Bounty Hunting Schools and College

Unlike many professions that have a specific education, certification or training path, bounty hunting is unique in that these professionals can come from a number of different backgrounds. No matter what their background, bounty hunters today are all highly trained professionals who must possess a specific skill set in order to be successful.

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In contrast to the wild-west images that may come to mind when the term “bounty hunting” is used, it is actually a closely regulated profession that is recognized as serving an important purpose in America’s criminal justice system. In fact, in most states bounty hunters are required to meet state-specific qualifications for licensure.

Although the majority of states require bounty hunters to be licensed, the training and education requirements often vary from state to state.

Relevant Criminal Justice Degrees

Careers in fugitive recovery can begin with a formal training program available through one of the nation’s bounty hunter schools. However, many aspiring bounty hunters also look to degrees in the field of criminal justice.

Earning an associate’s or bachelor’s degree in criminal justice or a related field is purely voluntary, but can be very helpful in providing an understanding of the legal framework in which bounty hunters operate. Because many bounty hunters eventually go on to pursue jobs in law enforcement, a degree is a logical first step.

A degree in law enforcement or criminal justice helps provide an understanding of the legal, psychological and physical demands of a career in bounty hunting. It also provides a solid foundation of knowledge related to the American criminal justice system.

Degrees in criminal justice are available in specific focus areas, many of which are highly relevant to the bounty hunting profession. The specialized criminal justice programs common among professional bounty hunters include Forensic Science, Juvenile Justice, Law Enforcement, Criminology and Public Safety.

Just a few associate’s and bachelor’s level criminal justice degrees that are well suited to a career in bounty hunting include:

  • Associate of Arts in Criminal Justice
  • Associate of Applied Science in Criminal Justice
  • Bachelor of Science in Criminal Justice – Policing and Law Enforcement
  • Bachelor of Science in Criminal Justice – Crime and Criminology


Coursework Relevant to Bounty Hunters

Common coursework found in these programs include:

  • Introduction to the Criminal Justice System
  • Criminology
  • Criminal Investigation
  • Criminal Law for Criminal Justice
  • Applied Criminal Justice Ethics
  • Research Methods in Criminal Justice
  • Criminal Procedure
  • Careers in Public Safety
  • Crime Prevention
  • Deviance and Violence
  • Exploration of Computer Crime
  • Introduction to Forensic Psychology


State Licensure for Bounty Hunters

Many states require bounty hunters to hold state-issued certification or licensure, which often involves passing a comprehensive examination. A formal education is viewed as one of the best ways to prepare for examination and licensure.

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State-specific bail associations provide a host of continuing education options, all of which serve to support requirements for maintaining licensure in a particular state.

  • Tennessee Association of Professional Bail Agents
  • South Carolina Bail Agents Association
  • Professional Bondsmen of Texas
  • Professional Bail Agents of Idaho
  • Professional Bail Agents of Hawaii
  • Oklahoma Bondsmen Association, Inc.
  • Ohio Bail Agents Association
  • Mississippi Bail Agents Association
  • Kansas Bail Agent Association
  • Indiana Surety Bail Agents Association
  • Georgia Association of Professional Bondsmen, Inc.
  • Florida Surety Agents Association
  • Florida Surety Agents Association
  • California Bail Agents Association
  • California Bail Agents Association
  • Bail Bond Association of Minnesota

It is also common for bounty hunters to achieve professional recognition through bounty hunter associations, such as the National Association of Fugitive Recovery Agents, which offers NAFRA registration, and the National Association of Bail Enforcement Agents, which offers membership opportunities for licensed bounty hunters.

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