Mississippi is one of the great states in our Union. It was the first state to have a planned junior college system, the birthplace of the first nuclear submarine, and the state where the most advanced ships of the U.S. navy are currently constructed. When fugitives from justice are on the run in Mississippi, those that track them down and return them to face punishment are bounty hunters. Read all you need to know about becoming a bounty hunter in Mississippi.
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Becoming a Bounty Hunter in Mississippi
Bounty Hunters in Mississippi are more properly called bail enforcement agents. They are licensed, regulated and overseen by the state’s insurance department.
Basic State Requirements
- Education: 40 hours of training through the Mississippi Bail Agents Association are required pre-licensing
- Age: Bail enforcement agents must be at least 21 years old.
- Degree: While not required, many agents seek a secondary degree in a field like law enforcement or criminal justice.
- Experience: Developing partnerships in law enforcement and bail bonding can only be built with time and experience.
- Citizenship: All bail enforcement agents must be legally eligible for employment in the U.S.
- Background Screening: Bail enforcement agents must submit to a background check to prove they have no convictions of crimes related to morality, or any felonies.
- Law enforcement agents, attorneys and judiciary officials cannot function as bounty hunters.
Application Process in Mississippi
- License Application: Your application form will include a $40 tax, a $50 application fee, a color photograph, fingerprinting and a recent, clear photograph.
- Licensure: The license is good for two years, and expires on September 30. 16 hours of continuing education are required for renewal, though the first year you are licensed, eight of these hours are waived, as your education is still considered current.
Degrees related to Bounty Hunters
Often, bounty hunters pursue related secondary degrees in fields like forensics, criminal psychology, public safety, criminal justice, sociology or law and government.
Major Cities in Mississippi
Major cities in Mississippi where bounty hunters may be a common sight include Jackson (the state capital), Gulfport, Tupelo, Hattiesburg and Biloxi.
Specific Duties of Bounty Hunters in Mississippi
Bounty hunters, at their most basic level, bring in fugitives from justice in exchange for a fee. Usually these are those who have skipped or jumped bail and failed to appear for a court hearing. They must abide by all laws regarding search and seizure and arrests, and work very closely with local law enforcement.
Careers related to bounty hunting include the bail bondsmen who hire them, private investigators who perform similar work and utilize similar skills, and process servers who handle court paperwork and notices.
Employment Numbers in Mississippi
Unfortunately, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics doesn’t track outlook and salary for bounty hunters. They do, however, track private investigators, a very similar career, and these numbers can give an insight into what you can expect from a career in bounty hunting. The career has already exceeded expectations that it would rise by at least 12.2% by the year 2022.
Salary Ranges in Mississippi
The expected salary (again, based on those of private detectives) averages around $33,600, but in areas like Biloxi it can be as high as a $42,650 annual average.