy people who drive nice cars or live in fancy houses. This leads to the question…

Just how much do bounty hunters earn?

One of the first elements to determining how much bounty hunters earn is by looking at how many cases they take per year, and what percentage of those cases result in them returning the suspect to the justice system.

Assuming a bounty hunter takes on 100 to 150 cases per year, he or she stands to earn an average salary in the range of $50,000 to $80,000. This brings us to the second major factor in a bounty hunter’s earning power, namely the potential payout of each case. Of course, the more cases a bounty hunter resolves, and the higher the overall value of each case, the more they can earn.

But how are the payouts calculated?

In order to understand how payouts are calculated, let’s have a brief review of what a bounty hunter does. When a person is arrested and bail is set at, say, $100,000, the accused may seek a bail bond company to pay the bail for them. The suspect usually pays the bail bond company a fee of 10% for the privilege.

As long as the person shows up in court as scheduled, the bail bondsman is refunded the bail that they put up for the accused, and they keep the 10% that the accused paid them as their fee. But if the subject were to skip town and not show up for court, the bail bondsman may use the services of a bounty hunter to track him or her down.

The bounty hunter is usually paid 10-20% for successfully returning the fugitive. So, in the case of a $100,000 bail, returning the fugitive would net a $10,000-$20,000 payday.