If you are looking for a lucrative career, then you may want to consider taking up employment as a bail bondsmen in your state. This job is also sometimes referred to as a bail bond agent career. While this career path can be one that earns you a lot of money, you should also know that it can be rather risky due to the fact that you will be working with criminals or people who have been arrested.
Before getting started, know that this career path is not available in every state. In fact, only some states actually allow people who are arrested to use the services of a bail bondsman. Some of the states that do not allow it are Kentucky, Oregon, Wisconsin and Illinois.
You also need to keep in mind that you must obtain a license in the state that you want to work in. The licensing requirements vary by state though, so you must read each one carefully before planning on taking employment in each state.
What is a bail bond?
If you are newly learning about this profession, then you may be a bit confused as to what exactly a bail bond itself is. Think of it is a type of insurance for people who have been arrested. This “insurance” serves the purpose of guaranteeing the arrested person’s appearance in court for their court date. The arrested person comes to an agreement with the bail bond agent, the court and the insurance company. The agreement is that the arrested person will make their appearance in court or be financially liable for all associated costs.
Here is how a bail bond works: the judge sets an amount for the arrested person’s bond. That amount is based on the crime, the safety risk of the arrested person and the person’s background. If the family of the arrested person does not have the money, then they utilize the services of a bail bondsman (like you) by paying a fee of 10-15% of the bond amount. In return, the bail bondsman posts the bond. If the person misses any court dates, then the bond is forfeit and they get arrested again.
Requirements To Become A Bail Bondsman
Remember, the specific requirements for this career vary from one state to the next. However, all states require you to have a bail bond license in order to operate your bail bond agent business. Getting licensed does require a little bit of education from the regulatory body in your state. Typically, it is the Department of Insurance in each state that handles the licensing.
You should know that some states also require a little work in the industry in order to get licensed. Thankfully, this is not a requirement in every state.
To get started, you should contact the Department of Insurance in your state to determine the exact licensing requirements. They can let you know of any bail bondsman schools or programs in the area so that you can obtain the required education in order to get your license. In many states, the license is called the Limited Surety Agent’s License, or bail bond class license.
Do not confuse a bounty hunter with a bail bondsman. They are two different things, but sometimes one person can do both jobs. In most instances, the bounty hunter actually works for the bail bond agent to track down any fugitives who might have skipped bond and not showed up for court dates. Finding and apprehending those people is how a bounty hunter earns his money. When he does this, the bail bond agent pays him.
Another important thing to remember is that you will have to pay for your license in the state. And, the license will have to be renewed (which means paying again) in order to keep the license active. However, you do not have to continue your education after the initial studying and exam to get the license.
Is Being A Bail Bondsman A Good Job Career Choice?
If you are considering becoming a bail bondsman in your state, then you might be wondering is this job is the right career choice for you. You may even be asking yourself What exactly does a bondsman do? No one wants to end up taking a job that has terrible benefits, is not rewarding, has low pay or is dangerous. And these are all things that you could think about working as a bail bondsman. So, let’s take a closer look at this job to see if it is a good fit for you.
Daily Job Variety
One of the best things about working as a bail bondsman is that there is no average or normal day on the job. You get a lot of variety and this is definitely not a boring one. Some daily activities that you might be doing include going to jails and courthouses, as well as possibly chasing after fugitives.
If you are concerned about money, then you will really enjoy the financial benefits of this job. Working as a bail bondsman pays quite well as you get a commission for each bond that is posted. That commission amount varies and depends on if you work for someone else or for yourself. Typically, the salary for a bail bondsman is between $50,000-$80,000 per year.
While newly licensed bail bondsmen typically work for someone else, you can work for yourself after you get a little experience. This means that you get to enjoy the freedom of not having a boss looking over your shoulder and telling you what to do. That also means that you get to make your own work schedule.
There is no shortage of people getting arrested and having to post bail, which means that there is plenty of work for you. And if you are working for yourself, then you can work as little or as much as you want. This also means that your income potential is unlimited!
Is Being A Bail Bondsman Dangerous?
Since a bail bondsman works with people who have been arrested and arraigned on bail, there can be some concern about the safety of this career choice. There is no denying that many of the people you will come across while working as a bail bondsman are, in fact, criminals. Of course, this does not mean that they are all violent, dangerous people.
The truth is that it can be a dangerous business to be in. There have even been bail bond agents killed by their clients. In Baltimore, a bail bondswoman was shot by a client in 2011 when she was meeting him to collect payment.
While deadly situations are not the normal, everyday scenario of the job, they certainly can happen.
Often, these types of situations happen during recovery, such as when a client has skipped out on bail. Of course, not all bail bond agents also work as bounty hunters. Bounty hunters often encounter more dangerous situations than bail bondsmen.
Working with a partner is an easy way to lower the risk of something going wrong with a possible violent and dangerous client.
Overall, doing a recovery is really the main time when this can be a dangerous job. Most of the time, you can do your job without any incidents that put you in danger.