There are millions of people around the world who have been convicted of committing a felony. Once you are labeled a “felon”, it can be extremely difficult to live a normal life after prison. Convicted felons can spend their entire life or only a few years behind bars. The sentence really depends on the severity of the crime. While some ex-prisoners are optimistic about their future, they learn very quickly that life is going to be difficult here on out. Thankfully, there are companies that are willing to offer ex-offenders with a felony conviction a second chance. A list of these job opportunities that are classified as “felon-friendly”.
Assist a Felon in Finding a Job
There might be a chance that you have a relative or friend who has done some time. One of the most important things to figure out for someone who has gotten out of jail is finding a job to help stabilize their life. But that can be a challenge for a convicted felon. Thankfully, there are a few ways through which you can help them. Besides the encouragement and emotional support, you can help them acquire some basis in specific fields of employment.
What we’re going to discuss:
- Being a guide to a felon looking for work
- Helping them evaluate their abilities
- Discounting unobtainable careers
- Utilizing your experience in setting up a plan
- Assist in constructing their Resume
Being a guide to a felon looking for work
To do a proper job in mentoring a felon, it’s advised that you do enough research about the nature of such a unique situation in the job market. That way you can understand just how much challenges a felon faces in obtaining this goal. You can use a variety of websites on the internet that can assist you in finding a suitable area of expertise for a felon depending on the set of skills they possess. But you should always know that the most common domains for working convicts are the following: Customer service, manufacturing, automotive repair, construction, warehousing, retail operations, and food service.
But make sure they always remember that having a job boosts your chances of getting another job. So if a felon asks your help, tell them to be less picky and jump on the first chance they get for employment. From there on out, they can start a plan to slowly get where they really wanted to be. All it takes is patience.
Helping them Evaluate their Abilities
Make sure that the person you’re assisting is making a list of all the skills they know they possess as they look for offers. Organizing their behavior and understanding their capabilities can help them out greatly in job interviews. And never forget to always talk in a supportive manner; it can go a long way.
Showing an initiative and will to act and be productive in a specific job, makes an employer understand just how much you’re willing to go to benefit their business, and that can sometimes outweigh the superior skills that other candidates can bring to the table. So make sure they remember how an employer picks the employees.
Also, remind them that showing a desire to work for an employer can help outshine someone who is just there because they are good at what they do. They should never forget that the former usually remain in employment longer than the latter.
We advise that you go through the following list of abilities and traits with the felon to know exactly where they’re capabilities fall in the ocean of required skills
- A good worker independently
- A good worker collaboratively
- Having no issues with staying after hours
- Giving excellent and precise results
- Worthy of trust
- Versed in using tools
- Good in communicating with others
- Flexible in work
- Fast at doing the job
- Ability to use computer programs
- Skill in services ( similarly to preparing food or cleaning)
- Expertise in management of time and finances
Discounting unobtainable careers
It’s going to spare both of you a lot of precious time if you just sit down and scratch off all the unobtainable jobs off the list. Because simply put, not all fields are fit for hiring convicted felons, unfortunately. This can include:
- Working in banks when the committed crime is related to stealing
- Working in law enforcement and security for offenses related to possessing a gun
- Working in places that sell alcohol for felons connected to alcohol-related crimes
So if you know a felon, make sure that the jump right away on job opportunities that are actually available for individuals in their unique situation. No need wasting time barking at the wrong tree.
Utilizing your experience in setting up a plan
Your purpose before anything is delivering emotional and mental support to your friend or loved one. Entering the job market and be a stressful and challenging task and they need help from their entourage if they’re going to make it. Getting out of jail and back to society can be a daunting experience. But you can help in reintegrating. Exploit your role as a guide to set up a plan that’s going to help in both finding employment and rejoining the ranks of ordinary citizens
Assist in constructing their Resume
One of the numerous challenges that an ex-felon faces in landing a job is creating a resume. What makes this so tricky is the lack of experience for a person who’s spent a recent period of time incarcerated. And that can very well be apparent through a poorly written resume.
So we advise checking out MyPerfectResume.com for guys struggling to represent their potential properly. This website is free to use in setting up beautifully constructed resumes from a variety of pre-existing templates. The site is quite easy to use, and it walks you through every step you take until you finally obtain a resume, written specifically to describe yourself.
