How to Become a Bounty Hunter in Florida

Florida is one of the most fascinating states in the entire country. In 2014, it become the third most populous state in the nation, edging past New York. Saint Augustine, one of Florida’s most recognizable towns, is also the oldest European settlement in the entire continent of North America.

Florida has the longest coastline of any state in the U.S., stretching a whopping 1,350 miles. Because Florida is so large, it’s very easy for criminals to slip through the cracks, which is why many people in Florida consider a career as a bounty hunter.

However, in Florida, you are not legally allowed to market yourself as a “bounty hunter”. Instead, you must become a bail bond agent that is licensed by the state. Bail bond agents have the exact same responsibilities as bounty hunters, including apprehending criminals who have run out on their bail.

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Becoming a Bounty Hunter in Florida

To work as a bail bond agent in Florida, you will need to acquire a license, which is regulated by the Division of Insurance Agent and Agency Services. Once you acquire your license, you will be entitled to perform the basic duties of a bond agent, including arresting criminals. Florida offers three different bail bond licenses: Temporary Bail Bond Agent License, Limited Surety Bail Bond Agent License and Professional Bail Bond Agent License.
bail enforcement agent florida

Basic Requirements

  • Education: For a temporary license, you will need 120 hours of study in a state approved criminal justice certification program. Also, you must complete a correspondence course from the University of Florida. Your educational training must be completed in less than four years.
  • Age: Anyone applying for a bail bond license in Florida must be at least 18 years of age.
  • Degree: No degree is required.
  • Experience: No experience is required for a Temporary license. Before applying for a Limited or Professional license, however, you must have completed 1,540 hours of work as a bond agent.
  • Citizenship: You must be a citizen of the U.S. or an alien legally allowed to work in the country. You must also be a resident of Florida.

Additional Requirements

  • Oaths and Employment: Temporary Bond Agents are required to file an affidavit under oath that demonstrates they are working as a bond agent. Temporary agents must also be employed under the supervision of a fully licensed agent.
  • Criminal Record: Bond agents in Florida cannot have any felonies on their record. They also cannot have committed a crime that resulted in more than a year of incarceration. Every bond agent will be fingerprinted for a $48.55 fee.
  • Exam: Those applying for a Limited or Professional license must sit for a pass the Florida Insurance Licensing Exam. A passing grade is 70%. You may take the exam five times in one year, but if you fail three times, you will need to re-complete the 120 hours of criminal justice certification. The exam costs $42.

Florida Application Process

To apply for any license level of bond agent in Florida, you will need to submit an application with the Division of Insurance Agent and Agency Service. Application fees for all license levels are $50. For a Temporary license, you will need to pay a $90 license fee; for Limited and Professional licenses, an $80 bond agent fee is required.

Each license level also requires that you submit three notarized letters attesting to your character and a photograph ID. Anyone pursuing a Professional license also needs to submit a financial statement form and a bail bond rate plan.

Your Temporary license will last 18 months. To maintain Limited and Professional licenses, you will need to complete 14 hours of continuing education every two years.

Careers Related to Being a Bond Agent

There are many career opportunities in Florida that are similar to those of a bond agent. The most common is a private investigator or a private detective. Another similar career is a process server. Basically, any area related to law enforcement is valuable to a career as a bond agent.

Degrees for Florida Bond Agents

There is no specific degree related to being a Florida bond agent. However, continuing education is marketable for any career. To become a more effective bond agent, you might study criminal justice, human psychology and law enforcement techniques.

Duties of a Bond Agent

The primary duty of a bond agent in Florida is to find and apprehend criminals who have skipped out on bail. Florida bond agents are entitled to arrest bail skippers and are then able to return them to the proper authorities.

Major Cities in Florida

Florida is home to some of the most popular cities in the country. Orlando, for example, features several theme parks that receive thousands of visitors every year. The Miami area is distinguished as the only city that features two National Parks making it a great vacation destination.

Florida Bond Agent Employment

Unfortunately, the Bureau of Labor Statistics does not release information on how many people are employed as bounty hunters or bond agents. However, despite this fact, employment opportunities for bond agents in Florida are on the rise. It is estimated that the career will grow by 12% from now to the year 2022. This will translate to 90 jobs per annum.

Bond Agent Salaries

Although not as competitive as other states, bond agents in Florida can earn a fairly impressive salary. The average salary for a Florida bond agent in 2014 was $43,170.

