Nebraska Bounty Hunter Guide: Requirements and Steps

    An estimated 1.9 million people live in Nebraska, a state which has a private, state-run bail system.1 Although commercial bail is permitted in the state, the practice of bounty hunting is not. Therefore, those who wish to work in the bail bond profession in Nebraska must become licensed as surety agents through the Nebraska Department of Insurance (DOI). Follow the guide below to learn more about the requirements for surety agents in Nebraska, as well as some tips for a profitable career.

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    Requirements for Prospective Surety Agents in Nebraska

    In Nebraska, surety agents must be at least 18 years of age, a US citizen or resident alien, and a resident of Nebraska. You must also have a net worth of at least $50,000 and incorporate your surety business. As is the case in many other states, you should have no felony convictions if you wish to work as an insurance producer and surety agent in Nebraska.

    Steps to a Career as a Surety Agent in Nebraska

    Having some law enforcement or investigative experience may help you as you start a career as a surety agent. There are also some additional steps you should consider that will give your career a boost. By following the steps below, you can help ensure that your surety agent career gets off to a good start.

    1. Acquire the appropriate training.

    Surety agents and 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. 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. 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.

    2. Obtain a surety bond.

    Nebraska state law requires surety agents to obtain a bond from a Nebraska-licensed bonding or insurance company of at least $100,000. If you plan to engage in transactions above $2 million, the required amount may be higher.

    3. Apply for a license.

    The Nebraska DOI uses the National Insurance Producer Registry (NIPR) to process applications. As of 2022, no exam was required for surety lines of business in Nebraska.

    4. Start working as a surety agent.

    Once you have your license, you can begin working as a surety agent. When apprehending a fugitive, you must provide the sheriff’s department with a copy of the bond for the fugitive you are capturing. Although the state of Nebraska does not require continuing education for surety agents, you should stay updated on any changes in legislation as it relates to surety and bail laws in the state.

    Related Careers

    While working as a surety agent, 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 surety agent. To work in either profession, you need to be aware of the rules and restrictions in Nebraska.

    Private Investigator/ Private Detective

    Private investigators (PIs) work for clients to investigate legal, personal, or financial data. Private investigators in Nebraska must be licensed by the Nebraska Secretary of State (SOS). The SOS 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 July 2022, 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
    • Pass a written exam

    Private Detective

    A private detective is defined as a sole proprietor detective who has no other employees; the fee to become a private detective (sole proprietor) was $88 as of June 2022. 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
    • Post a $10,000 surety bond

    For more information on becoming a plain clothes investigator or private detective, visit the SOS website and request an application.

    Process Server

    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, though under state law a judge must contract with one or more constables to serve legal documents in counties with a population over 100,000 people. Therefore, 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 surety agent, 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

    Finding Work

    Having a professional network in place will be important. Ask your mentor to introduce you to some other experienced surety agents so that you can let people know that you are in the market for professional connections. You could also join a professional association to meet industry professionals and find an apprenticeship program. The Professional Bail Agents of the US (PBUS) does not list any member bail agents in Nebraska, but you may be able to network with agents in neighboring states.

    Featured Bail Agents in Nebraska

    Listed below are a number of well-known or highly rated bail bond agencies in Nebraska. This list can help you identify bail bondsmen who may be willing to help you learn the ropes.

    AAA Advantage Bail Bonds
    16777 Applewood Rd
    Council Bluffs, IA 51503

    Central Nebraska Bail Bonds
    814 W 2nd St
    Hastings, NE 68901

    US Bail and Recovery Service, LLC
    2221 Main St
    Bellevue, NE 68005

    Surety Agent Salary and Outlook in Nebraska

    The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) does not provide salary data for surety agents or bounty hunters, so we use the data reported for private investigators as a proxy. As of 2021, 70 private investigators were employed in Nebraska.2 Private investigators in Nebraska earned an average annual salary of $72,300 in 2021; that’s over $10,000 more than the national average ($60,970).2,3 Projections show that jobs for private investigators in Nebraska are expected to increase by 9.1% through 2030.4

    City or Metropolitan AreaNumber Employed2Average Annual Salary2
    Omaha-Council Bluffs, NE-IA40$74,030

    Additional Resources

    The resource listed below should help you find other agents and investigators in Nebraska.

    1. US Census Bureau Quick Facts, Nebraska: https://www.census.gov/quickfacts/fact/table/NE/PST045221
    2. Bureau of Labor Statistics, May 2021 Occupational Employment and Wages, Nebraska: https://www.bls.gov/oes/current/oes_ne.htm
    3. Bureau of Labor Statistics, Occupational Employment and Wages, May 2021, Private Investigator: https://www.bls.gov/oes/current/oes339021.htm
    4. Projections Central, Long Term Occupational Projections: https://projectionscentral.org/Projections/LongTerm