Alaska Bounty Hunter Guide: Requirements and Steps

    With a population of 732,000 people, Alaska has the nation’s lowest population density of only 1.2 people per square mile.1 Bounty hunters in Alaska track and find fugitives throughout the cities, towns and vast remote areas of the state. In the state, you can be employed full- or part-time or on a freelance basis by bail bonds agencies, which post bail for arrested individuals under the agreement that they will show up for their court appearances. As some individuals do not show up or repay their debts, bail bondsmen hire bounty hunters to locate and retrieve these “skips.” You must be licensed as a bail bond producer in order to perform any services on behalf of a surety insurer (bail bondsman). The Bail Bond Producer Limited license is issued by the Alaska Department of Commerce, Community, and Economic Development, Division of Insurance. The challenging terrain, climate, and distance from the contiguous US present unique challenges for bounty hunters in this northern state. Continue reading to find out more.

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    Requirements for Prospective Bail Bond Producers in Alaska

    In order to become a bail bond producer, there are some basic requirements you must meet to work legally, including being at least 18 years old, having no recent felony convictions, and being of good moral character. You also need to obtain a state business license.

    Steps to a Career as a Bail Bond Producer in Alaska

    To become a bounty hunter in Alaska, you will need to follow the process to receive a Bail Bond Limited Producer License issued by the Alaska Department of Commerce, Community, and Economic Development, Division of Insurance. The requirements do not involve any formal training but do require official fingerprinting for a background check. The steps to obtaining this license are described below.

    1. Complete the Bail Bond Limited Producer License application.

    The Bail Bond Limited Producer License is required for anyone wishing to work as a bounty hunter in Alaska. The application is available online through the National Insurance Producer Registry (NIPR). The fees include a $75 application fee and a $51.50 fingerprint processing fee (as of August 2022).

    2. Complete a fingerprint-based background check.

    You must have an official fingerprint card completed at an office authorized by the Alaska Division of Insurance in order for the State Department to complete a background check as part of the application process. Once you have your fingerprints taken, submit the card at the same time as your completed application form and fees.

    3. Take and pass the Bail Bond Exam.

    You must take and pass the Bail Bond Exam, which is administered by Pearson Vue. The exam consists of 50 questions regarding bail bond laws and procedures and must be completed within one hour.

    4. Receive your license.

    Once you receive your license, you are eligible to look for work or work independently as a bounty hunter in Alaska. Licenses are valid for approximately two years, expiring biennially on your birthday with a cost of $75 to renew (as of August 2022). You do not need to submit your fingerprints again with your renewal application, but you are required to complete 24 credit hours of continuing education for each renewal period.

    Related Careers

    Bounty hunting is closely related to other professions, including private investigating and process serving. In Alaska, it may be advantageous to look for work in these related areas as well as they often require similar skills and may help fill the gaps in employment those in the fugitive recovery business typically face. The steps to finding employment in these fields are provided below.

    Private Investigator/Private Detective

    Private investigators (PIs), also known as private detectives (PDs), are hired to find specific information related to court and legal matters. Similar to bounty hunters, private investigators do not need specific training to pursue a career in this field; however, you will need the right license based on where you plan to work in the state. If you do not plan to work in Anchorage or Fairbanks, you only need to apply for a general State of Alaska business license.

    If you plan to work in Anchorage or Fairbanks, you will need at least a specialized municipal private investigator license as well. For the Anchorage license, you must submit your state business license, work references from previous employers, a name background search from the Alaska State Troopers, and the $100 application fee (as of August 2022). Licenses are valid for one year and cost $100 to renew (as of August 2022).

    For the Fairbanks license, submit your state business license, a municipal business license, a copy of your driver’s license, a copy of your ID or passport, a $10,000 or $20,000 surety bond depending on if and how many other states you are licensed in, the $75 application fee, and the $400 licensing fee (as of August 2022). If you pass the background check and are awarded a license, it will be valid for two years.

    Process Server

    Process servers deliver court documents to individuals involved in court cases. To become a process server, you need to be at least 21 years old, a US citizen or permanent resident, have been an Alaskan resident for at least 30 days, have good moral character, have a general state business license (mentioned above), obtain a surety bond for $15,000, and pass the professional exam. You must submit the application to the Alaska Department of Public Safety (DPS) with a fingerprint card, the $25 application fee, and the $51.50 fingerprint processing fee (as of August 2022). For more information, visit the Alaska DPS website.

    Training and Education Options in Alaska

    Although training is not necessary to obtain your license, there are many highly regarded programs and training facilities in Alaska that can help you develop useful skills for the job. You can choose from several hands-on police academy courses or complete a two- or four-year criminal justice program to help you gain insight into the justice and legal systems.

    Law Enforcement Academy – UAF Community and Technical College
    1000 University Ave
    Fairbanks, AK 99709

    University of Fairbanks Justice Department
    501 Gruening Bldg
    Fairbanks, AK 99775-6425

    Finding Work

    Finding leads for bounty hunting work is often done by word-of-mouth and reputation in the field. Given the challenging environment, it may benefit you to find an experienced bounty hunter willing to offer you an apprenticeship or mentor you at the beginning of your career, particularly if you are not an Alaskan native. To find possible mentors, look up bail agents, private investigators, or local professional groups with listings.

    Featured Bail Agents in Alaska

    Many of the bail bonds agents in Alaska are located in the state’s largest city, Anchorage, and do not have websites. Here are some bail bonds agent listings in Alaska to help you get started.

    2B Bail Bonds
    3400 Spenard Rd
    Ste 9
    Anchorage, AK 99503

    Fred’s Bail Bonding
    2550 Denali St
    Ste 1302
    Anchorage, AK 99503

    Remy Bail Bonds
    310 K St
    Ste 200
    Anchorage, AK 99501

    Bail Bond Producer Salary and Outlook in Alaska

    The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) does not collect data on bounty hunter salaries; therefore, we use data on detectives and criminal investigators as a proxy because it is a closely related profession. No regional data for Alaska was released by the BLS; however, some statewide statistics are provided. In 2021, there were 100 individuals employed as detectives and criminal investigators in Alaska.2 The average salary for this group was $126,810 in 2021, well above the national average of $90,370.2,3 Positions in Alaska are projected to stay stable through 2030, with an average of 10 annual openings due to replacements.4 Keep in mind that these figures reflect jobs and wages in public sector detective and criminal investigation work, which may differ from private sector jobs and wages.

    City or Metropolitan AreaNumber Employed2Average Annual Salary2

    Additional Resources

    For more information about the fugitive recovery field, bounty hunting, and private investigation work, look for opportunities provided by state associations.

    1. US Census Bureau Quick Facts, Alaska: https://www.census.gov/quickfacts/fact/table/AK/PST045221
    2. Bureau of Labor Statistics, May 2021 State Occupational Employment and Wage Estimates, Alaska: https://www.bls.gov/oes/current/oes_ak.htm
    3. Bureau of Labor Statistics, Occupational Employment and Wages, May 2021, Detectives and Criminal Investigators: https://www.bls.gov/oes/current/oes333021.htm
    4. Projections Central Long Term Occupational Projections: https://projectionscentral.org/Projections/LongTerm/