As simple as this gesture might be, allowing your relative or friend to explore its features can really help a once-convicted-man to find the passion and the drive to peruse a career and a new life.
Exploring Job Opportunities For Felons (2020)
#1. Wind Turbine Technician
You just spent some of your most difficult years behind bars, with some of the evilest inmates. So, you can probably bolster a low level of fear. If you have the guts and do not fear heights, you may want to consider becoming a wind turbine technician. With so many people suffering from acrophobia, fear of heights, energy companies are willing to hire job candidates with a prior felony conviction.
Most energy companies offer their employees a decent wage and great benefits, such as health insurance and paid time off. You do not need any prior experience, but you must have an associate’s degree and be willing to scale up a windmill to conduct routine maintenance and repairs.
The average entry-level hourly wage for a wind turbine technician is $17.78. The hourly wage will top out at about $26, but if your employer believes you are an asset to their company, you may be offered more.
#2. Mobile App Developer
According to CNN Money, a mobile app developer is the “best job” in the United States. Now, you will need to obtain an associate’s or bachelor’s degree to qualify for a mobile app developer job. Some technology companies that offer mobile app development services will hire qualified job candidates with a felony conviction.
Mobile apps are only growing in popularity, so they are going nowhere anytime soon. So, if you have what it takes to make American consumers entertained, you should consider becoming a mobile app developer. Some of the top technology companies are paying their entry-level app developers about $28 an hour, with plenty of opportunities to grow. The wage tops out about $50 an hour, but again if your employer believes you are an asset to the company, there will be no end to the possibilities.
#3. Computer Support Specialists
Ex-offenders who have experience with computers and information technology typically do not have any problems getting a job, with a few exceptions. Job candidates with a history of violence, cyber crimes, fraud or theft are automatically disqualified. If you have an associate’s degree, have some experience with computers and meet those criteria, you may find yourself employed with one of the top technology firms in the United States.
Entry-level computer support specialists earn around $17.78 an hour and an average hourly wage of $26.13.
#4. Marketing Specialist
Marketing specialists in the United States are required to hold a bachelor’s degree and have some experience in marketing. All companies are now taking advantage of Internet marketing, as most consumers have turned to online shopping as a primary source of obtaining goods and services. As a marketing specialist, you will be required to help your employer manage their promotions, build effective strategies to attract new and retaining customers and design advertisements.
Entry-level marketing specialists earn an hourly wage of approximately $16 and an average hourly wage of $33.95. So, if you are willing to go back to school and earn a bachelor’s degree, your job opportunities in this field will be endless.
#5. Mechanical Engineering Tech
The job duties of a mechanical engineer technician include everything from helping a mechanical engineer design a mechanical device to recording and analyzing data. While the job responsibilities of technicians revolve around mechanical engineer, this is a great career opportunity. Plus, it will provide you with the much-needed experience to further your career in the future.
Entry-level mechanical engineer technicians earn about $16 an hour and an average hourly wage of $33.95. To qualify for this position, you will need to hold an associate’s degree and have some experience with mechanical machinery and equipment.
#6. Oil Derrick Operator
Oil companies throughout the United States are constantly looking for job candidates who are willing to get dirty. While these companies are facing a lot of competition from clean energy companies, gas and oil are still in high demand. If you have a high school diploma and consider yourself a hard worker, you should consider becoming a gas or oil derrick, operator. Entry-level positions typically start out at $16.24 an hour. The average hourly wage is $24.59.
For ex-offenders without a high school diploma, most oil companies will accept a vocational certificate.
Every building in the United States has plumbing. So, you can guarantee that plumbers are in high demand. Becoming a plumber won’t require much. You just need a vocational certificate. You can also find paid apprenticeship problems. Depending on your location and your crime, you might not be able to get a job as a residential plumber. Nevertheless, you can work in new construction. With additional experience, you could make as much as $26 an hour as a plumber.
If you want to make a lot of money, you should definitely think about becoming a writer. There are all types of ways to make money as a write. Heck, you could even turn your story into a novel. Alternatively, you can think about writing online content. Or, you can write articles for newspapers and magazines. The possibilities are endless. You might need to obtain a bachelor’s degree, but that usually is not necessary. As a writer, you could easily become self-employed. In the beginning, you’ll probably make around $14 an hour. That could increase to $34 an hour with more experience.
