30 Best Jobs For Felons in 2020

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.

Roofer

roofer

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.

Mason

mason

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.

Painter

painter

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.

Welder

welder

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.

Cook

cook

Many restaurants hire felons for many positions, including cooks. As a cook, you enjoy flexible schedules with day and nighttime hours available.

Bottom Line: if you enjoy preparing meals and work well under stressful situations, this position offers an average salary of $18,036 - $38,404 per year, as well as growth potential for the right individuals.

Cooks should work well with others, as part of creating a great meal at a restaurant calls for teamwork.

Benefits such as retirement plans and vacation are also oftentimes included. Experience may be or may not be required, depending on the position and the company for which you apply.

Business Owner

business owner

Owning a business is a dream come true for anyone. As a convicted felon, the added challenges that come when searching for a job offer even more inspiration to take the plunge and open your own business.

Done correctly, starting a business is an inexpensive venture that can pay off handsomely at the end of the day.

It doesn't matter the number for the type of felony convictions you have when you own your own business. In fact, you may soon be in charge of hiring other people to join your team.

Business owners earn tremendously more money than an employee at a company-owned business and earn a host of benefits as well.

Website Design

web design

This is a skilled position, so if you have the expertise needed to succeed as a website design specialist, do not allow your felony criminal conviction to hold you back.

You can work for yourself as a website design specialist or you can work at a local company

Your skills are in demand these days as technology and the internet continue to rise in popularity. 

Website design positions are exactly what they sound like: your job is putting together websites for businesses, organizations, and individuals.

You may also need skills such as SEO to thrive in this position. A website design expert can earn a great salary of around $40,000 per year with the right skills and position.

Barista

barista

If you are a coffee enthusiast, your skills are needed at local coffee shops. Even some of the larger national coffeeshops hire felons, so if this is your skill, you may be in luck.

You can enjoy benefits such as flexible work schedules when you work as a barista. 

Bottom Line: it’s a great second job as well as a first. The pay range for a barista varies but averages about $10 per hour.

Vacation and retirement plans are benefits available in many barista pistons. As an entry-level position, no prior experience is needed.

Most coffeeshops train their new hires. However, you should have that enthusiasm and passion for coffee to be successful in this position.

Construction Worker

construction worker

The construction industry needs people to perform various tasks in various scenes that oftentimes create new homes and buildings and keep those in place in great condition.

Your job may require you to climb on top of buildings, on the side, or crawl into crawlspaces and attics.

Some positions require experience while others offer entry-level jobs for the right workers.

Many construction companies offer jobs to felons. This depends on the company and the type of construction job for which you apply.

Bottom Line: on top of a plethora of benefits, construction workers earn great pay as well. Starting salary for construction workers averages about $24,000 per year.

Delivery Driver

delivery driver

From Amazon Prime to Uber and tons of others, companies depend on delivery services to keep their business afloat.

This is where your help comes into play. The mentioned companies and many others hire felons to fill their delivery driver positions, as long as the charge doesn't involve theft.

Delivery driver positions require a valid driver’s license. Most do not require any prior experience.

Sometimes, delivery driver positions include tips that can help make it through until payday rolls around again.

If you're someone that enjoys being out and about, working as a delivery driver could very well be a question to consider.

Telemarketer

telemarketer

If you’re someone with a gift for gab, a telemarketer position could be exactly what you are searching for.

A variety of types of telemarketing jobs exist, whether you call and ask the community for household donations or solicit money for charities.

Questions usually offer an hourly pay plus commission, although some offer only commission pay.

The great news is that felons can work as telemarketers and while it's helpful, experience is not a requirement.

If you possess a clear speaking voice and don't mind a few hang-ups, telemarketing work could be what you are looking for.

Cashier

cashier

Many companies hire cashiers with felony convictions, so long as the felony doesn't involve theft.

The pay rate for a cashier varies from company to company, however, the national average pay rate is $17,000 - $29,000 annually.

Benefits come along with the position more often than not and include paid time off, vacation, retirement plans, and insurance.

The entry-level position teaches valuable skills that employees can take with them into other positions.

Many cashier positions also offer the opportunity to interact with customers on a daily basis, making it suitable for all of those people who love meeting new people.

Online Survey Taker

online survey taker

Thousands of people earn money taking online surveys. Although it isn’t a regular source of income, it does offer a bit of pocket change now and again.

No experience or other qualifications are necessary to give your opinion in a survey.

Depending on the survey company you sign up with, the topics vary from food to politics to television and entertainment.

Many of the survey companies also offer the chance to get and keep products. The best news is that a person can sign up for as many survey sites as they’d like and take surveys as often as they choose.

Car Salesman

car salesman

Another option for felons with non-violent, non-theft crimes is a car salesman. More often than not, car salesman positions offer commission-based pay, however, a great salesman can earn a nice income working in this position. 

Selling only one or two cars every couple of weeks pays the bills and then some.

Some dealerships prefer experience while others will train you. On top of the salary, you receive nice benefits working as a car salesman.

