How to Become a

Bail Bondsman

The complete career guide to be a Bail Bondsman: salary, job growth, employers, best schools, and education you may need to get started.

Why We Love It

  • $72,480
    Potential Avg. Salary
  • 4.9%
    Job Growth Rate
  • Growing Demand
    Job Outlook
  • Creativity Focused
    Career Attribute

A bails bondsman is an individual that arranges bail for a fee for a criminal defendant that has been arrested and is in jail awaiting release.  The defendant pays the bondsman by promising cash or assets as surety the suspect will adhere to the expectations of them.

Recommended Schools

What is a Bail Bondsman?

The following responsibilities are common for Bails Bondsmen:

  • Acts as a liaison between courts, police departments and defendants
  • Assesses whether a defendant qualifies for bond or not
  • Provides the funds to release the defendant from police custody
  • Should the defendant fail to appear in court, they track the defendant down to bring them back into custody

A Day In The Life

Bail bondsman, or also known as bail agents, assist individuals that have found themselves as criminal defendants in maintaining their freedom while they await their trial, by posting money on their behalf to guarantee the defendant will return to court when subpoenaed to do so.

The first step to the bail bonds process is for the bondsman to preform an assessment of the criminal defendant has the necessary and proper qualifications to receive a bond.  To qualify, the defendants background information is checked to determine if the individual is a flight risk and will show up for court proceedings.  The bondsman then decides whether the defendant is reliable and if they are then they qualify the defendant under contract guarantee. The bondsman collects a percentage of the bond, paid with either cash or assets,  from the defendant and a contract is also signed by the defendant promising that they will appear in  court.  The paperwork is then filed with the courthouse , formally executing the bond and allowing the release of the defendant from jail.  If the defendant fails to appear in court, commits another offense or violates the contract between the bond agency and the defendant, then the agency reserves the right to search, find and apprehend the defendant and return them to jail to ensure that the defendant shows up for court proceedings.

Typical Wok Schedule

This occupation requires extremely odd and irregular hours.  The majority of the bondsman’s time is spent in the office during regular operating business hours.  But, they will also need to be on call 24/7 because criminals commit crimes at all hours of the day.

Projected Job Growth

As the criminal sector becomes more commercialized, the population of prisons and jails is at its highest.  The need for agencies and individuals that possess the ability to assist defendants with their freedom while awaiting trial, is expected to slightly increase over the next few years.

Typical Employers

These individuals are typically self-employed or work as contractors.  While others work for other bond agencies.

Recommended Schools

How To Become a Bail Bondsman

The profession of a bail bondsman is a challenging job, that requires knowledge of finance, and a comprehension of contract and criminal law, both at the state and federal levels.  Most states require a certification to become a bails bondsman.  The requirements for the certification can vary from state to state.  Generally, the main requirements are to be at least 18 years or older, hold a high school diploma or equivalent, complete a pre-licensing course, pass the individuals state licensing exams, and obtain a sponsorship of a bond surety company.  Most states have standard age requirements as well as mandatory background checks and credit checks for prospective agents.  Pre-certification courses are offered through a variety of institutions and typically require 8-20 hours of coursework instruction including topics like state statutes, business practices and apprehension techniques.  It is also required that the bondsman take annual continuing education courses to maintain their certification.

Most federal and state agencies require these individuals to meet specific requirements in order to be certified and licensed.  These qualifications include, having a high school diploma or higher education level, be at least 18 years old, complete and pass the pre-licensing courses, pass their states licensing and certification exam and posses a sponsorship of a surety insurance company.

Bail Bondsman Salary Data

We’ve provided you the following to learn more about this career. The salary and growth data on this page comes from recently published Bureau of Labor Statistics data while the recommendations and editorial content are based on our research.

National Anual Salary

Low Range




High Range


National Hourly Wage

Low Range




High Range


How do Bail Bondsman salaries stack up to other jobs across the country? Based on the latest jobs data nationwide, Bail Bondsman's can make an average annual salary of $72,480, or $35 per hour. On the lower end, they can make $49,590 or $24 per hour, perhaps when just starting out or based on the state you live in.

Salary Rankings And Facts

  • #181 Nationally for All Careers

  • Above Average Salary Nationally

Highest Education Among Bail Bondsmans

  • 2.6%   Doctorate
  • 22.9%   Masters
  • 37.7%   Bachelors
  • 8.7%   Associates
  • 16.6%   College
  • 10.4%   High School
  • 1.2%   Less than High School

Job Growth Projections and Forecast

2014 Total Jobs


2024 Est. Jobs


Job Growth Rate


Est. New Jobs


How does Bail Bondsman job growth stack up to other jobs across the country? By 2024, there will be a change of 7,100 jobs for a total of 152,300 people employed in the career nationwide. This is a 4.9% change in growth over the next ten years, giving the career a growth rate nationwide of Above Average.

Growth Rankings And Facts

  • #441 Nationally for All Careers

  • Above Avg. Growth Nationally

What Companies Employ The Most Bail Bondsmans

Industry Current Jobs New Jobs Needed % Increase
Federal government, excluding postal service 23,200 -2,200 -2%
Depository credit intermediation 21,000 1,300 1%
Management of companies and enterprises 11,900 500 1%

Want To Be a Bail Bondsman? Get Started!

Generate your free SmartPlan™ to identify colleges you like, and potential ways to save on a degree or certification program toward your career with courses, offers, and much more!

Enroll Now and Get Started

or Learn More →