#9. Become A Trainer Of Dogs
Did you know that most inmates and prisoners are getting to work with dogs on a daily basis now? That’s right some prisons are even offering programs that allow inmates to work with and train dogs. If this is something that you have already experienced then you might have a leg up once you get rehabilitated. Not only are working with dogs great for the psyche, but they are reliable and worthy companions. And, this is not to even mention that you can make a noble career out of training these canines. In fact, with a vocational certification, you can start out making $8.72 and eventually work your way up to $10.85 an hour.
Owners want their pets to behave, act on command, and perform tricks. There is simply no better person to teach a dog to do just that than someone that has had experience with these animals in the past.
#10. Learn To Cut Hair
Most people don’t think of men as becoming barbers. In fact, this is usually a world that is dominated by women, but more and more men are delving into the career, as it can be incredibly rewarding and they accept felons. Everyone has to shave, style there, and get it cut from time to time, so this is a service that is never going to go out of style.
While this career choice does require a vocational certification or an associate’s degree, you can start out at making $8.76 and eventually work your way up to $14.38. If you really want to step up your game, you could even offer a mobile service where you visit your clients at their home or workplace. This is something that anyone would be willing to pay good money for.
#11. Get Into The Culinary Industry
Everyone has to eat and there is nothing better a delicious, scrumptious meal when you are starving. It really doesn’t matter who cooks it and that is why the culinary industry has been home to so many felons in the past. Most restaurants don’t even go as far to perform a background, which is something that any felon would be happy about.
With a little bit of dedication and time under your belt, you might be able to prove to your employer that you are a worthy and reliable individual that can be depended upon. Depending on the state that you are in, you can expect to start out make anywhere from $8.43 an hour to $8.73 an hour. You will be able to max at somewhere from $11.12 an hour to $12.68 an hour. However, you will need a high school diploma or a vocational certificate.
In addition to this, once you get your game down, there is a good change that you could move into an institutional cafeteria setting, which would be a much easier and more laid-back working environment that fast food. Of course, these type of jobs might come along with stricter requirements and background checks.
#12. Clerk/ Stocker
Large warehouses, big box stores, and distribution centers often times have a lot of merchandise coming in and out of the center at all times. Someone has to be able to load and unload all of this stuff into trucks or stock it on the shelves in the proper order. This job will require a lot of physical labor and heavy lifting, but at the end of the day, it could be truly rewarding for any felon looking for a new start.
There will be a time when you have to come in early and work way past your scheduled hours, but this will just be more money in your pocket. Some places might require a high school diploma, while others might only just need you to show up.
If you can prove that you have a good work record and have the right people to give you the references you need, you can except to start out making $8.74 and work your way up to $12.82. Just keep in mind that sometimes theft, violence, and drug offenses can knock you out of a job like this.
#13. Getting Into Manual/General Labor
Just about every company needs some kind of general labor individual to move heavy boxes and perform odd jobs. This could be anything from cleaning the toilets to cutting the grass. Temp agencies can help place any felon into a field like this, and once you get established you will have built trust and an excellent work reference. Some of these workplaces will require a high school diploma, while others may not. General laborers usually start out making $9.13 an hour and can make as much as $13.81 an hour once they are established and experienced in the industry.
#14. Become A Landscaper
Many inmates get to plant gardens and work with flowers. Not only is this an extremely relaxing environment, but it can be rewarding as well. If this is something that you enjoyed during your time on the inside and you are not afraid to put in some physical labor, the landscaping field might just be right up your alley.
Each day could hold something new, as landscaping companies do everything for watering to grass cutting, along with fertilizing lawns, digging trenches for sprinklers, and moving bushes. With a high school diploma or vocational certification and a good track record, most ex-cons can find a good rewarding career in the landscaping industry.
Starting landscapers make $9.21 an hour and can eventually earn as much as $13.73 an hour.
#15. Get A Delivery Job
Do you like being on the road and have a fairly clean driving record with your own vehicle and insurance? If so, any ex-con might be able to get a job as a driver as long as he doesn’t have a DUI or theft on his record. You will deliver merchandise or packages to office buildings or the client’s homes. You might also be required to pick up products and other merchandise as well. While this job doesn’t require any education, you will need a valid driver’s license and a clean driving record.
