Nebraska Bounty Hunter Guide: Requirements and Steps
Nebraska has a commercial bail system and although not regulated, the state allows the practice of bounty hunting. Nebraska Statute 25-2222 gives authority for bail bondsmen, known as sureties in the state, to offer bonds or securities for individuals who have been arrested and want to avoid jail time. Bounty hunters work for sureties as agents who find and return fugitives who have skipped bail. There are no licensing requirements for bounty hunters or surety agents in Nebraska, but you will need to meet some basic qualifications if you hope to work as a bounty hunter. Follow the guide below to learn more about the requirements for bounty hunters in Nebraska, as well as some tips for a profitable career.
Requirements for Prospective Bounty Hunters in Nebraska
In Nebraska, bounty hunters must be at least 18 years of age, a US citizen or resident alien, and a resident of Nebraska. As is the case in many other states, you should have no felony convictions if you wish to pursue fugitives in Nebraska.
Steps to a Career as a Bounty Hunter in Nebraska
Having some law enforcement or investigative experience may help you as you start a career as a bounty hunter. There are also some additional steps you should consider that will give your bounty hunting career a boost. By following the three steps below, you will ensure that your bounty hunting career gets off to a good start.
1. Acquire the appropriate training.
Bounty hunters and a law enforcement professionals share some of the same skills, like investigating, interviewing people, and doing research to find information. If you don’t have any law enforcement or investigative experience, you can take classes to help fill that void. Consider attending a bail enforcement training course in Nebraska or online. Bail enforcement training will help you understand bail bond law, the legality of search and seizure, skip tracing, and interviewing techniques. Pricing for this type of training will vary, so search around for a class that fits with your budget. You may also consider obtaining a formal education or degree in criminal justice. Having a two-year degree can show potential employers that you are serious about your career while further exposing you to the legal system.
2. Identify a mentor.
Nebraska state law does not require a license for bounty hunters at this time. Because of that, you should take as many measures as you can to ensure that you are prepared for a career as a bounty hunter. Along with bail enforcement training, you should look for an experienced bounty hunter or even a bail bond agent who will mentor you in your career. A mentor can assist you in finding leads for jobs and may act as sounding board for critical decisions you make while on the job.
3. Start working as a bounty hunter.
Once you have some training and a mentor, you can begin working confidently as a bounty hunter. When apprehending a fugitive, you must provide the sheriff’s department with a copy of the bond for the fugitive he or she surrenders. Although the state of Nebraska does not require continuing education for bounty hunters, you should stay updated on any changes in legislation as it relates to surety and bail laws the state.
While working as a bounty hunter, you may wish to supplement your income by working in similar professions. Working as a private investigator or process server can provide valuable experience to a new bounty hunter. To work in either profession, you need to be aware of the rules and restrictions in Nebraska.
Private Investigator/ Private Detective
Private investigators work for clients to investigate legal, personal, or financial data. Private investigators in Nebraska must be licensed by the Nebraska Secretary of State. The Secretary of State licenses private detectives and plain clothes investigators.
Plain Clothes Investigator
A plain clothes investigator is a private investigator who works as an employee of a detective agency. As of May 2016, the license and application fees were $63. Plain clothes detectives in Nebraska must:
- Be at least 18 years of age
- Have no felony convictions
- Be a US citizen or resident alien
A private detective is defined as a sole proprietor detective who has no other employees; the fees to become a private detective (sole proprietor) is $88 (as of May 2016). To become a licensed private detective, you must:
- Have at least 3,000 hours of investigative experience OR 2,500 hours of investigative experience plus an associate degree in criminal justice, OR 2,000 hours of investigative experience plus a bachelor’s degree in criminal justice
- Take and pass the licensure exam
- Be at least 18 years of age
For more information on becoming a plain clothes investigator or private detective, visit the Secretary of State website and request an application.
A process server will file legal papers and serve legal documents to parties involved in a lawsuit. Process servers are not required to be licensed in Nebraska. State law says that a judge must contract with one or more constables to serve legal documents in counties with a population over 100,000 people. To become a process server, you should reside in a county with fewer than 100,000 people and must be 21 years of age or older. Contact your local court or more information on becoming a process server.
Training and Education Options in Nebraska
As a bounty hunter, you may wish to add to your knowledge of the legal system by obtaining a formal education in criminal justice or a related field. A degree in criminal justice can jumpstart your bounty hunting career by improving your ability to problem solve, increasing your understanding of social problems, and teaching you how to interpret the law. Possessing a formal education can show potential employers that you are serious about your career. Here, we provide a list of schools that offer two-year degrees in Nebraska.
Central Community College
3134 W US 34
Grand Island, NE 68801
Midland Lutheran College
900 N Clarkson St
Fremont, NE 68025
Western Nebraska Community College
1601 E 27th St
Scottsbluff, NE 69361
Having a professional network in place will be important, as most jobs for bounty hunters are found via word-of-mouth. Ask your mentor to introduce you to some other experienced bounty hunters and bail agents so that you can let people know that you are in the market for work. You could also join a professional association to meet industry professionals and find an apprenticeship program.
Featured Bail Agents in Nebraska
Listed below are a number of well-known or highly rated bail bond agencies in Nebraska. This list should help you identify bail bondsmen who are searching for a bounty hunter to employ.
AAA Advantage Bail Bonds
16777 Applewood Rd
Council Bluffs, IA 51503
Central Nebraska Bail Bonds
814 W 2nd St
Hastings, NE 68901
Gallagher Bail Bonds
101 N 16th St
Council Bluffs, IA 51501
Nitzel & Co Real Estate
112 W 4th St
Grand Island, NE 68801
US Bail and Recovery Service, LLC
2221 Main St
Bellevue, NE 68005
Bounty Hunter Salary and Outlook in Nebraska
The Bureau of Labor Statistics does not provide salary data for bounty hunters, so we use the data reported for private investigators as a proxy. Currently, 400 private investigators are employed in Nebraska.2 Projections show that jobs for private investigators in Nebraska are expected to increase by 10% between 2012 and 2022.2 Private investigators in Nebraska earn an average annual salary of $64,800; that’s over $10,000 more than the national average ($52,840).3,4
|City or Metropolitan Area||Number Employed||Average Annual Salary|
|Omaha-Council Bluffs, NE-IA||40||$51,380|
Data from the BLS as of May 2015.2
The resource listed below should help you in your search to find other bounty hunters and investigators in Nebraska.
- Nebraska Association of Licensed Private Investigators – An association of licensed private investigators in Nebraska that provides education to private investigators on legislation as well as networking opportunities.
1. US Census Bureau Quick Facts, Nebraska: https://www.census.gov/quickfacts/fact/table/NE/PST045219
2. Projections Central, Long Term Occupational Projections: http://www.projectionscentral.com/Projections/LongTerm
3. Bureau of Labor Statistics, Occupational Employment and Wages, Private Investigator: https://www.bls.gov/oes/current/oes339021.htm
4. Bureau of Labor Statistics, Occupational Employment and Wages, Nebraska: https://www.bls.gov/oes/current/oes_ne.htm