Spending time in prison is no small matter for either you or your family. Not only do you miss out on those key moments in your family’s lives. You also don’t get to advance any career while you’re doing time for a mistake you’ve made.
Still, once you’re released from prison, there are plenty of steps you can take to get your life back on track. One of the best things you can do for yourself is to get a job as soon as possible. The good news is there are plenty of worthwhile careers for felons.
Consider these unfortunate statistics found by the Prison Policy Initiative. In the year 2018, a study showed formerly incarcerated people experience an unemployment rate of 27% overall.
This can be disheartening news if you’ve recently been released from prison, but don’t worry. Detailed below are ten ideal careers for felons to consider.
1. Join a Union in the Construction Industry
The first thing you should consider when choosing a career is the benefits package. When you first get out of prison, this is crucial. You want to ensure that you have appropriate health insurance provided, for example.
Well, that’s one of the best things about joining a union. There are dozens of different industries that provide substantial union options throughout the United States. Most of them, of course, exist in the construction industry.
Do you have a knack for welding? Are you interested in learning? Join the Ironworkers Union near you to go through the apprenticeship program. They’ll train you even if you have no experience.
Perhaps you’re more interested in carpentry, though. Well, those unions are available, too.
Unions not only provide training for their members. Benefits packages are available right off the bat, which is awesome for anyone with a family to take care of.
It’s true that unions have fees that you have to pay on a regular basis. Receiving higher wages than non-members makes the dues worthwhile, though. There are plenty of felons who are successful in the construction industry.
2. Work in Digital Marketing As a Freelancer
Perhaps you prefer the idea of working form your computer. Well, if you’re willing to put in the effort you can become a freelancer even with a criminal background.
Establish your skills in the digital marketing world. Become an accomplished graphic designer or a website content writer, for example.
All you would have to do is take the time to build up a portfolio. Then, you need to have a good website to show odd your skills in whatever niche you so choose. There are plenty of websites like Freelancer and Upwork that connect freelancers with clients all across the country.
Keep in mind that this career path might take some time to really take off. Still, if you like the idea of setting your own hours and working at your own pace, freelancing is a great option for you. Businesses that hire freelances for temporary contracts rarely run background checks.
3. Become a Commercial Truck Driver
Do you like the idea of traveling throughout the country while getting paid? Plenty of felons have established careers as commercial truck drivers.
Note that this job will require you to maintain some serious responsibility when it comes to transporting expensive merchandise. Truck drivers need to pass regular drug screenings and stay certified to keep their jobs. The pay for these positions, though, is worth the dedication of your time and effort.
4. Speak with a Military Recruiter
You might not expect this career path to be open to felons, but you should think again. While there are often strict recruiting requirements for the military, it’s possible to work around them.
The best thing you could do is schedule a time to speak with a recruiting officer in person. If he or she can tell you’re on a path towards a better life, you might be considered on probation. The benefits package of working in the military are definitely worth considering.
If you’re set on this career path, there may be some options for you to consider. Going through the process of a felony expungement isn’t out of the question if you’re willing to work through it. Then, joining the military could be that much easier.
5. The Oil Industry Isn’t Going Anywhere
Of course, there are plenty of jobs that need to be filled in oil fields all over the place. Find the nearest oil company near you to see if they’re hiring. You might be surprised to find that oil companies are more than willing to hire people with criminal backgrounds.
6. Entrepreneurial Careers for Felons
One of the biggest hurdles when applying for jobs will be background checks. It’s all too common these days for most businesses to require a clean criminal record before hiring someone. While that’s unfortunate news for you, it’s not the end of the world.
Have you ever considered starting your own company? If you haven’t, recognize that the possibilities for this are essentially endless. Having the power of your own work is an invaluable characteristic in any career.
The business doesn’t have to be too extensive, either. For example, you could start a commercial cleaning business and connect with companies in your local area who need janitorial services.
You could even start a dog walking company if you’re inclined as an animal lover. Maybe, though, you have a knack for mowing lawns and trimming hedges. Starting your own landscaping service in your area is a great way to earn your value in society.
Whatever business you start, expect there to be some challenges along the way. If you do your research and give it your all, though, you can accomplish anything you want. All it takes is an entrepreneurial spirit.
7. Heating, Ventilation, and Air Conditioning (HVAC) Technician
Depending on where you live, you can trust that HVAC technicians are always in demand. If you live in a place with hot summers, for instance, you can trust that plenty of people will need their air conditioning units repaired every year.
In those closer locations, though, people will certainly value your ability to keep their heat up and running. The good thing about this career path is that there are plenty of training options available. Search around your local area to see what training certifications you can go through.
8. Work for a Landscaping Company
It’s understandable if you don’t want to run your own landscaping company, as mentioned above. Instead, it’s still a great idea to work for someone else’s landscaping company.
It’s important to remember that landscaping jobs require you to be outside a lot. If you have any health conditions that would prevent you from doing that on a regular basis, landscaping isn’t the best industry for you. Otherwise, this is a great option for a felon who’s ready to put in some good work for an awesome paycheck.
9. Consider the Food and Beverage Industry
If you have a passion for the culinary arts, it’s possible to get hired in a restaurant kitchen as a felon. You might have to prove your knowledge base, but it’s doable. The hours in the restaurant industry aren’t always convenient, but a job’s a job, right?
Don’t let your past prevent you from bettering your future. There are resources available to help you transition to a productive, law-abiding lifestyle.
For example, the Second Chance Act of 2007 works to provide assistance for people who’ve just left prison. It’s up to you, though, to take advantage of those resources and reinvent yourself as a stand-up citizen. Narrowing down your ideal career path is a great step in doing just that.
10. Electricians Are Always in Demand
The last career path you should consider after being released from prison is that of an electrician. Research in your area for available electrician jobs if you have experience. If you don’t, there are often affordable educational programs to train you as a professional electrician in no time.
Continue Investing in Your Personal Wellness and Future Security
At this point in the article, you should have a pretty good understanding of the best careers for felons. There’s no need for you to give up on yourself or your dreams. All it takes is some dedication and willingness to work to get your life back on track.
After all, you deserve to have the peace of mind that comes from knowing you’re making valuable contributions to society. It doesn’t matter what happened in your past. The defining characteristics of your future are up to you.
That’s why it’s so crucial that you take the time to create some personal goals – and stick to them. Don’t underestimate yourself and your ability to prosper in today’s world. It’ll be up to you, though, to make the most of the time and energy you have to offer people around you.
We know how important it is to have the best resources available as you transition away from your time in prison. That’s one of the reasons we prioritize bringing you the best guidance of the day. We encourage you to browse through the rest of our website for the latest in the worlds of finance, lifestyle, and even health.