10 Best Jobs For Felons in 2020 & Companies That Hire Felons

Do you wonder what jobs for felons are available? Do you feel you may not get a fair chance just because of your criminal record?

Do you want to know your chances of getting a start on a professional life?

In this article, you will learn:

  • What jobs hire felons.
  • What to expect when applying for a job.
  • Things you need to do to get your availability out there.

Frequently Asked Questions

You may not have a clean slate but you’ll be pleased to find there is a long list of companies with jobs that hire felons who just want to start a new life.

These companies have hired felons before and are therefore open to hiring one like you. It all comes down to the relevance of your skillset to their needs and if the job slot is available.

Often they even turn to programs for felons to get jobs offering employment for felons. Here are the ten jobs that hire felons you can apply for.



Being a roofer is one of the most popular jobs for felons. Roofing companies tend to be small businesses who don’t usually do background checks and the skill set needed is learned on the job.

All that’s expected is that you come in ready and willing to do the work.

Bottom Line: generally, a roofer makes between $12 to $20 an hour and in coastal states, you might be able to get between $15 to $25 an hour.

Use the Yellow Pages and just call each one on a list until you get an appointment.

Consider working for FREE for 2 to 3 weeks just to learn the trade or offer a reduced salary at minimum wage for the first month’s trial.

That’s going to give you a leg up on experience for other jobs that hire felons.

There’s often a need for roofers. You may call the companies back a month later for any new openings.



Though you might eventually want to get some further education, getting started as a mason is just working alongside more experienced masons as an apprentice.

The work does require certain skillset but it can be learned on the job. You’ll certainly be starting off doing the easier repetitive tasks such as breaking or cutting materials to their specified size, mixing or applying mortar or grout and cleaning and polishing surfaces.

Bottom Line: entry-level pay for a mason is about $15 an hour.

Truck Driver

truck driver

Trucking is one of the more popular jobs for felons with an average salary of $40,000 a year. It’s one of the more realistic ways for felons to earn a good living.

Though many trucking companies look for experience, there are some who don’t and they even offer training.

What you’ll need to make sure you do is be upfront with your work experience and pass your background check.

Once you’re offered a chance, you’d want to work towards getting your commercial driver’s license and build up your commercial driving experience. They’re going to have an impact on how much you’ll be paid.

Bottom Line: you might start with local trucking jobs that hire felons where you’ll make between $12 to $14 an hour. 

Those with five or more years since they walked out of prison will have far better opportunities in trucking as an entry-level driver with driver training included.

HVAC Technician

hvac technician

Here’s one that may give you a good living after some years of work. An HVAC mechanic or installer can make as much as $47,000 a year.

Many who have had felonies have taken on this line of work. However, you may have to wait for five years after your prison release before you can start getting your certification and license.

Having some previous electrical or plumbing experience will certainly help in your professional progress but as long as you are committed, getting the education and certification can happen within six months to two years at a trade school or community college.

Apprenticeship lasts from three to five years.

Bottom Line: work as an HVAC technician involves installing, cleaning and maintaining HVAC systems, work with electrical components and wiring, inspecting and testing systems and replacing defective parts.

The demand for HVAC technicians is expected to grow by 15% in the next seven years up to 2026.

Drywall Hanger

drywall hanger

Jobs for felons as an entry-level drywall hanger does not require a lot of expertise. The future is bright if you were to consider an eventual average salary of about $70,000 a year

The task of an entry-level drywall hanger trainee involves a lot of being in the outdoors walking about.

The work tends to be repetitive. However, as you take on more responsibilities, expectations grow.

Bottom Line: still, many previous felons have taken on as a drywall hanger and have made a future for themselves with this line of work.



Painting work is labor-intensive where anyone can start off into a career, even with a felony record. It’s also one of those jobs for felons who seek to start a new life and career.

The work of a painter involves applying paint and other finishes on interior walls or ceilings of buildings and outside structures. They also prepare the surface for painting.

