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Training for Bounty Hunters

Training options for a bounty hunter depend on one’s background. Only a few states, like New Jersey, have stringent training requirements. Training options will also depend on your prior experience. If you have experience in one of the following fields, no further training may be necessary:

  • Law enforcement or peace officer
  • Private investigation with possible licensure
  • Military (depending on role and training)
  • Security guard (depending on role and training)

If you feel you lack adequate experience, then training is essential in this field due to the sometimes dangerous nature of the job. In general, regulation appears to be increasing in this field, so expect more required training over time.

Two-Year Criminal Justice with Law Enforcement Focus

A degree in criminal justice with a law enforcement emphasis that is tied to an academy with actual field work is ideal. This is typically a two-year associate degree that can be completed at a campus, online, or in some combination. If you already possess a degree, pursuit of a certificate may be another option. Of course, in addition to bounty hunting, many other careers start with a degree in law enforcement and private investigation. Many online options exist in addition to on-campus programs from accredited schools.

Henry Ford College offers a two-year Associate of Arts (AA) degree in criminal justice that includes law enforcement training at a police academy as part of the curriculum. In addition to core coursework and standard criminal justice requirements, the academy portion covers:

  • Civil disorders
  • Conflict resolution
  • Detention
  • Disaster control
  • Evidence collection
  • First aid
  • Investigation
  • Patrol
  • Prosecution of prisoners
  • Report writing
  • Tactics

Private Investigator Training

By pursuing training as a private investigator, you would also broaden employment opportunities beyond bail recovery. In some states, you must be a licensed PI to do bail recovery (e.g., Texas). Typical coursework includes subjects such as:

  • Legal principles
  • Investigation business overview
  • Investigation techniques
  • Locating people and background checks
  • Required equipment

Bounty Hunter-Specific Training Courses

There are also some online bounty hunter training courses available that cover topics such as:

  • Bail industry overview
  • Surveillance
  • Apprehension
  • Marketing

Make sure you verify the school credentials by communicating with past students, researching owner and instructor experience, and reading any third-party reviews, such as from the Better Business Bureau. These programs are not ordinarily offered at regionally-accredited institutions, so a more thorough examination by potential students will pay off in the long run.

Programs featured on How to Become a Bounty Hunter are all from regionally-accredited institutions.

Training and Education Requirements by State

For more specific information about the training and education you will need to become licensed or prepared to practice bounty hunting in your state, choose your state from the list below.