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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.

Rank StateUS Average May 2014 Average Private Detectives and Investigators Salary$52,880 Zillow Median Home Value (12/2015)$183,000 % of Median Home Average Salary Buys29% 2012 Total Private Detectives and Investigators Employed30,000 2022 Projected Total Private Detectives and Investigators Employed33,300 10-year growth (2022 versus 2012)11% Best States for Private Detectives and Investigators (Avg=1)1
Tennessee $53,760 $129,400 42% 240 320 33% 1.88
Arkansas** $51,390 $113,800 45% 4000 4800 20% 1.63
Nebraska $66,800 $139,500 48% 400 450 13% 1.51
Alabama $59,640 $122,100 49% 456 507 11% 1.5
Iowa $45,040 $130,600 34% 240 300 25% 1.49
Texas $54,400 $151,000 36% 1740 2150 24% 1.49
Kentucky $50,030 $126,400 40% 60 70 17% 1.41
North Carolina $57,400 $148,100 39% 670 770 15% 1.35
Arizona $51,540 $201,300 26% 290 360 24% 1.25
Utah $46,480 $220,900 21% 140 180 29% 1.24
Michigan $44,600 $120,600 37% 250 280 12% 1.23
Colorado $53,000 $286,200 19% 410 530 29% 1.2
South Carolina $50,790 $135,300 38% 210 230 10% 1.18
Ohio $43,730 $118,200 37% 420 460 10% 1.17
Oklahoma $33,680 $112,600 30% 120 140 17% 1.17
Virginia $52,610 $231,300 23% 800 990 24% 1.17
Missouri $48,430 $133,400 36% 1280 1400 9% 1.14
Indiana** $37,700 $115,100 33% 190 211 11% 1.1
Pennsylvania $48,100 $152,000 32% 2530 2810 11% 1.07
Illinois $46,140 $157,000 29% 1250 1390 11% 1.02
Wisconsin $42,470 $157,400 27% 310 350 13% 1
Washington $59,220 $284,100 21% 490 580 18% 0.98
Mississippi $29,940 $113,100 26% 350 390 11% 0.95
Georgia $40,750 $141,800 29% 720 780 8% 0.93
Kansas $35,525 $122,900 29% 120 130 8% 0.93
Florida $43,170 $180,700 24% 2470 2770 12% 0.9
New Jersey $63,520 $286,400 22% 370 420 14% 0.89
New York $54,990 $262,900 21% 3870 4430 14% 0.89
South Dakota $33,600 $173,900 19% 190 220 16% 0.88
Alaska* $56,000 $262,400 21% 300 340 13% 0.87
Idaho* $40,405 $171,300 24% 154 171 11% 0.87
Louisiana $39,370 $166,000 24% 90 100 11% 0.87
Oregon $40,240 $261,600 15% 260 310 19% 0.87
Rhode Island** $53,400 $227,300 23% 70 78 11% 0.87
West Virginia $31,800 $94,000 34% 40 40 0% 0.85
Montana* $41,570 $186,200 22% 96 107 11% 0.84
Wyoming* $41,100 $192,400 21% 55 61 11% 0.82
New Hampshire $41,300 $224,700 18% 230 260 13% 0.79
North Dakota** $39,720 $196,800 20% 70 78 11% 0.79
Maine* $35,000 $195,000 18% 125 139 11% 0.73
Minnesota $44,500 $183,100 24% 200 210 5% 0.73
Vermont* $37,250 $218,300 17% 59 66 11% 0.71
Nevada $48,880 $210,300 23% 260 270 4% 0.68
New Mexico $35,240 $163,600 22% 180 190 6% 0.68
Maryland $51,220 $249,400 21% 1610 1710 6% 0.67
Delaware $52,930 $205,300 26% 40 40 0% 0.65
Connecticut $52,120 $237,900 22% 280 290 4% 0.64
California $54,410 $450,600 12% 150 167 11% 0.58
Washington DC* $54,500 $502,900 11% 62 69 11% 0.55
Massachusetts $45,050 $339,900 13% 690 710 3% 0.4
Hawaii $58,030 $549,700 11% 50 50 0% 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