Known both as the Gateway to the West and the Home of the Blues, Missouri is the state where the first skydive from a moving plane was accomplished, and the state where the ice cream cone was invented. It’s a state of pride and work ethic, and when people try to get over on the system, there are men and women known as bounty hunters who track fugitives down and bring them to justice. This page will teach you everything you need to know to start a career as a Missouri Surety Recovery Agent.
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Becoming a Bounty Hunter in Missouri
Bounty hunters—properly called “Surety Recovery Agents”—must meet strict licensing requirements under the supervision and administration of the state Department of Insurance.
Basic State Requirements
- Education: Bounty hunters must complete a 24-hour training from an authorized source; Missouri law forbids training courses to cost more than $200.
- Age: You need to be 21 years old.
- Degree: Possessing a GED or high school diploma is required.
- Experience: Experience isn’t required, but is helpful.
- Citizenship: You must possess U.S. Citizenship.
- Background Screening: Fingerprinting is required to prove you do not have any felony convictions on your record. This carries a $12 fee.
- Exam: The surety recovery agent exam contains 50 questions and carries a $41 fee. Passing with a score of 70% or better is required to qualify for licensure.
Application Process in Missouri
- License Application: Your application form must also include an original signed certificate from your training course, fingerprint and background check results (state and FBI), and a photocopy of a government ID or driver’s license. The application fee is $150.
- Licensure: Licenses are good for two years, and renewal requires eight hours of continuing education, plus a $150 fee.
Degrees related to Bounty Hunters
Secondary education degrees that are often pursued to enhance bounty hunter skills include forensics, criminal justice, criminal psychology, law and government and finance, among others.
Major Cities in Missouri
Major cities in which people seek employment as fugitive recovery agents include St. Louis, the capital of Jefferson City, Kansas City, Springfield, Columbia and Saint Charles.
Specific Duties of Bounty Hunters in Missouri
Bounty hunters track down fugitives from the law and return them to justice in exchange for a fee or posted reward. They are required to operate within the bounds of the law and must notify local law enforcement at least 24 hours before they make an arrest or forcible entry.
Other careers that are similar to bounty hunting include private investigations and court process servers.
Employment Numbers in Missouri
Employment outlook and salary for bounty hunters are not tracked by the U.S. BLS. However, the bureau does track the closely-related field of private investigators and these numbers give insight into bounty hunting as a career. It is expected that in the 10-year period between 2012 and 2022, the field will increase by around 9.4%.
Salary Ranges in Missouri
Salary figures for the related field of private investigators show that the average earnings in a year range between $47,100 in Kansas City to $56,870 in the Springdale area.