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Fugitive Recovery Salary Information

Especially since the profession of bounty hunting or fugitive recovery is only regulated in about half the states, the salaries for these professionals can vary significantly. Keep in mind that those with more training may be able to command higher pay rates, but bounty hunting is also a profession based on relationships. The relationships you build with bail agents can be just as important as education or training. Read more about the profession of fugitive recovery on our expert interviews page, where we have interviewed many reputable bounty hunters about their successes and challenges in the field.

We have gathered data to compile the sortable table below that will help you understand the average salaries for fugitive recovery agents in different states, relative to the cost of living (based on average home costs and the growth projected in the field for each state). Note that because the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) does not currently report data for bounty hunters, we used the data reported for private detectives and investigators, as with the rest of our site. The average national salary for private detectives and investigators in 2014 was $52,880, with the highest-paying states being Nebraska, New Jersey, and Alabama, respectively.1 The “Best States for Private Detectives and Investigators” column is calculated by comparing the average salary of private detectives and investigators relative to the median home price in the state as well as the percentage growth in the occupation over a ten-year span for each respective state. Sort any column in descending or ascending order by clicking the header.

RankStateUS AverageMay 2014 Average Private Detectives and Investigators Salary$52,880Zillow Median Home Value (12/2015)$183,000% of Median Home Average Salary Buys29%2012 Total Private Detectives and Investigators Employed30,0002022 Projected Total Private Detectives and Investigators Employed33,30010-year growth (2022 versus 2012)11%Best States for Private Detectives and Investigators (Avg=1)1
Tennessee$53,760$129,40042%24032033%1.88
Arkansas**$51,390$113,80045%4000480020%1.63
Nebraska$66,800$139,50048%40045013%1.51
Alabama$59,640$122,10049%45650711%1.5
Iowa$45,040$130,60034%24030025%1.49
Texas$54,400$151,00036%1740215024%1.49
Kentucky$50,030$126,40040%607017%1.41
North Carolina$57,400$148,10039%67077015%1.35
Arizona$51,540$201,30026%29036024%1.25
Utah$46,480$220,90021%14018029%1.24
Michigan$44,600$120,60037%25028012%1.23
Colorado$53,000$286,20019%41053029%1.2
South Carolina$50,790$135,30038%21023010%1.18
Ohio$43,730$118,20037%42046010%1.17
Oklahoma$33,680$112,60030%12014017%1.17
Virginia$52,610$231,30023%80099024%1.17
Missouri$48,430$133,40036%128014009%1.14
Indiana**$37,700$115,10033%19021111%1.1
Pennsylvania$48,100$152,00032%2530281011%1.07
Illinois$46,140$157,00029%1250139011%1.02
Wisconsin$42,470$157,40027%31035013%1
Washington$59,220$284,10021%49058018%0.98
Mississippi$29,940$113,10026%35039011%0.95
Georgia$40,750$141,80029%7207808%0.93
Kansas$35,525$122,90029%1201308%0.93
Florida$43,170$180,70024%2470277012%0.9
New Jersey$63,520$286,40022%37042014%0.89
New York$54,990$262,90021%3870443014%0.89
South Dakota$33,600$173,90019%19022016%0.88
Alaska*$56,000$262,40021%30034013%0.87
Idaho*$40,405$171,30024%15417111%0.87
Louisiana$39,370$166,00024%9010011%0.87
Oregon$40,240$261,60015%26031019%0.87
Rhode Island**$53,400$227,30023%707811%0.87
West Virginia$31,800$94,00034%40400%0.85
Montana*$41,570$186,20022%9610711%0.84
Wyoming*$41,100$192,40021%556111%0.82
New Hampshire$41,300$224,70018%23026013%0.79
North Dakota**$39,720$196,80020%707811%0.79
Maine*$35,000$195,00018%12513911%0.73
Minnesota$44,500$183,10024%2002105%0.73
Vermont*$37,250$218,30017%596611%0.71
Nevada$48,880$210,30023%2602704%0.68
New Mexico$35,240$163,60022%1801906%0.68
Maryland$51,220$249,40021%161017106%0.67
Delaware$52,930$205,30026%40400%0.65
Connecticut$52,120$237,90022%2802904%0.64
California$54,410$450,60012%15016711%0.58
Washington DC*$54,500$502,90011%626911%0.55
Massachusetts$45,050$339,90013%6907103%0.4
Hawaii$58,030$549,70011%50500%0.26

Table Footnotes:

  1. *Base volume was estimated by using US population, number of PIs and detectives in the US, and the state’s population as known factors. US national projection rate is used for this state as well.
  2. **Applied US national average growth rate to establish 2022 projected numbers.
  3. For states lacking PI salary data from the BLS, an average was used from security guard and police officer salaries instead.
  4. Zillow median home values were gathered in December 2015 and use the “all home types” composite.
  5. Data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics and Projections Central as of May 2014.2,3

References:
1. Bureau of Labor Statistics, Occupational Employment Statistics, Private Detectives and Investigators: https://www.bls.gov/oes/current/oes339021.htm
2. Bureau of Labor Statistics, Occupational Employment Statistics, May 2014 State Occupational Employment and Wage Estimates: https://www.bls.gov/oes/current/oessrcst.htm
3. Projections Central, Long Term Occupational Projections: http://www.projectionscentral.com/Projections/LongTerm