There might even be some cases when you get to drive a company vehicle as well, which will save you tons of wear and tear on your vehicle. Individuals in this industry can expect to start out making $9.23 and eventually work up to $16.73 an hour.
#16. Tradesman Or Construction Helper
Do you like woodwork or enjoy working with your hands? Well, you don’t actually have to become a licensed journeyman or a contractor to get into this type of work. In fact, tradesmen and contractors need helpers all the time to perform a variety of basic skills, as well as tote materials from place to place.
On any given day you might find yourself holding tools, cleaning equipment, loading and unloading the tools from the truck, or even assisting on some of the simple projects. Whatever the situation is, with a little bit of time and reliance, you could potentially learn a career that will offer big opportunities. Individuals probably will be required to have a high school diploma, GED, or vocational certificate.
Depending on where you are located you can start out making $9.47 an hour to $10.27 an hour. You eventually might be able to work your way up to $14.52 an hour to $16.16 an hour.
#17. Over The Phone Customer Service Rep
Maybe you are looking for a cushier, laid back type of job where you can work in an indoor office environment. If that’s the case, an over the customer service rep might be perfect for an ex-con with these desires, as it doesn’t require any face-to-face interaction with clients.
Phone-based jobs like this come around quite often as well, due to the fact that there is such a high turnover rate in the industry. With a GED or high school diploma, you could start out making $10.01 an hour and work your way all the way up to $16.91 an hour.
#18. HVAC Tech
Everyone needs a heating and air conditioning unit at home. And, someone is going to have to install this equipment. This is where you could enter the picture. As an HVAC tech, you would be able to install duct work and HVAC units. The demand for HVAC technicians is generally very high.
Becoming a licensed tech won’t take as long as you might expect and the pay can be very good. You can get a vocational certificate or you can get involved in a paid apprenticeship. With patience, you can make as much as $23 an hour! (Find out how to become an HVAC Apprenticeship Here)
#19. Solar Energy Technician
Solar energy is growing rapidly in popularity. The solar energy companies are in desperate need of workers. The good news is that many are willing to hire felons. You won’t need much besides a vocational certificate. Installing solar panels correctly requires tons of experience and skills. If you can pull it off, you can make good money. On average, you’ll be paid $13.45 when you first get hired. With many years of experience, you should make over $20 an hour.
#20. Graphic Designer
There are plenty of felons who gain tons of artistic abilities in prison. If you fit into this category, there is a good chance that you could get a job as a graphic designer. These individuals are in high demand and they can work in many different industries. As a graphic design, you’ll be able to design graphics, billboards, t-shirts and all kinds of other things.
You might even be able to become a self-employed graphic design. So, you may be able to work from home. On average, you’ll be able to make at least $13 when starting. Stick with it and you could make $25 an hour in the future. You’ll just need an associate’s or bachelor’s degree.
List of Companies That Hire Felons?
Before going on a job hunt, it is wise to familiarize yourself with the companies that are willing to hire felons. There are few companies that will go to great lengths to hire felons. Nevertheless, there is plenty that is willing to do so. It is also important to remember that a company’s policy could change from time to time. A business that previously hired felons may no longer do so today. You should expect to look in the newspaper and find an ad seeking out felons. After all, this would look bad on the company.
Still, it is wise to look at the companies that have hired felons in the past. There is a good change that they’re still hiring felons today. Just remember that you need to be cautious and always willing to accept failure. FedEx, UPS, and Walmart will all hire convicted felons sometimes. Jobs that hire felons. Just remember that it depends on your specific situation. These companies will always make a different decision for each individual. Many companies follow a similar procedure. They’ll research the applicant and make a decision on a case by case basis.
Ace Hardware, Best Western, Chili’s, Comcast, Kohls, Olive Garden, and PetSmart may be willing to hire felons. Sprint, Xerox, McDonald’s, and Dillard’s may as well. Some companies are franchises. Therefore, one store might hire felons but another one might not. You really need to check with the specific store in question to find the answer. Nevertheless, this is a good starting point. See the lists of Jobs for Felons near me below;
NB: The above companies list provides a national list of employers that hire ex-convicts. Therefore, when seeking employment, some specific company locations may or may not hire felons. Also, keep in mind that each franchise is individually owned, so store policies may vary by location. While these franchises do hire felons, only certain positions may be available to individuals with a felony/parolees charge.
