Utah is known as “the Beehive state” for its industrious and thrifty people. This symbol of group prosperity holds true considering Utah has the lowest level of income inequality in the country. Utah also has a diverse climate, with arid deserts and plains throughout most of the state but tall mountain ranges dotted by ski resorts to the east of Salt Lake City.
Even though Utah is full of many pious, peace-loving residents, it still has its fair share of crime. In total, 87,615 crimes were recorded in 2014 by the Utah Department of Public Safety. 49,562 of these occurred in Salt Lake County. Many of these criminals tend to miss their trial dates and skip bail, meaning that a bounty hunter has to go and bring them in to ensure that justice is served.
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Becoming a Bounty Hunter in Utah
Bounty hunting in Utah is controlled by a significant amount of regulation. Only those working in the bail bond industry can work as bounty hunters, known as “bail recovery agents” in Utah. These individuals must have 1,000 hours or more of relevant experience to be fully licensed, but they can also become “bail recovery apprentices” as an entry-level version of the job with lower requirements.
To be a bail recovery agent or apprentice in Utah, you must meet the following requirements:
Basic State Requirements
- Education: Completion of a 16 hour training course; completion of a 16 hour firearm training course is also required to carry a firearm as a licensee. Bail recovery agents must also satisfy an eight hour continuing education requirement to renew their license, which expires yearly.
- Age: 21
- Degree: None
- Experience: 1,000 hours for bail recovery agents; none for bail recovery apprentices
- Citizenship: Applicant must be a citizen or legal resident of the U.S. and authorized to work here
In order to qualify as a bail recovery agent or apprentice, the applicant must NOT have convictions for:
- Any felony
- Impersonating a peace officer
- An act of dishonesty or fraud
- An act involving the illegal use or possession of a dangerous weapon
- Any act of “moral turpitude
All applicants should also remain in good standing with their jurisdiction to qualify for license renewal.
Application Process in Utah
- Bail Recovery Agent/Apprentice License Application: To apply for licensure as a bail recovery agent or apprentice in Utah, the applicant must satisfy the above qualifications and show proof of a $10,000 surety bond naming them or a licensed appointing bail bond agency as the obligee. Applications have a $150 fee, and they must include:
- A fingerprint card completed by a peace officer or approved office
- A copy of your driver’s license
- A passport-style photo
- Proof of required surety bond
- Proof of completion of 16 hour bail enforcement training
- Licensure: Once approved, you must personally attend your approval meeting at Utah’s Bureau of Criminal Investigation in Taylorsville. Your license is valid for a year and costs $100 to renew. Apprentices are only authorized to work under the bail enforcement agent or agency named in their application.
Degrees Related to Bounty Hunters
Utah does not require a degree to become a bounty hunter, but an educational background in criminal justice can help. Completion of a bachelor’s degree or associate’s in criminal justice can also make completing the 16 hour training course easier for applicants. Bounty hunters may also wish to pursue a degree in psychology, sociology or forensic science to further their career opportunities.
Major Cities in Utah
Utah is one of the least populated states in the union. Salt Lake City, its biggest city, only has 186,440 residents. However, West Valley City, Provo, and West Jordan all near Salt Lake City also have their own sizeable populations of 129,480, 112,488 and 103,712, respectively.
Specific Duties of Bounty Hunters in Utah
Bail bond companies have to abide by strict regulations in order to petition to recover someone who has skipped bail and missed their trial date. These obligations are outlined in Utah Code Title 77 Section 20b.
Bail recovery agents and apprentices may not advertise their services, provide services directly to the public or hire other bail recovery agents or apprentices as independent contractors.
Similar careers to bail recovery agents in Utah include bail enforcement agents and private investigators. Process servers also have similar job duties. Others in the bail bond industry may go on to become peace officers or security officers.
Employment Numbers in Utah
There are no official job numbers for bail recovery agents or apprentices in Utah. There are currently 38 registered, licensed bail bonding agencies with the authority to hire and supervise bail recovery agents. There are only 80 private investigators reported in Utah, a similar occupation, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics 2015 data. There are also 5,660 security guards and 1,110 individuals in the “financial specialists, all other” category, which includes bail bonding agents.
Salary Ranges in Utah
No salaries are listed for bail recovery agents in Utah. Those listed in the “financial specialists, all other category,” which includes bail bond agents, have a median annual income of $62,4209. Private detectives, a similar occupation, make a median salary of $52,330 a year.