Bail Bondsman Training Programs and Requirements
A bail bondsman, also known as a surety agent, is someone who coordinates the payment of bail so that a suspected criminal may be released from prison, pending trial, or some other judicial process. Licensing requirements vary between states but most require successful completion of a training course.
Bail Bondsman Training Course
This course is designed to familiarize the individual with the full range of bond skills and knowledge, with particular emphasis on the state certification exam. Individuals learn the processes and methods of the criminal justice system, including the function of the court and the role of incarceration within the justice system. Coursework may also cover arrest laws and techniques, bail bond laws, job duties, and bail bonding processes.
Some states offer the bail bondsman training program as just one course, while other states offer a series of courses. The length of the courses may vary due to state requirements, but they typically last a few days to a few weeks. Some are self-paced and available online or as correspondence courses. Students who complete the course are typically eligible to take the certification exam in their state.
There are generally no academic requirements for enrolling in a bail bond agent training program, although some states require applicants to have graduated high school or its equivalent. Familiarity with another language, such as Spanish, can be helpful.
Employment and Salary Information
The bail bondsman's main duties includes educating the defendant on the bail process, obtaining collateral from the defendant to cover bail, ensuring all documents are signed, securing the bond from the insurance company, and delivering the bond to court. The bondsman also ensures that the defendant upholds their part of the bond agreement. If the defendant violates the terms of the bail bond, the bondsman may legally apprehend and turn in the defendant.
Due to the nature of this career, applicants should be in good physical condition and possess strong communication skills. Applicants must have resided in the state in which they take the bail bondsman course and certification exam for at least one year, although this time may vary between states. According to PayScale.com, the median annual salary earned by a bail bondsman was about $33,000 as of December 2013.
Continuing Education and Certification
In order to be a bail bondsman, one must be certified. This certification process is administered at the state level. Exact details vary by state, although most states offer this process through the Department of Insurance.
Most states require bail bond agents to enroll in continuing education courses in order to maintain the required license. These courses are often offered online or as correspondence courses. Many of these courses emphasize the wide range of people and personalities encountered by the bondsman and the most effective ways of dealing with an ethnically diverse population.
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