Rhode Island Bounty Hunter Guide: Requirements and Steps

    With a population slightly above 1 million people, Rhode Island is one of the smaller states in the US.1 Although this may impact the availability of work for bounty hunters, the state allows bounty hunters to recover fugitives within its borders and does not require licensing for the profession. Continue reading to learn about the recommended steps to become a bounty hunter in Rhode Island.

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    Requirements for Prospective Bounty Hunters in Rhode Island

    Unlike most other states, Rhode Island does not require bounty hunters to become licensed in order to recover fugitives within the state. However, following industry guidelines, bounty hunters should be at least 18 years of age and have no felony convictions. It is also recommended that you earn some training in investigation or law enforcement prior to pursuing this career.

    Steps to a Career as a Bounty Hunter in Rhode Island

    Although a license is not required to operate as a bounty hunter in Rhode Island, we have outlined the below steps based on guidelines for the industry and rules in states where the fugitive recovery profession is licensed. Following these steps to become a bounty hunter in Rhode Island can help set you up for success.

    1. Obtain the appropriate training.

    Although it is not required, earning an education in criminal justice or law enforcement can help you understand the state’s criminal code as well as help you develop skills in criminal procedure and investigation. Earning a degree in criminal justice from a two- or four-year college can provide this recommended training.

    2. Identify a mentor.

    In a competitive career field like bounty hunting, having in-depth training and a strong professional network are invaluable advantages. One of the best resources to get ahead of the competition is an experienced mentor. Working under an experienced fugitive recovery agent who can provide you with career advice and make introductions to professional contacts can help you develop your skills and build a base of future clients.

    3. Begin working as a bounty hunter.

    Once you have a network of contacts to help you find work and have the skills and knowledge needed to recover fugitives, you are ready to launch your bounty hunting career. Note that if you anticipate working in a neighboring state, such as Connecticut, you may need to earn a fugitive recovery license valid in that state.

    4. Consider applying to issue bail bonds.

    If issuing bonds is a career path that appeals to you, you must also hold authorization from the Superior Court of Rhode Island to issue bail bonds. You may apply for this authorization by filing a miscellaneous petition with the presiding justice and pledging appropriate real estate as security. For more information about this process, contact the Superior Court of Rhode Island.

    Related Careers

    Bounty hunters often work in related careers in order to earn supplemental income. Two of the most common alternatives are working as a private investigator or process server. Below is a summary of the requirements for these positions in Rhode Island.

    Private Investigator/ Private Detective

    Private investigators (PIs) and private detectives (PDs) research information, which is typically legal, financial, or personal in nature, for their clients. In Rhode Island, private detectives must be licensed by their local city or county and are overseen by local law enforcement agencies. In order to qualify for a license, you must:

    • Be a citizen or resident alien of the United States
    • Have no felony convictions
    • Have either five years of work experience as an investigator working under a licensed detective, or five years of work experience as a police officer, or a degree in criminal justice from an accredited school

    Many private detectives in Rhode Island are licensed through the city of Providence. You can find out more through the Providence Board of Licenses.

    Process Server

    Process servers work independently to deliver legal documents on behalf of the courts. To be a process server in Rhode Island you must be appointed by a court or sheriff and be at least 18 years of age. You can visit the website of the Rhode Island Judiciary to learn more about career opportunities for process servers.

    Training and Education Options in Rhode Island

    Bounty hunters should be knowledgeable in criminal justice and legal procedure. To show clients that you are serious about your career, you should consider earning a two- or four-year degree or certificate in criminal justice from a reputable college or university. There are several options for earning an education in criminal justice in Rhode Island, a few of which you will find listed below.

    Community College of Rhode Island
    400 East Ave
    Warwick, RI 02886

    New England Institute of Technology
    1 New England Tech Blvd
    East Greenwich, RI 02818

    Rhode Island College
    600 Mount Pleasant Ave
    Providence, RI 02908

    Roger Williams University
    1 Old Ferry Rd
    Bristol, RI 02908

    Finding Work

    If you do not have a network of professional contacts, finding work as a bounty hunter can be difficult. One of the best ways to develop your network is to contact experienced recovery agents and bail bond agencies who can give you career advice and refer prospective clients.

    Featured Bail Bondsmen Agencies in Rhode Island

    In addition to helping you find work, building relationships with bail bond agencies can help you connect with experienced agents who can provide career advice. The Professional Bail Agents of the US (PBUS) does not have any member bail agents in Rhode Island, but you might make connections with bail agents in nearby states. Below we have listed highly-rated and well-known bail bond agencies in the state to help you start your career.

    Rudy Procaccianti Bail Bonds
    728 Valley St
    Providence, RI 02908

    Bounty Hunter Salary and Outlook in Rhode Island

    The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) does not track salary or employment data for bounty hunters. However, since private investigators and detectives perform similar work, we have used this career as a proxy. As of May 2021, 210 private detectives and investigators were employed in Rhode Island, earning an average annual salary of $64,310.2 This was competitive with the national average of $60,970 during the same year.3 Estimates are that jobs for private detectives and investigators will increase by 11.1% in Rhode Island through 2030, equating to 10 average annual openings (including replacements).4

    City or Metropolitan AreaNumber Employed2Average Annual Salary2
    Providence-Warwick, RI-MA190$63,600

    Additional Resources

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