Careers for Felons: Jobs for Ex Convicts (Big Opportunities)

Careers for Felons: Jobs for Ex Convicts (Big Opportunities)

careers for felons

If you’ve been convicted of a felony, it may seem that careers for felons are few and far between. Your felony is on your record permanently, and unless you’ve had the opportunity to get your record expunged, it can impact hiring decisions.

Thankfully, there are careers for felons which are quite lucrative and rewarding. Applying for jobs with a criminal record can be difficult, and it’s most certainly a hit to your confidence the first time you’re declined.

You’ve got options. Here are some opportunities which are more relaxed in their hiring decisions.

Careers for Felons: What You Can’t Do

First things first. If you’ve been convicted of a felony, there are some things you’ll not be able to do. First of all, don’t bother applying to jobs in education or childcare. The educational system is very strict about hiring only applicants with a clean criminal background. If you’ve got kids, you understand.

Secondly, it’s probably not a good idea to put effort into applying for law enforcement jobs. While some smaller departments may be willing to offer jobs to those with a felony, it’s not likely, and probably not worth your time and training expense.

The medical field is another. Hospitals and doctors’ offices like to see spotless criminal records. There’s just so much which can go wrong within the medical field that hiring someone with a felony leaves the organization open to legal action. Again, it’s probably best to apply elsewhere.

Finally, the government is pretty strict about criminal records. However, it’s possible to join the military with a waiver, and depending upon the conviction. Talk to your local recruitment office about the possibility of military careers for felons.

Careers for Felons: What You Can Do

Now, all that bad news aside, there are many careers for felons which will offer opportunities for both a healthy salary and for career advancement. Some require special training, while others require none at all.

Here are a few options that you can look into to get your career started.


Construction careers may or may not require special training. If you need more specific information about a particular position, contact the foreman or other supervisor.

If you’ve got experience in any aspect of construction, whether it be operating heavy machinery, plumbing, electrical work, HVAC or carpentry, this may me a good fit for you. Interested in refining your skills? You can earn your General Contractor’s license through your local community college. This license will give you the knowledge you need to begin your career.

Truck Driving

Truck driving has long been considered one of the best careers for felons. If we’re being honest, as long as you’ve got your CDL and a good driving record, most trucking companies don’t care about your criminal record.

As of 2016, the Labor Department reported that the average earnings for a truck driver were over $41,000 per year. There are benefits to the job, as well. You’ll get to see parts of the country you wouldn’t otherwise see, and you’ll have great job security. Plus, you can listen to whatever you want on the radio, all day long.

Not all truck driving jobs are long distance. You’ll be away from home a few days a week in most cases, but there are local opportunities for truck drivers as well. Most companies will guarantee a certain amount of time at home each month.

Fast Food

Fast food is often considered a last resort for those seeking a career. They’re viewed as temporary jobs for college kids and retired or unemployed workers, but that’s what makes them so great!

Fast food has a high turnover rate, so it’s easy to get your foot in the door; there’s almost always a job opening. Once you’re in, you can work your way up to a management or even corporate position. That makes fast food one of the best careers for felons: once you’re in, you’re golden.

McDonald’s, Burger King, Taco Bell, Chipotle and Bruegger’s are just a few of the restaurant chains which offer careers for felons. If you’ve got a felony conviction, go ahead and apply! The worst they can say is no.

Private Security

This may seem like a contradiction in terms, another choice in careers for felons is security. Now, it’s not likely that you’ll get a job with law enforcement or with a campus security agency, but private security contracts are an option for you.

Think “Mike” in Breaking Bad. Who wouldn’t want that guy at their back? Your best bet if you want a career in security is to be completely honest and open about your past with your prospective client. Explain the charges, and tell them how your services will benefit them.

Job Corps

If you’re a college student with a felony, Job Corps can lead you to some of the best careers for felons, regardless of conviction. Job Corps offers vocational training, free of charge, and can even offer room and board for those who qualify.

There are a number of career paths you can choose at Job Corps. The organization offers training in automotive and machine repair, IT, finance, transportation and more. Speak with a representative at your local center to determine which is best for you and your history.

Freelancing and Independent Contracting

Have you got a talent? Are you a genius with graphic design, or a wordsmith to be reckoned with? Maybe you’re just really good at organization or landscaping.

You can work for yourself. Freelancing or independent contracting is, by far, the easiest way to start a career if you’ve got a felony on your record. In most cases, your clients won’t need to know that you’ve been convicted, and your talents will speak for themselves.

As we stated before, sometimes it’s best to let your clients know about your past. For example, if you’re to be let into someone’s home without their presence, tell them about your felony. There’s a vast amount of information available on the internet. Should your client Google your name and find the truth, nothing good will happen.

For the most part, however, clients won’t care. If you’re designing rosckstar book covers or writing killer web content, your client won’t give your criminal background a second thought.

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