A bail bond agent is any person or company that will serve and act as a surety and pledge money or property as bail for the appearance of a criminal defendant in court. Bondsmen usually cater to criminal defenses and their task is to secure their client's release in a matter of few hours. Bail bond agents are not commonly found in other countries unlike in the United States. People who have been arrested and are not able to make a bail on their own can contact a bondsman for assistance. The bondsman will then post the bail in exchange for a non-refundable fee. Should the criminal defensive skip out on his bail and fails to show up for a court hearing, a bondsman can make use of a bounty hunter's service to search for the defender.
A bail bond agent often works unusual hours because he has to be available to clients who wish to be freed at any time of the day or night. This job can be very risky because if a client will not show up for a court-scheduled hearing, you will be responsible for paying the court the equivalent amount of your client's bail. What about the agent's income? It varies greatly and it sometimes depends where you choose to work. You might be paid less if you choose to be of service to rural areas.
Before you can become a bail bond agent, you have to acquire a license first. Some states require a license for property and casualty insurance while other states need specific licenses and qualifications. You may want to start working for an established bail bonding company before you decide to explore the field on your own. This will help you effectively gain valuable experience instead of wasting time and money on trial and error. Check out PBUS or Professional Bail Agents of the United States for a list of all licensed bondsmen.