Disclaimer: Felonyfriendlyjobs.org (FFJs) has no affiliation with the companies listed above. The list of companies that hire felons (above) is subject to change at any time as employers/managers update their hiring policies. To view or apply for any available positions, kindly visit the company’s website.
Can You Get A Government Job?
Many people do not believe it, but you can indeed get a government job with a felony. However, you should not be surprised to get turned down. There are some government agencies that will not accept felons. Nevertheless, there are plenty more that will. It really depends on the agency in question and the type of conviction you have. With that being said, you should not hesitate to apply for a government job. There is a possibility that you’ll be able to get one.
Finding Organizations That Help
It is also a good idea to get involved in public and charitable programs. There are plenty out there and many of them can help you find a good job. There are plenty of successful ex-felons out there. Many have been able to achieve success by getting help from others. You need to do the same.
Most communities will have programs that are designed to help felons obtain jobs. Some of these programs are run by churches and religious organizations. Others are run by the government and non-profits. These programs obtain grants thanks to the Second Chance Act, so you can guarantee that you’re going to be willing to help. Never hesitate to take advantage of these programs. They’re designed to help people just like you.
The CTA Second Chance Program in Chicago is a good example. This program is actually run by several social service agencies. During a single year, it is possible for the program to employ as many as 265 felons. You should also look into the Federal Bonding Program. A federal bond can help you secure a job. It is basically an insurance policy designed to protect the employer should you do anything wrong during the first six months of employment. The bond is free for everyone involved, including you and your employer.
On top of that, it is available for any job in the United States. And, you can get bonded on the very day that you get a job. In some cities, it may be possible to obtain a litter removal job. These jobs are often available to the homeless and panhandlers. There are several cities trying out such schemes. This includes Portland, Chicago, Albuquerque, and Denver. It is also available in Fort Worth, Texas. These jobs are equally beneficial for you and the city.
Will Colleges Accept Felons?
There is often a misconception that colleges are not going to accept felons. This isn’t always true. And, you need to understand that obtaining additional education is highly important. It can open plenty of doors for you. Many colleges will ask about your criminal record on the application. Others will not. It is estimated that roughly six out of 10 colleges in the United States will. Nevertheless, you shouldn’t let this bother you. There are plenty of other factors that will be taken into consideration when approving or denying a student.
It is very rare for colleges to automatically refuse all felons. When determining whether or not you’re eligible, the college is going to consider your crime and whether or not you’re a threat to other students. They’ll also look at the amount of time you’ve been out of prison. If you’ve been convicted of a sex crime, there is a good chance that you’re going to be turned down. Either way, you need to make sure that you’re honest and open with the college.
You made your mistakes and you have to live with them. Trying to hide them isn’t going to help. Most people are willing to give people a second chance. In all likelihood, the colleges will do the same. If you do get turned down, you should not hesitate to apply elsewhere. With patience and persistence, you’ll eventually find a college that will accept you. You can always obtain federal financial aid, as long as you haven’t been convicted of a drug-related offense. Grants and loans are also available.
Tips For Getting Hired
When it comes down to it, felons are going to have a much more difficult time getting a job. This is no secret. If you’re going to achieve your goals, you’re going to have to stick with it. You’re going to face roadblocks and speed bumps along the way. Don’t let that keep you down. Use the tips below to ensure that you eventually find the job that you’re looking for.
- You’re A Good Person
First and foremost, you should remember that you’re a good person. Do not let your past mistakes haunt you. Everyone makes mistakes and this is something that you’re going to need to deal with. Don’t let those mistakes get you down and hurt your confidence. You can do anything as long as you put your mind to it.
- Understand The Employer’s Point Of View
It is essential to look at things from the perspective of the employer. Everyone is going to have stereotypes and you’re going to be judged when they find out that you’re a felon. There is a good chance that the employer is going to fear you in some way. They may believe that you’re going to steal or use drugs. Prove yourself and show that you can overcome these stereotypes.
- The Right Image
It is absolutely essential to make sure that you maintain the right image. You need to make sure that you look your very best everywhere you go. Dress for success. You should also make sure that you look conservative. Keep your hair cut and trim your beard. If you have tattoos, you should definitely try covering them up. This will make a big difference in the long run. Your appearance can when it comes to how people judge you.
