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.

Education Programs for Bounty Hunters in Virginia

  • 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
  • General-Advanced
  • Online Teaching in Higher Education
  • Doctor of Business Administration (DBA) - Homeland Security
  • PhD in Criminal Justice - Emergency Management
  • PhD in Criminal Justice - Global Leadership
  • PhD in Criminal Justice - Homeland Security Policy and Coordination
  • PhD in Criminal Justice - Law and Public Policy
  • PhD in Criminal Justice - Public Management and Leadership
Walden University
  • 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