What does a Bail Enforcement Agent do?

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  • Written By: Jacob Queen
  • Edited By: Lauren Fritsky
  • Last Modified Date: 20 January 2020
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A bail enforcement agent is also known as a bounty hunter. These people are generally hired by bail bondsmen to track down criminals that skip bail. For performing this service, they are paid a fee called a “bounty." The job is widely considered to be quite dangerous, and the monetary rewards are not necessarily always fantastic, although they can be very reasonable in some situations.

In certain cases, it can be hard to get a job as a bounty hunter. One reason for this is because bail bondsmen are often bounty hunters themselves, and they will generally do their own bail recovery jobs whenever possible. They also tend to hire people that they know personally, and many won’t employ a bounty hunter until they can get a solid reference from a personal acquaintance. Some bail recovery agents start by working for free to prove that they are reliable.


The job can also be dangerous, and it’s usually a good idea for a bail enforcement agent to become proficient in self-protection. An ability to handle a handgun and an understanding of how to restrain people can greatly increase the safety of someone in this profession. A bail enforcement agent will normally try to capture someone with a minimal level of difficulty and danger, and this often requires waiting for the right moment, which means there is generally a lot of surveillance involved. Many agents also choose to work with other people as a safeguard. Most agents also have a concealed carry license, and most companies will not hire a person with a felony in his background.

In many areas, a person can become a bounty hunter without any formal training, but some US localities require special licensing. Certain areas actually make bounty hunting illegal, and someone who tries to catch an individual in those areas can be guilty of kidnapping. It can be pretty tough to become a bounty hunter without prior experience, and most people in the business are former police officers or private detectives. In fact, it is not uncommon for a bail enforcement agent to have two professions at once, especially those jobs commonly associated with private detective businesses and private security services.

The people who make very good incomes in the bail enforcement agent business have generally been doing the work for a very long time. It usually takes a while to become one of the top agents in a particular area, partly because of the importance of building relationships and trust within the law enforcement community. Most people who become bail enforcement agents are actually recruited into the job by close friends or acquaintances, and it can be tougher to enter the field as an outsider.


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