How to Become a Bounty Hunter in Virginia

Home to the first colony in the United States, Jamestown, Virginia is a state with a long and storied tradition. Because part of this tradition includes respecting the law, Virginia allows for bounty hunters to work in the state. Bounty hunters in Virginia are also known as bail enforcement agents, and must follow certain regulations to enter this career.

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Becoming a Bounty Hunter in Virginia

Basic Requirements

  • Education: Virginia requires that its bounty hunters possess at least a GED or a high school diploma. For a better understanding of the profession, you could also enroll in a program related to bounty hunting, like criminology.
  • Age: 21 is the minimum age to work as a bounty hunter in Virginia.
  • Degrees: A degree is not required, but can help with your career.
  • Experience: Virginia does not outline experience requirements for this profession.
  • Citizenship: Bounty hunters must be US citizens or legal aliens.

become a bounty hunter in virginia

Additional Requirements

  • Background Check: You will have to provide a fingerprint before working as a bounty hunter. Also, if you have been convicted of a felony or misdemeanor, you will need to provide a full criminal record.
  • Employment: Virginia restricts freelance bounty hunting, which means you should be employed by a bail bond agency.
  • Notification: Before making an arrest as a bounty hunter, you will need approval from an authorized bail bondsman. You are also required to notify local law enforcement agencies 24-hours before you make an arrest and one hour before the arrest will occur. Additionally, a verbal warning has to be given before entering a private residence to make an arrest.

Applying for Your License

  • Training: Virginia requires that you participate in 40 hours of bail enforcement training. This training will cover Virginia law, how the court system works and rules for recovering fugitives.
  • Submitting an Application: After training, you will submit an application with the Virginia Department of Criminal Justice Services. Your application should include a $200, license fee, your fingerprint and a $50 fee and proof you are licensed to carry a firearm and a $30 fee.
  • Receiving Your License: After completing all the requirements, you will receive your license. It must be renewed every two years, which requires another $200 fee, eight hours of continuing training and new fingerprint and firearm verification.

Bounty Hunting Degrees

Degrees that are useful for bounty hunters include criminal justice or criminology, psychology and techniques of investigation.

Duties of a Bounty Hunter

A bounty hunter tracks and arrests fugitives who have been released on bond and then fled from justice. Upon arrest, a bounty hunter will return the fugitive to the proper jurisdiction.

Similar Careers to Bounty Hunting

Process Servers and private investigators perform similar job responsibilities as bounty hunters. Working as a law enforcement agent can also be a related career.

Major Cities in Virginia

Mt. Vernon was the home of George Washington and Monticello was the home of Thomas Jefferson, both of which are located in Virginia. Richmond is the state’s current capitol and Williamsburg was the restored capitol of the American Colonies.

Virginia Employment Opportunities

Job information for Virginia bounty hunters is not collected by the Bureau of Labor Statistics, but since private investigation is a closely related career, it can be used as a stand-in. Close to 800 private investigators work in Virginia, and the profession is expected to experience a tremendous growth rate of 24.8% by 2022.

Salary Levels

Bounty hunters can expect a similar salary to private investigators, and in Virginia, the annual average salary for a private investigator is $52,610.

Bounty Hunter Programs and Schools in Virginia

Bounty Hunter Programs and Schools in Virginia

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Choose your area of study and receive free information about programs you are interested in. Private investigators are used by law firms, law enforcement, insurance companies, as well as individuals to conduct investigations to build criminal and civil cases. A degree related to criminal justice could benefit an aspiring private investigator greatly. Request information from multiple schools to find the best program and educational opportunity for you!