How to Become a Bounty Hunter in New York

In many ways, New York has become synonymous with the United States, its namesake city carrying a proud heritage and history, the home of Broadway and Wall Street, of Times Square and glamour. It’s also, like many states, one that has a criminal element on the run from justice. When fugitives fail to appear in court, they are tracked down by bail enforcement agents, more commonly known as bounty hunters, and returned to justice. Here’s everything you need to know if this career appeals to you as a New York resident.

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Becoming a Bounty Hunter in New York

Bounty Hunters in New York are legally referred to as bail enforcement agents. Their activities are carefully overseen and regulated under the law and becoming licensed requires training, experience and solid moral character.

Basic State Requirements

  • Education: State-approved training of at least 25 hours is required, unless you were a police officer for more than 3 years.
  • Age: Minimum 25 years old.
  • Degree: Many bounty hunters pursue criminal justice degrees to enhance their skills.
  • Experience: All bounty hunters in New York must have at minimum 3 years of experience in law enforcement as a police officer, private investigations employee where bounty hunting duties took place, or as a state, county or federal investigator.
  • Citizenship: You will need to be a United States Citizen.

Additional Requirements

  • Background Screening: You must not have any felony convictions to be eligible for licensure. This requires fingerprinting, which carries a $75 fee.
  • Surety Bond: You must be bonded for $500,000

bail fugitive investigator new york

Application Process in New York

  • License Application: Your bail enforcement agent application must include an informed consent form from the DMV, proof of fingerprinting, verification of experience from employers and at least three references, proof of earnings over the prior three years, and a $400 application fee.
  • Licensure: renewal must be completed every two years, which carries a $25 fee and proof of your ongoing bond.

Degrees related to Bounty Hunters

Many bounty hunters pursue two- or four-year degrees to enhance their skills, including criminal justice, criminal psychology, forensics, sociology, law and government, law enforcement or similar fields.

Major Cities in New York

Major cities in New York include the state capital of Albany, New York City, Buffalo, Syracuse, and Rochester. Bounty hunters can be found in many large cities throughout the state.

Specific Duties of Bounty Hunters in New York

Bounty hunters may not wear, display or possess a badge while performing their work. Those who moonlight as a security guard or P.I. have strict requirements on the wearing of name tags. They must whenever they are working, inform local law enforcement officials in writing. Any time they need to enter a building, they  must be accompanied by local law enforcement.

Related Careers

Careers most closely related to bounty hunters in New York are law enforcement, private investigators, bail bondsmen and process servers.

Employment Numbers in New York

Employment figures are not kept for bounty hunters, but private investigators form a very close proxy. Jobs in the field are projected to increase by 14.4% over the next five years.

Salary Ranges in New York

Salary figures are also based on those for private investigators, and indicates that a bounty hunter in New York can expect to earn between $37,000 and $65,000.


Education Programs for Bounty Hunters in New York

  • Criminal Justice, MA
  • Homeland Security, MA
Keiser University Graduate School
  • Homeland Security, AA
  • Criminal Justice, AA
  • Homeland Security, BA
Keiser University eCampus
  • DEM - Emergency Management
Capella University
  • BS - Criminal Justice
Capella University
  • MS - Cybersecurity
Capella University
  • Master of Science in Criminal Justice – Public Administration
  • JM: American Legal Studies
  • JM: General
  • JM: Health Law
  • JM: International Legal Studies
  • JM: Special Student (Non-Degree Seeking) - Legal Studies
  • LLM: International Legal Studies
  • MPA: Law & Public Policy
  • MS: Criminal Justice
  • MS: Criminal Justice: Forensic Psychology
  • MS: Criminal Justice: Homeland Security
Liberty University - Online
  • DBA - Criminal Justice
  • DBA - Homeland Security: Leadership & Policy
  • Doctor of Criminal Justice
Northcentral University
  • MS in Criminal Justice
  • MS in Criminal Justice: Advanced Counterterrorism & Homeland Security concentration
  • MS in Criminal Justice: Public Safety Administration concentration
Southern New Hampshire University - Online
  • Associate in Science Criminal Justice
  • Bachelor of Science in Criminal Justice
  • Bachelor of Science in Criminal Justice with concentration in Criminology
  • Bachelor of Science in Criminal Justice with concentration in Homeland Secu
  • Bachelor of Science in Criminal Justice with concentration in Legal Studies
  • Bachelor of Science in Criminal Justice with concentration in Police Admini
  • BS Criminal Justice w/conc Human Services
  • BS Criminal Justice w/conc in Corrections
Southern New Hampshire University - Online
  • MS: Criminal Justice - Critical Incident Management
  • MS: Criminal Justice
  • MS: Criminal Justice - Corrections
  • MS: Criminal Justice - Criminal Investigation
  • MS: Criminal Justice - Forensic Science
  • MS: Criminal Justice - Legal Studies
  • DCJ: Education
  • DCJ: Homeland Security
  • MBA: Cybersecurity Management
  • MS: Criminal Justice - Behavioral Studies
  • MS: Criminal Justice - Non-Degree Seeking
Saint Leo University - Online
  • AA: Criminal Justice
  • BA: Criminal Justice
  • BA: Criminal Justice - Criminalistics
  • BA: Criminal Justice - Homeland Security
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