Bottom Line: you might have to start with the lowest pay range of $11 to $12 an hour and work your way up. The median income of a painter is currently about $37,000 a year.

You might need a high school diploma, though many companies may not require it.

Commercial Building Cleaner

commercial building cleaner

The commercial building cleaner is one of the jobs taken on by a felon because it doesn’t require any formal training or certification. You just need to be willing to learn. 

As you’ll be working within the premises of businesses, trustworthiness and honesty are very important

It’s always a good idea to stay away from situations that may put your integrity into question.

A commercial building cleaner is responsible for sweeping, mopping, dusting, vacuuming or emptying of trash cans.

It may involve wiping down tables, scrubbing, washing windows and cleaning the toilets.

Bottom Line: you may expect a pay range from $11 to $12 an hour as a starting pay with higher-paid cleaners making close to $20 an hour.

Window Cleaner

window cleaner

If you don’t mind heights and you just want to get something started in your search for a career, you may consider being a window cleaner.

The job entails washing and drying glass surfaces usually outside a commercial building.

You’ll be using brushes, sponges and wet cloths applying soapy water and cleaning solutions to the window surface.

There are no requirements of any formal training, education or certification to get started in such a job.

And you’ll start building your work history for any other application you might consider in the future.

Bottom Line: an experienced window cleaner makes about $18,800 a year.

Getting a job as a window cleaner means applying directly to a window cleaning company, building maintenance or businesses with a commercial property to maintain.

Factory Worker

factory worker

No formal training or qualifications are needed to start off as a factory worker. It’ll involve a lot of physical work mostly but it also depends on the nature of the business you’re working for.

A factory worker may involve operating machinery, sorting and packing products, cleaning and maintaining work areas and being part of the company’s quality control.

You’ll most likely be working in a team, following on instructions, being methodical in your work and approach and applying higher concentration and physical endurance to get your work done.

Bottom Line: the median salary of a factory worker is around $38,000 a year.



Starting welders are not required much. Any training needed to get started may just take you a few months to a year of training that will grant you a certificate.

And there’s a growing number of welders needed in many industries such as in construction and manufacturing.

Bottom Line: entry-level hourly wage is about $13 an hour with an average hourly wage of $21. 

The welder’s work requires him to assemble metal structures and equipment using welders to cut, shape and measure.

What Companies Hire Felons?

Here are some companies in varied industries who have hired felons in the past:

  • Costco - Require heavy lifting and inventory updates.
  • McDonald’s - Customer service work and other roles depending on availability & experience.
  • Tyson Foods - Constant need for workers for packing and delivery.
  • Ford - Require manual work and strength working with heavy equipment and robots.
  • United Airlines - From aviation maintenance technician to customer service.
  • Walmart - There’s often one near you.
  • Uber - If you have a driver’s license, a smartphone and if you like your independence.
  • Budget - If you’ve got experience servicing cars.
  • Swift Transport - Free training available.
  • TextBroker - A little extra to start if you’re open to writing.

What You Need To Know as an Ex-Felon

Keep sending in your applications for jobs for felons and call companies that hire felons daily.

What’s important is starting somewhere from felon friendly jobs and start building your positive work history and experience.

Work on sending and calling a thousand companies for felon friendly jobs and then keep going if nothing pans out. Calling 5 to 10 a day is a good start. 

When you do get an interview, put your best foot forward but always be honest.

If you’re just testing the waters or figuring out if you can see yourself working for a small business, you can initially keep your past to yourself if you’re not asked.

However, if you’re going past a month and you see yourself working with the company longer, it’s always a good idea to let your boss know you’ve got a past.

It’s better to know early on if you’re a good fit or not than wasting it all when they ultimately find out and they decide to let you go.

Don’t forget you just need one job out of thousands of openings at any given time. That’s all you need for now. Good luck!

You will also like

Scroll to Top