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Colorado Bounty Hunter Guide: Requirements and Steps

As of 2015, Colorado had a population of 5.45 million people.1 Although bounty hunting is legal in the state, there are no licensing requirements and very few regulations. In Colorado, bounty hunters are known as “bail recovery agents” and they work for bail bond agents to apprehend fugitives who have skipped bail in hopes of avoiding incarceration. Laws for bail agents can be found in the Colorado Regulation, Section 3 CCR 702-7. All bail bond agents in Colorado must be licensed and must complete 16 hours of bail recovery, 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.

Requirements for Bail Recovery Agent in Colorado

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

  • 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 requires bail bond agents to complete 16 hours in bail recovery. Bail recovery agents should aim to obtain at least 16 hours of training as well. Attending a 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 an experienced bail recovery agent who would be 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 with existing 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 alone. 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) use a similar skillset as a bail recovery agents. PIs research legal, financial, and personal matters for their client. In Colorado, private investigators are licensed by the Office of Private Investigator Licensure. Private investigators in Colorado must meet the following criteria:

  • Be at least 21 years of age
  • Be a US citizen or resident alien
  • Take and pass the Colorado jurisprudence exam
  • Complete a criminal background check (including fingerprinting)

To apply to become a private investigator in Colorado, submit an application to the Office of Private Investigator Licensure.

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

Front Range Community College
3645 W 112th Ave
Westminster, CO 80031
https://www.frontrange.edu

Red Rocks Community College
13300 W 6th Ave
Lakewood, CO 80228
http://www.rrcc.edu

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 past experience makes you right for the job. Professional Bail Agents of the US 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.

A Alpha Bail Bonds
132 W 11th Ave
Denver, CO 80204
http://www.aalphabailbonds.com

Angies Bail Bonds
3370 W Kentucky Ave
Denver, CO 80219

All Pro-Bail Bonds
450 W 14th Ave
Denver, CO 80240
http:/www./allpro-bailbonds.com

Dave Woods Bail Bonds
615 S Nevada Ave
Colorado Springs, CO 80903
http://www.baildoctorco.com

John Titus Bail Bonds
216 E Las Vegas St
Colorado Springs, CO 80903
http://www.bailbondscity.com

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

Planet Bail 5 to 10 Percent Bail
1305 Delaware St
Denver, CO 80204

Reliable Bail Bonds #2
6697 N Federal Blvd
Denver, CO 80221
http://www.reliablebailbondsdenver.com

VIP Bail Bonds
1915 E Platte Ave
Colorado Springs, CO 80909
http://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.

Bounty Hunter 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. The Fort Collins, Colorado metropolitan area has the highest concentration of jobs for private investigators in the US (170).2 Over 500 private investigators were employed in the state in 2015 and they earned an average annual salary of $51,360.3 It is projected that between 2012 and 2022, jobs for private investigators in Colorado will increase by 29.4%.4

City or Metropolitan Area Number Employed Average Annual Salary
Denver-Aurora-Lakewood N/A* $52,080
Fort Collins 170 $45,200

Data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics as of May 2015.3
*Estimates not released by the BLS.

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/map/PST045215/08
2. Bureau of Labor Statistics, Occupational Employment and Wages, May 2015, Private Detectives adn Investigators: https://www.bls.gov/oes/current/oes339021.htm
3. Bureau of Labor Statistics, Occupational Employment and Wages, Private Detectives and Investigators: https://www.bls.gov/oes/current/oes_co.htm
4. Projections Central, Long Term Occupational Projections: http://www.projectionscentral.com/Projections/LongTerm