What careers can a felon pursue?

December 9, 2022
Posted in Questions
December 9, 2022 Terkel

What are some careers a felon can pursue?

From leveraging your experience as a prison consultant to becoming a resume writer, here are 11 answers to the question, “What are some careers a felon can pursue?”

  • Prison Consultant
  • Writer
  • Freelancer
  • Hospitality & Food Worker
  • Painter
  • Carpenter
  • Entrepreneur
  • Content Creator
  • Dog Groomer
  • Mechanical Engineering Technician
  • Resume Writer

Prison Consultant

Felons may capitalize upon their experience and knowledge by assisting others who may face jail time or any form of incarceration at a state or federal level.

There’s a difference between jail and prison time therefore the type of insights they dispense to their clients may differ. Working with a prison consultant can better prepare an individual for how to cope with the impending changes in one’s environment from the type of people and circumstances which will surround the individual.

This touches upon the spoken and unspoken rules of prison engagement that can help one be mindful of their speech, behaviors, and actions, and learn how to wisely apply their time while isolated from the general population outside prison.

Sasha Laghonh, Founder, Sasha Talks


Although a felony conviction can limit career opportunities, there are still many paths open to felons. One option is to pursue a career in writing.

This can be an especially attractive option for those who have a knack for storytelling or a passion for social justice. There are many writing careers that felons can pursue, including journalism, copywriting, and technical writing.

While a felon may need to disclose their criminal background to potential employers, there are many companies and organizations that will give felons a chance. With hard work and dedication, a felon can build a successful career in writing.

Jim Campbell , CEO, Campbell Online Media


If there’s something I’ve noticed about online jobs since I started in 2018, is that clients barely ask about your criminal record. All they care about is that you get the work done and that you give them quality work. Your past doesn’t really matter to them.Also, if you prefer to work somewhere, you really don’t need to answer questions, be judged, or be looked at first when something gets lost. This is a brilliant choice for you. Online jobs are also the dream for introverts. All you need is a laptop and an internet connection.

Then get on all the sites that connect freelancers to clients. Get on as many as you can; including Upwork, Fiverr, and so many others available online. Another reason online jobs are perfect for felons is that they don’t force them to assimilate back into society more quickly than they are ready to.

Lydia Mwangi , Content Writer, Barbell Jobs

Hospitality & Food Worker

A convicted felon who serves their full term and gets released from prison needs an opportunity to work. Working determines how they adapt back into society.

A felon can work in the hospitality industry to give them a sense of hope and purpose. It will help them become productive and give them a sense of belonging.

There are many restaurants that give great opportunities for people with felon records since they do lesser background checks with hiring. Also, there are many opportunities in this sector that increase the chances of such people getting hired.

Further, restaurants and fast-food joints are found in all cities, and landing a job is almost a guarantee.

Yongming Song , CEO, Live Poll for Slides


The walls of nearly every building need painting as a part of their visual appeal and structural integrity. Additionally, many other structures and large equipment need to be painted for similar reasons.

Therefore, painting is often a good job for convicted felons who can prove themselves to be trustworthy and need to earn money with something that can be quickly learned.

Andrew Chen , Chief Product Officer, CommentSold


If you want to work with your hands and make a comfortable living, there is always a market available for carpenters.

You can find apprenticeships and trade schools that help you attain the skills and experience necessary to help you grow in your career. The median income for a carpenter is north of $45,000.

If you’re really good and you carve (no pun intended) a niche for yourself, you can be in high demand for clients willing to pay top dollar for cabinetry work or some other customized woodworking.

A criminal background shouldn’t exclude you from jobs that become available to you if you’ve developed a reputation as a hard worker who is reliable and highly skilled.

John Sarson , CEO, American Crypto Academy


One career a felon can pursue is entrepreneurship. A felon can start their own business and be their own boss. This career is a great way to use their skills and talents and to make their own income. Examples of businesses to start include a restaurant, a marketing firm, a car detailing business, or a pet walking business.

Grace He , People & Culture Director, teambuilding.com

Content Creator

Consider content creation as a career. This gives you the opportunity to be your own boss. Tell your story through weekly blogs or podcasts, or develop a social media presence. Discuss different niches that you’re interested in and have an opinion on. It’s a great way to make your own hours and build your personal brand.

Lindsay Malu Kido , CEO, Empower Pleasure

Dog Groomer

If you love pets, consider a dog groomer’s career. Your felony conviction is not any barrier to starting that work.Love for dogs is crucial in this profession, but you also need to possess specific skills to provide an excellent and safe service. Although formal qualifications aren’t required, you should complete training in pet grooming.Grooming services for dogs usually include bathing, cutting and brushing hair, and treating the dog for fleas if needed. Doing the job, you also book appointments, interact with pet owners, and maintain a clean grooming area.Dog grooming is an exciting, enjoyable, and fun career with flexible hours. Working with dogs can also be therapeutic for you. Animals don’t judge, they don’t care about your criminal past. And, living in the moment, they only care about who you are here and now.

Agata Szczepanek , Community Manager, LiveCareer

Mechanical Engineering Technician

Some prisoners can learn mechanical skills while incarcerated. Therefore, careers in mechanical engineering often provide suitable jobs for felons. With additional vocational training after their release, they can gain opportunities to help engineers test, change, and develop a variety of machines and mechanical equipment.

Dakota McDaniels , Chief Product Officer, Pluto

careers for felons

Resume Writer

There are many opportunities for felons to pursue as independent contractors. Resume writing is a great opportunity for felons because there are dozens of training courses and certifications that exist for resume writers.

It’s also a fully remote job that can be done in the comfort and safety of your home. In 10+ years in the resume writing space, and after working with hundreds of resume writers, I’ve never heard of a single one receiving a background check or being asked about their criminal background.

Kristina Ramos , Reverse Recruiter, Find My Profession

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