Education Programs for Bounty Hunters in Florida

  • Criminal Justice - Bachelor
Baker College Online
  • Homeland Security, MA
  • Criminal Justice, MA
Keiser University Graduate School
  • Homeland Security, AA
  • Homeland Security, BA
  • Criminal Justice, BA
  • Criminal Justice, AA
Keiser University eCampus
  • DEM - Emergency Management
Capella University
  • BS - Criminal Justice
Capella University
  • Master of Science in Criminal Justice – Public Administration
Liberty University - Online
  • General
  • General-Advanced
  • Online Teaching in Higher Education
  • Doctor of Business Administration (DBA) - Homeland Security
  • PhD in Criminal Justice - Emergency Management
  • PhD in Criminal Justice - Global Leadership
  • PhD in Criminal Justice - Homeland Security Policy and Coordination
  • PhD in Criminal Justice - Law and Public Policy
  • PhD in Criminal Justice - Public Management and Leadership
Walden University
  • Master of Science (M.S.) in Criminal Justice - Homeland Security Policy and Coordination
  • Master of Science (M.S.) in Criminal Justice - Law and Public Policy
  • Master of Science (M.S.) in Criminal Justice - Policy Analysis
  • Master of Science (M.S.) in Criminal Justice - Terrorism, Mediation, and Peace
  • Master of Science (M.S.) in Criminal Justice - Emergency Management
  • MS in Criminal Justice - Global Leadership
Walden University
  • DBA - Criminal Justice
  • DBA - Homeland Security: Leadership & Policy
Northcentral University
  • MBA - Criminal Justice
  • MBA - Homeland Security
Northcentral University
  • MPA - Criminal Justice
Kaplan University Online
  • BSCJ – Law Enforcement
  • BSCJ – Juvenile Justice
  • BSCJ – Homeland Security
  • BSCJ – Forensic Psychology
  • BSCJ – Crime Scene Investigation
  • BS in Criminal Justice
  • MSCJ - Corrections
  • MSCJ - Global Issues in Criminal Justice
  • MSCJ - Law
  • MSCJ - Leadership/Executive Management
  • Master of Science in Criminal Justice
  • Master of Science in Homeland Security and Emergency Management
  • Bachelor of Science in Fire Science
  • Associate of Applied Science in Criminal Justice and Criminology
  • Associate of Applied Science in Public Safety and Security
  • Associate of Applied Science in Fire Science
  • Bachelor of Science in Fire and Emergency Management
  • BS in Corrections
Kaplan University Online
  • A.S. Criminal Justice
  • B.S. Criminal Justice
  • B.S. International Relations and Security - Cybersecurity
  • B.S. International Relations and Security - Global Security
Indiana Wesleyan University - Online
  • Master of Science in Information Assurance
  • MS in Criminology
  • BS in Criminology
  • Graduate Certificate in Information Assurance and Cyber Security
  • Master of Science in Criminology - Cybercrime and Terrorism Focus
  • Master of Science in Criminology - Human Behavior Focus
  • Master of Science in Criminology - Leadership Focus
  • Master of Science in Information Assurance - Cybersecurity Specialization
Regis University- Online
  • Master of Science in Criminal Justice
  • MS in Computer Science - Cyber Security
Lewis University - Online
  • BS in Cybersecurity - Information Assurance
  • BS in Cybersecurity - Cybercrime and Fraud Investigation
  • BS in Cybersecurity - Network Forensics and Intrusion Investigation
  • BS in Cybersecurity - Cyber Operations
  • Masters in Financial Crime and Compliance Management
  • MBA Economic Crime and Fraud Management
  • MS Cybersecurity - Intelligence
  • MS Cybersecurity - Computer Forensics
  • MS Cybersecurity - Cyber Operations
  • Bachelor of Science in Cybersecurity
  • Bachelor of Science in Fraud and Financial Crime Investigation
  • BS in Criminal Justice - Cyber Criminology and Policy
  • Computer Forensics Certificate
  • Cyber Crime and Fraud Investigation Certificate
  • Cyber Network Defense Certificate
  • Cyber Operations Certificate
  • Cyber Policy Certificate
  • Cybersecurity Technologies Certificate
  • Financial Crime and Compliance Operations Certificate
  • Financial Crime Investigation Certificate
  • Master of Professional Studies in Cyber Policy and Risk Analysis
  • MBA - Cyber Policy
  • MBA - Cybersecurity
  • Monitoring, Surveillance, and Intelligence Operations Certificate
  • MS in Cybersecurity - Electronic Crime
  • MS in Cybersecurity - Malware Analysis
  • MS in Data Science: Cybersecurity
  • MS in Data Science: Financial Crime
  • Online Bachelor of Science in Fraud and Financial Crime Investigation - Financial Investigation
  • Online Bachelor of Science in Fraud and Financial Crime Investigation - Fraud Prevention and Detection
  • Online Master of Science in Cybersecurity
Utica College - Online
  • Master of Science Criminal Justice Critical Incident Mgt
  • Master of Science in Criminal Justice
  • Master of Science in Criminal Justice - Corrections
  • Master of Science in Criminal Justice - Criminal Investigation
  • Master of Science in Criminal Justice - Forensic Science
  • Master of Science in Criminal Justice - Legal Studies
Saint Leo University - Online
  • AA in Criminal Justice
  • BA in Criminal Justice
  • BA in Criminal Justice - Criminalistics Specialization
  • BA in Criminal Justice - Homeland Security Specialization
Saint Leo University - Online
  • BS - Criminal Justice and Law Enforcement Administration
  • Master - Criminal Justice and Law Enforcement Administration
  • CTU - Criminal Forensics
Colorado State University - Global