Alaska Bounty Hunter Guide: Requirements and Steps
With a population of 738,000, 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. 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 bonds agencies hire bounty hunters to locate and retrieve these “skips.” You do not need specific training to work as a bounty hunter in Alaska; however, the challenging terrain, climate, and proximity to the Canadian border present unique challenges for bounty hunters in this northern state. Continue reading to find out more.
Requirements for Prospective Bounty Hunters in Alaska
Although the profession is not licensed in Alaska, there are also some basic requirements you must meet to work legally in the field, 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 Fugitive Recovery Agent in Alaska
To become a bounty hunter in Alaska, you will need to follow the correct 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 or in paper form and must be submitted with the $75 application fee, the $51.50 fingerprint processing fee, and an additional $50 paper fee if submitting the paper application rather than the electronic version (as of June 2016).
2. Complete a fingerprint 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. 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 and cost $75 to renew. You do not need to submit your fingerprints again with your renewal application.
Bounty hunting is closely related to other fugitive recovery professions, including private investigating or 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 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. New businesses must apply using the paper forms along with a $50 application fee.
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. Licenses are valid for one year and cost $100 to renew.
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. If you pass the background check and are awarded a license, it will be valid for two years.
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, be 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 with a fingerprint card, the $25 application fee, and the $51.50 fingerprint processing fee.
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.
Public Safety Training Academy
5700 E Tudor Rd
Anchorage, AK 99507
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 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 Spendard Rd
Anchorage, AK 99503
Absolutely Affordable Bail Bonds
41146 Elm St
Murrieta, AK 92562
Bail Store Alaska
733 W 4th Ave
Anchorage, AK 99501
Fred’s Bail Bonding
1400 W Benson Blvd
Anchorage, AK 99503
Remy Bail Bonds
310 K St
Anchorage, AK 99501
Bounty Hunter Salary and Outlook in Alaska
The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) does not collect data on bounty hunter salaries or job projections; 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 2015, there were 90 individuals employed as detectives and criminal investigators in Alaska.2 The median salary for this group was $116,600 in 2014, well above the national median of $79,900.3 Positions were projected to grow by 2% between 2012-2022 compared to an overall national decrease of 1%.3 Keep in mind, these figures reflect jobs and wages in public sector detective and criminal investigation work, which may differ from private sector jobs and wages.
For more information about the fugitive recovery field, bounty hunting, and private investigation work, look for opportunities provided by state associations.
- Alaska Peace Officers Association – A statewide association welcoming members from various corrections and securities backgrounds, including the fugitive recovery field.
1. US Census Bureau Quick Facts, Alaska: https://www.census.gov/quickfacts/ak
2. Bureau of Labor Statistics, May 2015 State Occupational Employment and Wage Estimates, Alaska: https://www.bls.gov/oes/current/oes_ak.htm
3. Alaska Occupational Profile: Detectives and Criminal Investigators: https://www.careeronestop.org/Toolkit/Careers/Occupations/occupation-profile.aspx?keyword=Detectives%20and%20Criminal%20Investigators&onetcode=33302100&location=Alaska