Kansas Bounty Hunter Guide: Requirements and Steps
An estimated 2.9 million people live In Kansas, where bounty hunting is a legal profession that does not require a license.1 However, a bounty hunter, or bail enforcement agent as identified in the Kansas administrative code, must still meet certain qualifications and should follow the recommended process below in order to be able to pursue bail fugitives. Chapter 22, Sections 2809 and 2809a of the Kansas Statute gives authority for individuals to act as bail enforcement agents, locating and returning defendants who have “skipped” bail. Upon the defendant’s return, bounty hunters and are paid a fee (a percentage of the bond) by a bail bondsman or surety. If you’re interested in pursuing a career as a bounty hunter in Kansas, continue reading for information on licensing rules and requirements.
Table of Contents
- Bounty Hunter Requirements
- Steps to a Career
- Related Careers
- Training and Education Options
- Finding Work
- Salary and Job Outlook
- Bounty Hunter Resources
Requirements for Prospective Bounty Hunters in Kansas
While no license is required to act as a bounty hunter or bail enforcement agent in Kansas, the state has set some guidelines in order to ensure the safety of agents and the public. Bail enforcement agents in Kansas must be at least 18 years of age, have no felony convictions within the past 10 years, and be a US citizen or resident alien. It will also be helpful for you to have some bail enforcement training and an understanding of the law, both of which are discussed further below.
Steps to a Career as a Bail Enforcement Agent in Kansas
Surety agents in Kansas should gain some general training in the field, find an experienced mentor, and inform law enforcement of their actions. To begin working, it is recommended that you:
1. Acquire some bounty hunting experience.
Although not required, most bail enforcement agents enter the field with some law enforcement or investigative experience. Bail enforcement agents should also be trained specifically in fugitive recovery. Before starting your career, you should attend a bail agent training course that covers topics such as Kansas laws relating to bail, interviewing techniques, research methods, and skip tracing. Prices for classes will vary, but they usually cost between $200 and $500. In addition to bail enforcement training, consider obtaining a formal education in criminal justice, like an associate degree or certificate, to help with your career.
2. Identify a mentor.
Because there are no licensing requirements for bail enforcement agents in Kansas, it is imperative that you find a mentor who can help you identify leads and potential employers. A mentor can help you avoid common mistakes that new agents tend to make. He or she may be able to assist you with developing plans to find a “skip.” You can also join a local surety association or attend public meetings (in lieu of joining) to find a mentor.
3. Begin working as a bail enforcement agent.
After you have attained some bounty hunting training and identified a mentor, you are ready to begin working as a bail enforcement agent in Kansas. According to state law, bail enforcement agents are required to inform local law enforcement before they apprehend a fugitive. Prior to “arresting” a skip, you must provide your local sheriff or police department with:
- A certified copy of the bond
- A copy of your driver’s license or state ID
- Documentation that you are working on behalf of a surety
- Documentation that the person you are apprehending is the principal on the bond
Once you provide this information to your local law enforcement agency, you may apprehend the fugitive. If you desire, law enforcement can accompany you when apprehending defendants.
Because there is no licensing in Kansas, there is no required continuing education for bail enforcement agents. You should still stay up to date on laws relating to the profession and changes in the field.
Individuals who work as bail enforcement agents may work in related jobs such as private investigator or process server to gain experience and supplement their income. Some bounty hunters start off as process servers and continue to “serve” legal papers when it fits their schedule.
Private Investigator/ Private Detective
A private investigator (PI) works to find legal, personal, or financial data for their clients. In Kansas, private investigators are licensed by the Office of Attorney General (AG). To work as a private investigator in Kansas, you must:
- Be at least 21 years of age
- Be a US citizen
- Have no felony convictions within the past 10 years, nor have committed any crime that involves fraud
- Submit two sets of fingerprints
- Submit five certificates of reference from unrelated persons who have known you for at least five years
- Possess a valid driver’s license
- Show proof of a surety bond for $100,000 or a certificate of general liability insurance for $100,000
- Have one year of law enforcement or investigative experience
- Take and pass the examination
If you meet these qualifications, you may apply to the Kansas AG for licensure. As of July 2022, the private investigator license fee was $250.
A process server files legal papers and serves legal documents to parties involved in a lawsuit. In Kansas, process servers are not required to be licensed, but they must be at least 18 years of age. Contact your local court for more information or to start serving papers.
Training and Education Options in Kansas
Bounty hunters should consider a formal education in criminal justice or a related field to help them understand the legal system. A two-year degree or certificate in criminal justice can enhance your career by improving your decision-making and critical thinking skills. By having a formal education, you will show potential employers that you are willing to invest in your own career and that you take your career seriously. Listed below are some schools that offer associate degrees in criminal justice and related fields.
Allen County Community College
1801 N Cottonwood St
Iola, KS 66749
Garden City Community College
801 Campus Dr
Garden City, KS 67846
1700 SW College Ave
Topeka, KS 66621
Before looking for a job, you will need a plan and professional network in place. Most jobs for bounty hunters are found via word-of-mouth. To aid you in your job search, you should look for a mentor who is an experienced bounty hunter or private investigator. An apprenticeship program could be a helpful way for you to gain experience while building professional relationships. You could join a local bail bond association to find a mentor or identify an apprenticeship program. The Professional Bail Agents of the US (PBUS) has two member bail bond agencies in their directory for the state of Kansas.
Featured Bail Agents in Kansas
Here are some well-known and/or highly-rated surety agencies in Kansas to help you with your search.
24/7 Bail Bonds
1000 S Kansas Ave
Topeka, KS 66603
A Second Chance Bail Bonds
705 N Broadway
Wichita, KS 67202
Big Fish Bail Bonds
705 N Broadway
Wichita, KS 67214
Big Mike’s Bail Bonds
330 N Main St
Wichita, KS 67202
Heartland Bail Bonds
101 S Kansas Ave
Olathe, KS 66061
Shane’s Bail Bonds
405 E Santa Fe St
Olathe, KS 66061
Find even more bail agents and bondsmen in your area using the Member Search tool on the PBUS website.
Bounty Hunter Salary and Outlook in Kansas
The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) does not provide salary data for bounty hunters, so we use the data provided for private investigators as a proxy. In 2021, there were 120 private investigators employed in Kansas earning an annual average salary of $56,290.2 This was competitive with the national average salary for private detectives, at $60,970 during the same time period.3 Projections show that through 2030, jobs for private investigators in Kansas are expected to increase by 9.1%.3
|City or Metropolitan Area||Number Employed2||Average Annual Salary2|
|Kansas City, MO-KS||110||$57,470|
The resource listed below should help you in your search to find work as a bounty hunter in Kansas.
- Kansas Bail Agents Association (KBAA): Provides networking opportunities and other resources for investigators in the state.
1. US Census Bureau Quick Facts, Kansas: https://www.census.gov/quickfacts/fact/table/KS/PST045221
2. Bureau of Labor Statistics, Occupational Employment and Wages, May 2021, Kansas: https://www.bls.gov/oes/current/oes_ks.htm
3. Bureau of Labor Statistics, Occupational Employment and Wages, May 2021, Private Investigators: https://www.bls.gov/oes/current/oes339021.htm
4. Projections Central, Long Term Occupational Projections: https://projectionscentral.org/Projections/LongTerm