If you’re looking for several simple steps to become a bail agent, then we’ve got you covered.
In the United States, there are more than 91,000 probation officers and correctional treatment specialists. Of those, a few have what it takes to become a bail bond agent. In a heartbeat, you may be assigned to fieldwork in high-crime places.
But the real question is, how do I become a bail enforcement agent?
For those looking to become a bail agent, check out this surprising guide on the 5 simple steps to become a bail enforcement agent.
1. Know the Eligibility
As a bail enforcement agent or bail bondsman, it’s your duty to make sure the bail of the person in question is paid and the accused personnel appear in their court proceedings.
To become a bail enforcement agent, you must be at least eighteen years old. At a minimum, you must hold a GED or high school diploma, although many candidates have advanced education such as an associate’s or bachelor’s degree.
Additionally, you must meet the surety obligations, meaning you have to have sufficient financial resources or the sponsorship or a business as well as proof of residency.
Finally, to become a bail agent, the candidate must complete training requirements, a pre-licensing bail education course, and pass the state licensing exam. Note, there are different requirements in each state.
2. Complete the Educational Requirements
If you want to become a bail agent, you have to first complete the educational requirements. To be a more competitive candidate, consider an associate’s, bachelor’s, or master’s in degrees such as:
- Foreign language
- Criminal justice
The more educational experience you possess, the more prepared you’ll be for your licensing exam. In addition to formal education, look for internships and seasonal positions in the field to get on the job experience.
It’s important to make professional connections in the field and create positive relationships with future business partners. It’s vital to utilize valuable guidance and supervision as you’re entering the field.
Try joining a bail bondsman club or group or take an independent class for even more practical knowledge.
3. Achieve the Training Requirements
If you want to how to become a bail agent, you must achieve the training requirements. Whether you plan to work in the field or an institution, you must complete a training program often sponsored by the federal or state government.
Depending on your desired level of specialization, you may have to complete additional training such as:
- Domestic violence training
- Substance abuse training
- Juvenile appropriate specific training
Many bail bond agents must first work as trainees for up to a year before becoming an independent contractor or being offered any kind of full-time position.
To prepare for training requirements, it’s important to be mentally, emotionally, and physically fit. As an active member of the criminal justice system, it’s imperative to be versatile as you work alongside the police force and lawyers.
Interested bail bondsman candidates should be:
- Time management
In addition to being business-minded and enthusiastic to be in the field, be sure to address your physical fitness too. At times, a bail enforcement agent needs to exhibit muscular strength, endurance, flexibility, and aerobic fitness.
Be sure to get a minimum of 150 minutes of activity each week. Incorporate activities into your workouts like running, swimming laps, cycling, lifting weights, and moderate rock climbing.
Keep in mind many bail bond businesses, like us, prefer on-the-job training using proven methods and known business practices. You’ll learn business-specific skills such as:
- How to create a business
- Maintaining records
- Posting bond
- Handling forfeitures
- Interpersonal relations
- Customer service
To become a bail agent, you must be determined and persevere in the midst of adversity and challenge.
4. Pass the State Licensing Exam
In most states, you must pass the state licensing exam to become a bail agent. To obtain your licensure, there is a $40 to $100 fee depending on which state and independent test provider you choose.
Most exams are fifty to sixty multiple-choice questions and must be taken within one hour. Most states allow candidates multiple attempts of the exam if needed.
Be sure to bring appropriate identification to the exam such as a driver’s license, birth certificate, social security card, or passport. Learn the specific exam requirements before test day so you’re prepared.
After you pass the exam, apply for a state license. Most states have applications available on the department of insurance website. Have your scores ready to submit, as well as proof of surety business sponsorship.
5. Start a Bail Company
The final step in becoming a bail bond agent is to start a bail company. Starting a business takes initiative and a time and financial investment. Be sure to register for a business name, create a website, and open a merchant account.
Consider business cards and other marketing methods.
Remember, you don’t have to start a company alone. You can join a team that helps to support your professional bail agent ambitions.
Become a Bail Agent
To become a bail agent takes a serious work ethic and dedication. It’s a prestigious career for the few who have what it takes to carry out justice. Remember to take on the training with an open mind and determination.
What are you waiting for? your career as a bail enforcement agent awaits! You’ve got this.
Want to see more posts like this one? Check out the rest of our blog to learn all about starting a bail bond business in Virginia!