This job is best suited for people with big personalities and a gift for gab. It feels great to help others get the car of their dreams as you earn a nice income in the process.

Housekeeping

housekeeping

Housekeeping positions need to be filled at various hospitality facilities, including hotels. Hospitals and many other facilities also depend on housekeepers to keep things going.

Of course, housekeepers are needed at many other types of facilities as well. Housekeepers earn great pay and benefits and while not every facility is open to hiring a felon, many are.

As a housekeeper, your responsibility is simply keeping the place clean. This may require different jobs depending on the facility in which you work.

Bottom Line: housekeepers earn an average pay of $10 per hour, although the pay is much higher in some states.

Food Production Facilities

food production facilities

Although not the most attractive job available, food production and processing facilities usually need help and they do hire felons to fill the positions.

Various positions at food production facilities are needed to be filled, ranging from packing of finished products to cleaning animals for packaging and many others.

Bottom Line: the pay for food production work varies according to position and ranges from $18,990 - $46,400 per year.

Many benefits also come with the pay scale, which varies from one company to the next. This is usually an entry-level position with the exception of a few positions.

Pizza Delivery

pizza delivery

Pizza delivery positions are always available with both local pizzerias and national chains. You’ll need a personal vehicle with insurance and a valid driver’s license to work as a pia delivery person.

Bottom Line: in addition to an hourly salary, pizza delivery workers also earn tips. On average, pizza delivery drivers earn pay average to $9 - $15 per hour.

No prior experience is necessary to work as a pia delivery driver, however, certain felony convictions may bar you from the job, especially those involving theft.

It is a great full-time or part-time job for any felon who’s having trouble finding employment.

Retail Workers

retail workers

Retail workers are in high demand during the holiday season but positions are often available throughout the year.

While some companies are not open to the idea of hiring felons, many are, so browse around the various retailers in the local area to find those that are felon-friendly.

Retail workers perform a variety of jobs, from cashier positions to stocking to answering phones. Most positions are entity-level.

Pay varies from one job to the next and one position to the next. Flexible hours and job growth are two additional benefits offered to those who work in retail.

Appliance Repairman

appliance repairman

If you can repair appliances, apply for a position as an appliance repairman. This position is felon-friendly at most locations for those who bring the right skill sets to the job. Training is available as well.

Your job as an appliance repairman is to ensue that appliances work the way they should when mishaps and breakdowns occur.

Bottom Line: the position is usually one that offers daytime hours, but not in every situation. An appliance repairman earns an average salary of about $24,000- $36,660 per year.

Dog Groomer

dog groomer

If you love pets, consider a dog groomer position. You can work as a groomer even with a felony conviction on your record.

Duties as a groomer vary but usually include cleaning, bathing, brushing, and combing, etc. of a dog

Dog groomer positions are available at veterinary offices, non-profit organizations, and many other locations.

Pay for a dog groomer averages about $10 per hour. This is a fun job for anyone who loves pets and who doesn't mind a hard day of work.

Barber

barber

Although you’ll need skills and experience to take on a position as a barber in a local barbershop, it is reassuring to know the positions are there if you are a felon.

As a barber, you help men look their best by giving them fresh haircuts and shaves. You also meet new people in the shop every day so it’s the perfect job for anyone who’s never met a stranger.

Pay Scale for barbers significantly varies from region to region. The more skilled you are, the more pay you can expect.

Bottom Line: barbers earn an average salary ranging between $21,200 - $76,667 per year.

Freelance Writer

freelance writer

An online freelance writer is in control of their earnings, hours, and other aspects of the job.

Anyone can join the many different online freelance writer websites that bring customers and workers together, even people with felonies.

Each company has its own regulations and requirements for workers. However, no experience is needed and you can start immediately without waiting for an interview or to be hired for the job

You can earn hundreds of dollars per week working as a freelance writer and build a great career for yourself if you choose.

You’ll need a computer and internet access to work as a writer. English and grammatical experience are also helpful.

Mechanic

mechanic

Another skilled position, a car mechanic position is nonetheless offered to people with felony convictions on their record.

As a car mechanic, your job is to keep the car running as expected by making repairs the vehicle needs

Some mechanics specialize in special makes/models of vehicles, but that isn't a requirement.

It is a hard job but one that offers a plethora of rewards. You can ensure that your cars are always well maintained when you earn skills as a mechanic.

Bottom Line: mechanics earn great pay and benefits and can even work for themselves if they so choose. The starting salary for a mechanic is around $41,566 per year.

Customer Service Representative

customer service representative

Customer Service Representative positions put you at the forefront of customer satisfaction.

Your job is to help customers with a variety of needs, whether it is placing an order returns or questions.

Most CSR positions are entry-level, but some will require experience. And while not every company is felon-friendly, many are. 

As a CSR, you should be a people-pleaser who enjoys making customers happy. If you have a willingness to go the extra mile and put yourself in the customer’s shoes, you will thrive in this position.

Bottom Line: full-time and part-time CSR positions are available with an average starting pay of $12 per hour.

What Companies Hire Felons?

  • 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!

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