Alaska is a wild territory, with many thousands of acres of unexplored wilderness. It’s the source of a full quarter of all oil production in the U.S. and the majority supplier of the nation’s crab, herring, halibut and salmon. There’s also a lot of places for fugitives from the law to hide in Alaska, and it takes men and women of special skills and fortitude to bring these criminals to justice. These men and women are called bounty hunters, and they seek out and arrest individuals like these in exchange for a fee. If you’re interested in bounty hunting and you live in Alaska, here’s everything you need to know.
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Becoming a Bounty Hunter in Alaska
The good news is that Alaska is one of the easier states in which to become a bounty hunter. To do so, you’ll need to meet the following requirements:
Basic State Requirements
- Education: There are no specific educational requirements to become a bounty hunter under Alaska law. In Alaska, any private citizen can make an arrest.
- Age: While there are no specific requirements for licensure, those seeking to become a bounty hunter in Alaska should be at least 18 years old.
- Degree: No degree is required in Alaska.
- Experience: As with any career, the more experience you have in your field, the better able you’ll be, and the more reputation you’ll have. This will lead to an increasing client list.
- Citizenship: A background check is required, which requires at minimum legal residency in the United States.
- Business Location: You must have a physical business location within state boundaries.
- Background Screening: A fingerprint check is required to ensure that you do not have any criminal convictions or outstanding warrants. This check is completed at an office that is authorized by the state’s Division of Insurance.
Application Process in Alaska
Bail Bond Limited Producer License Application: This application is offered through the Alaska Division of Insurance, is required to work as a bounty hunter. You may complete the application online or on paper, and requires a $75 application fee as well as a $51,50 fingerprint processing fee. If you submit on paper, you will also have to pay an extra $50 processing fee for paper applications.
Licensure: After you receive your license you can work either as an independent bounty hunter or for a bond agency in Alaska. Licenses are held for two years, and expire on your birthday. Renewing costs $75, but does not require a new fingerprint check.
Degrees related to Bounty Hunters
Though no education is necessary to become a bounty hunter in Alaska, many who pursue this line of work find it useful to seek education in criminal justice, psychology or sociology, as all of these degree fields carry important knowledge that relates directly to the skills and understanding needed by a bounty hunter.
Major Cities in Alaska
Alaska has the lowest population density in the entire United States, with much of the land being unexplored and unpopulated wilderness. The largest cities in the state include Anchorage, Juneau (the state capital), Fairbanks and Sitka. Of these, Sitka has only 9,020 residents, while the largest city, Anchorage, has over 300,000 souls—a vast difference in population!
Specific Duties of Bounty Hunters in Alaska
Alaskan bounty hunters track down fugitives from the law and return them to justice, in exchange for a fee negotiated when they accept the job, usually from a bail bonds company. While any resident of Alaska can make an arrest, it’s important to note that bounty hunters may not operate outside of the law. This means they cannot force their way into a third-party’s residence, use unnecessary force, or engage in any other activities that could be considered illegal.
Closely-related careers to bounty hunters include: private detectives, process servers, and even law enforcement careers such as detectives, S.W.A.T. officers and the like. Seeking education in one of these fields can help you to diversify your career.
Employment Numbers in Alaska
Exact employment data on bounty hunters is not kept by the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS). That being said, it is estimated that positions for bounty hunters in the state will increase by around 2% by the year 2022, which is above the national average and which points to good news for those looking to become bounty hunters in Alaska.
Salary Ranges in Alaska
In Alaska, bounty hunters make a good living, earning a median salary of around $116,000, which is far above the national median salary. These figures are as of 2015.