You’re looking for a career change. You’re thinking about becoming a bail agent. But before you can get started, you need to know what the process entails.
You’ve come to the right place. We’re going to provide you with a variety of tips, helping you to become a bail bond agent in as quick and as seamless a manner as possible. Let’s get into it!
1. Meet the Prerequisites
First and foremost, you have to meet the prerequisites. These include being 18 years of age or older, having a high school degree or GED, and having the financial resources necessary to pursue the beginning of the process.
Your exact financial needs will depend on the path that you choose. We’ll cover more on that below.
2. Make Sure You Really Want to Do This
Being a bail agent isn’t for everyone. Yes, it can allow you to be flexible in your working hours. However, that alone isn’t reason enough to become one.
For this reason, you need to make sure that you really want to do this. You need to make sure that you can handle the responsibilities and situations that this career will subject you to.
Bail bondsmen work directly with the accused. They’re responsible not only for collecting debts but for locating individuals in the event that they don’t show up to court. It can be dangerous.
In short, if you’re not ready for high-stress situations, you shouldn’t pursue this career. It can be very rewarding . . . for the right type of person. For the wrong type of person, it can bring about a slew of unwanted circumstances.
3. Assess the Needs of Your Area
In order to be successful as a bail enforcement agent, you need to have a steady flow of clients. Of course, in order for this to happen, you need to live in an area in which plenty of laws are being broken.
But that isn’t the only thing you need to think about when assessing your potential client base. You also need to think about the competition in your area. If there are a number of other bail agents around you, you’re going to be competing with them to secure clients.
Are you prepared to travel decent distances in order to meet potential clients? Will you be able to break into the scene in your area? If not, you might have to consider moving.
4. Start Networking
When it comes to being a bail bondsman, your social circle can have a large impact on your success. The more people you know, the more connections you’ll have, and the better chance you’ll have of getting regular business.
So, if you don’t already, you need to start networking. Become a well-known member of your community. Join local Facebook groups, attend local events, and make yourself visible on a social level.
It’s also important to ingratiate yourself with the local law community. Try to build relationships with local prosecutors, defense lawyers, and even police officers. These connections could be vital to your future success.
5. Go to College
You don’t need to be a college graduate in order to become a bail bondsman. However, going to college wouldn’t be a bad idea at all. Being a bail bondsman is essentially running your own business, and you’ll want to have as much business acumen as possible.
Whether it’s through a 2-year degree, a 4-year degree, a Master’s degree, or otherwise, education in criminal justice, finance, business administration, and economics can be extremely helpful. Some schools even have courses that are specifically designed for bail bondsmen.
The key is to become as educated on the field as possible. You’re going to have to pass a state licensing exam, and this education will be vital in helping you do so.
6. Pass Your State’s Licensing Exam
Once you’ve completed your education, you’re going to have to pass your state’s licensing exam. In most states, this is a multiple-choice test, one that needs to be completed in under an hour.
There is a fee to take the test. It’s usually somewhere between $50 and $100. So, while you can take the test multiple times in order to pass, you’ll have to pay this fee every time.
Note, in some states, you need to have a certificate for a pre-licensing course. Call your state’s Deparment of Justice for info on this matter.
Upon passing the exam, you can apply for your license. This will require you to submit a variety of items, all of which will be determined by the state in which you live. For instance, here are Virginia’s requirements.
7. Get a Job
Once you’ve received your license, you can begin your career. You have two options to pursue: 1. you can work independently, or 2. you can join a bail bonds company.
As a beginner, you’re advised to opt for the latter. Doing so is wise not only because it provides you with a steady stream of clients but because it allows you a chance to learn the ropes around experienced bail bondsmen.
Working as an independent bail agent requires you not only to perform the tasks of a bail agent but to find your own clients as well. You would essentially be running a business, and if you don’t have the experience of running a business, you’re bound to become overwhelmed.
Need More Help Becoming a Bail Agent?
Do you need further help becoming a bail agent? If so, and if you’re located in Virginia, North Carolina, or South Carolina, we here at Amistad Bailbonds & Associates are the people to see.
Our organization will help you start your career as a bail bondsman, giving you a place where you can hone your skills under the watchful eyes of experienced professionals.
Join us by applying now!