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Colorado Bounty Hunter Guide: Requirements and Steps

As of 2021, Colorado had a population of 5.8 million people.1 Although bounty hunting is legal in the state, there are no licensing requirements and relatively few regulations. In Colorado, bounty hunters are known as bail recovery agents. Bail recovery agents work for bail bondsmen to apprehend fugitives who have skipped bail in hopes of avoiding incarceration. All bail bondmen in Colorado must be licensed and must complete 16 hours of bail training, but bail recovery agents do not need to meet the same criteria. If you’re interested in pursuing criminals as a bail recovery agent in Colorado, continue reading this guide to understand the process.

Table of Contents
Bail Recovery Agent Requirements
Steps to a Career
Related Careers
Training and Education Options
Finding Work
Salary and Job Outlook
Bail Recovery Agent Resources

Requirements for Bail Recovery Agents in Colorado

Bail recovery agents must be employed by a licensed bail bondsmen in Colorado to work in the state. To work as a bail recovery agent, you must also:

  • Be 18 years of age or older
  • Be a US citizen or resident alien
  • Have no felony convictions

Steps to a Career as a Bail Recovery Agent in Colorado

Once you meet the basic requirements listed above, you can work towards starting your career. Follow these three steps to begin working as a bail recovery agent in Colorado.

1. Gain training in the field.

The Colorado Department of Insurance (CDI) only requires bail bondsmen to complete 16 hours of training in bail recovery. However, bail recovery agents should aim to obtain at least 16 hours of training as well. Attending bail recovery training will enhance your skills as a bail recovery agent and also show employers that you have training in the profession. Most major cities in Colorado should offer a bail recovery training class, but if not, there are several online options.

Bounty hunters must understand laws relating to bail and arrest in Colorado. Your bail recovery training will teach interviewing techniques, skip tracing, and basic bail bond law in Colorado. On average, bail recovery training programs will cost about $200. It may also be helpful to obtain a two- or four-year degree in criminal justice.

2. Identify an experienced mentor.

A job as a bail recovery agent is one in which experience and professional relationships will be vital. If you’re just starting out, consider identifying a more experienced bail recovery agent who is willing to mentor you so that you receive some on-the-job training. Having a mentor may enable you to avoid common mistakes made by new bail recovery agents. You may also meet bail bondsmen through your mentor. Take advantage of these opportunities as they could be future employers.

3. Begin working as a bail recovery agent.

Once you have been trained, have worked with a mentor, and fully understand the job of a bail recovery agent, you can begin working independently. While there are no licensing requirements for bail recovery agents in Colorado, each jurisdiction in the state may have different registration requirements. To ensure that you are following the law, inform you local law enforcement agency of your plans to work as a bail recovery agent in the area. Then you may begin your new career as a bail recovery agent in Colorado.

Related Careers

Bail recovery agents sometimes work in related fields to earn extra income. Two jobs similar to that of a bail recovery agent are the private investigator (PI) and process server. Keep reading to learn about the Colorado requirements for both professions.

Private Investigator/ Private Detective

Private investigators (PIs), also known as private detectives (PDs), use similar skill sets to bail recovery agents. PIs research legal, financial, and personal matters for their clients. In Colorado, private investigators are not required to be licensed as of September 2020. However, to find work, it may be helpful for prospective PIs to meet previous licensure guidelines:

  • Be at least 21 years of age
  • Be a US citizen or resident alien
  • Complete a criminal background check (including fingerprinting)

Note that if you intend to carry a firearm while working as a PI or PD, you must comply with all rules and licensing requirements set by the Colorado Department of Public Safety (DPS).

Process Server

A process server works for the court system to file legal papers and serve legal documents to parties involved in a lawsuit. The state of Colorado does not require process servers to be licensed. To work in the state, process servers must be at least 18 years of age. Contact your county clerk to get started.

Training and Education Options in Colorado

Bail recovery agents must have a good understanding of the criminal justice system. To enhance your legal knowledge and to show future employers that you are serious about your career, you should consider obtaining a two-year degree or certificate in criminal justice. With a criminal justice degree, you will be exposed to various research strategies and information about criminal law and the legal system, and you will be able to identify social problems and develop basic solutions. Here are a few two-year degree programs in criminal justice offered throughout Colorado.

Arapahoe Community College
5900 S Santa Fe Dr
Littleton, CO 80120
https://www.arapahoe.edu/academics-programs/programs/criminal-justice

Front Range Community College
3645 W 112th Ave
Westminster, CO 80031
https://www.frontrange.edu/programs-and-courses/a-z-program-list/criminal-justice

Red Rocks Community College
13300 W 6th Ave
Lakewood, CO 80228
https://www.rrcc.edu/criminal-justice

Finding Work

Bail recovery agents will need some leads in order to find steady, reliable work. Having a mentor can make this task much easier. You should join a local bail bondsmen association to build your professional network and look for apprenticeship opportunities to get your foot in the door. Most jobs will be offered based on proven experience, so you should be prepared to discuss how your training and experience make you right for the job. Professional Bail Agents of the US (PBUS) lists 13 member bail bond agents in their Colorado directory.

Featured Bail Agents in Colorado

To aid you in your job search, here are some highly-rated bail bond agencies in Colorado.

303 Bail Bonds
4500 W Colfax Ave
Denver, CO 80204
https://www.303bailbonds.com/

Advanced Bail Bonds
802 S Nevada Ave
Colorado Springs, CO 80903
​​https://advancedbailbonds.org/

Angels & Outlaws Bail Bonds
3595 E Fountain Blvd
#235
Colorado Springs, CO 80910
​​https://angelsoutlawsbb.com/

Dennis Blackwell Bail Bonds
2960 E Las Vegas St
Colorado Springs, CO 80906
https://www.dennisblackwellbailbonds.com/

Express Bail Bonds
1304 Elati St
Denver, CO 80204
https://www.expressbailbonds.com

Patriot Bail Bonds
8101 Washington St
Denver, CO 80229
http://www.patriotbailbondsdenver.com/

Rapid Release Bail Bonds
664 Hayloft Way
Brighton, CO 80601
https://rrbailbonds.com/

VIP Bail Bonds
925 S Niagara St
Ste 160
Denver, CO 80224
https://www.denvervipbonds.com

For even more bail agents and bondsmen in your area, you can use the Find a Bail Agent tool on the PBUS website.

Bail Recovery Agent Salary and Outlook in Colorado

The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) does not provide salary data for bounty hunters, so we use data for private investigators as a proxy because this job is the most closely related. Colorado had the highest average salary for private detectives as of 2021, at $85,160 per year.2 Over 300 private investigators were employed in the state in 2021.3 It is projected that through 2030, jobs for private investigators in Colorado will increase by 21.4%.4

City or Metropolitan AreaNumber Employed3Average Annual Salary3
Colorado Springs30$79,000
Denver-Aurora-Lakewood260$87,020

Additional Resources

The following resource may help you in your search to find work as a bail recovery agent in Colorado.

References:
1. US Census Bureau Quick Facts, Colorado: https://www.census.gov/quickfacts/fact/table/CO/PST045221
2. Bureau of Labor Statistics, Occupational Employment and Wages, May 2021, Private Detectives and Investigators: https://www.bls.gov/oes/current/oes339021.htm
3. Bureau of Labor Statistics, State Occupational Employment and Wage Estimates, May 2021, Colorado: https://www.bls.gov/oes/current/oes_co.htm
4. Projections Central, Long Term Occupational Projections: https://projectionscentral.org/Projections/LongTerm