The home of the car capital of the world, Michigan is a state built on industry and the hard-working and honest ethics that go with it. People here work hard and expect to be rewarded for the fruits of their labors. Unfortunately, there are always people out to get over on honest ones, and those on the run from justice are brought in by bounty hunters who tirelessly pursue fugitives who jump bail. If this seems like a great career path for you, here’s all you need to know about becoming a bounty hunter in Michigan.
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Becoming a Bounty Hunter in Michigan
Bounty hunters are also called fugitive retrieval agents. It’s a dangerous job, especially in some of the more crime-heavy areas like Detroit, Livonia and Dearborn. Michigan doesn’t require licensure to practice this field, but laws do regulate bounty hunter activities, which are also called skip tracing.
Basic State Requirements
- Education: There are no educational requirements, many pursue bail enforcement training courses which cost between $275 and $500.
- Age: In general, you should be at least a legal adult before pursuing this career. If you’re under 21, you will not be able to carry a concealed weapon in the course of your work.
- Degree: Degrees related to bounty hunting include criminology, criminal justice, psychology and sociology.
- Experience: More experienced bounty hunters tend to have a more profitable career due to a broader client base.
- Background Screening: There are no fingerprinting or background check requirements for bounty hunters in Michigan.
Application Process in Michigan
- License Application: Michigan is one of eight states which do not require skip tracers to be licensed. However, those who wish to be armed must be at least 21.
Degrees related to Bounty Hunters
Higher education degrees which can benefit bounty hunters include studies of the criminal mind like sociology, criminology or psychology, and those like law and government or criminal justice.
Major Cities in Michigan
Major cities in Michigan where bounty hunters are often seen include Dearborn, Detroit, Grand Rapids, Lansing, Flint, Ann Arbor and Kalamazoo.
Specific Duties of Bounty Hunters in Michigan
Skip tracers have the important but sometimes dangerous job of tracking down fugitives who use a bail bondsman to post bail after an arrest, and then fail to show up in court. A bounty hunter must obey all applicable laws in the course of their duty related to fugitive apprehension, and must work closely with local law enforcement.
The most closely-related career to a skip tracer is the private investigator, who uses many of the same skills and procedures in the course of their work. Process servers who deal with serving, filing and retrieval of court notices and paperwork are also a related career path.
Employment Numbers in Michigan
Employment for skip tracers isn’t tracked by the Bureau of Labor Statistics, but those for private investigators are, and can provide a window into potential bounty hunter employment outlook. These careers are in high demand in Michigan, expected to increase by 12% by the year 2022.
Salary Ranges in Michigan
Again judging based on private investigators, a skip tracer in Michigan can expect to make between $40,000 and $45,000 per year.