- Do Your Research
It is a good idea to do your research. Find out what careers are going to work for you and which careers are not. There are some professions that simply will not hire felons. There are others that will. Do your research so you can be realistic about your potential.
- Get More Training
It is very wise to get as much training as possible. If you’re able to set yourself apart from the other candidate, you might be able to secure the job even though you are a felon. Try attending a vocational or trade school. You can also try taking classes online.
- Be Optimistic
You might as well accept the fact that you’re going to be turned down quite a bit. This is normal for non-felons too. Don’t worry about it. There are plenty of other jobs out there. This is why you need to develop a thick skin and remain optimistic. Keep your head up and continue plowing forward. Eventually, you’ll find something that suits you.
You may also want to consider volunteering. This is a great way to gain the skills and knowledge needed. Plus, the volunteering will look great on your resume. You can work with churches, charities, and many non-profits. Doing so is recommended.
Getting a job as a felon isn’t going to be easy. Nevertheless, there are ways to improve your chances. Obtaining the right skills can be very helpful. This is why you should consider attending a vocational school near you. Obtain skills that are in high demand and getting that job will be much easier.
List of High Paying Jobs for Felons Near Me
Although obtaining a job as a felon can be quite challenging, it’s not impossible, and given the circumstances (having recently left prison), finding the job that pays most should be one of your goals.
Most of the time, it is best to seek a high-paying blue-collar job if you want to receive an income that will meet your personal needs and your family’s needs. The occupations that I’m going to cite and discuss below are your best bet if you’re currently seeking employment.
Oil drillers make a decent amount of money during their employment, keep in mind that most of them are required to spend around a month on an oil rig, followed by a two-week break which is super convenient if you ask me. This job is available in areas such as the Gulf of Mexico and Alaska, so if you’re willing to work as a driller, you should probably consider moving to the southern states or the far north.
Stereotyped as a job that’s mainly done by students, working as a delivery person for a restaurant or a pizza place is also another job that you might want to consider. In addition to the minimum wage that you’ll be receiving, you’ll often get tips from people you deliver to. Just make sure to deliver the pizza or the food in time for a better chance of getting a decent tip.
As a felon, as long as you avoid applying for jobs that include cash handling, you have a pretty decent chance of getting a job as a receptionist. Working for a contractor or as a front desk presence, for example, will most likely land you better pay and more benefits.
Whether you manage to obtain a job as a carpenter or you simply work in the clean-up crew, the construction trade is the ideal way to get back into the ever-going life of society. I mean, if you’re into movies and television, you probably have noticed a protagonist who recently got out of jail working in a construction site, it’s that common. Construction jobs can include day labor jobs and trade work, such as a welder, a drywall installer, a plumber, an electrician, and more. While experience is needed in the case of working as an electrician, you can simply join a crew installing insulation.
Since pay is our concern here, make sure to look into the offerings in the construction field, also, try to choose an area where construction workers are needed throughout the years such as the Southwest. This is due to the fact that temperatures are moderately warm in the SW, and working in a construction site in colder areas, especially in wintertime, can be quite hard.
You can quickly obtain employment in a telemarketing company due to the nature of this job. Phoenix is one of the most significant hot spots in the country when it comes to this kind of job, if you happen to be there, you should expect to quickly get hired and paid the same week. The hourly wage is also pretty decent in this part of the states.
If you happen to be bilingual (or trilingual, etc.), then you should consider working as a translator. There are many translation websites online where you can apply and work. As long as you fluently speak English and another language (or even more for that matter), you’re good to go.
Getting a job as a salesperson in boutiques, small marketplaces and such can be very easy if you happen to have the right persuasive skills. Most of these places won’t even bother doing a background check about you if you have the necessary skills.
As a felon, you can also work as a janitor, a cook, a used car dealer, and many more. Most of the positions listed above don’t require any kind of a background check. In other jobs, the employer is just in need of someone to do the job, and he doesn’t really care about the background of the employee.
Remember that you may have to start out with a rather low paying job at first, but as long as it goes well, you can always look for something better.
Robert Gomez was born and raised in the Bronx, New York. He currently lives in Northern California with “the wifey,” “the kids,” “the dog,” and “that cat,” 🙁 He is also a former journalist who has interviewed murderers on death row. Felonyfriendlyjobs.org was born to help ex-felons get a second chance in life.