Convicted Felons – Second Chances

In this post, we are going to explore the question can convicted felons get a second chance.  Millions of Americans have a criminal background which can disqualify them from getting a job.

What is a Felon?

A felon is a person who has been charged and convicted of a felony offense which is a crime carrying a minimum sentence term of one year or more or punishable by death.

Classification of Offenses as Felonies

  1. Life imprisonment, or if the maximum penalty is death, as a class A felony
  2. Twenty-five years or more, as a class B felony
  3. Less than twenty-five years but ten or more years, as a class C felony
  4. Less than ten years but five or more years, as a class D felony
  5. Less than five years but more than one year, as a class E felony


8 Tips for Getting Hired as a Felon:

1. Remind yourself that you are not a bad person.  We all make mistakes.  In order for other people to give you a second chance, you first need to believe that you are worthy of one.  Draw a line between your life right now and what happened in the past.  Move forward with the understanding that your past does not necessarily have to determine what happens tomorrow.

2.  Be realistic about how employers may initially see you.  As a felon you may be looked at as untrustworthy, dangerous and uneducated. Employers may fear that you will steal from them, harm other employees or abuse drugs.  Even though such stereotypes may not apply to you, it is important to know about them so that you can work to overcome them.

3. Establish a clean, professional image.  Every first impression matters.  Start dressing as if you are already successful and maintain that look every time you go out.  When in doubt, choose clothing and hairstyles that are classic and conservative.  Part of becoming successful is feeling successful and you can’t feel successful unless you look successful.

4. You need to research your options.  Talk to people in various industries.  Get a feel for the requirements that you need to meet.  Find out what particular felonies might disqualify you so that you don’t waste your time and money pursuing a career that isn’t open to you (sex offenses and violent crimes are usually the most limiting felonies).

5. Your skills will be your most valuable asset. So look into career training programs at trade schools and vocational colleges.  They frequently offer opportunities to learn relevant skills that match the needs of today s employers.  Plus, even if you can’t attend a campus due to a particular felony conviction, you may be able to take online classes

6. Consider volunteering for a little while.  Many Church groups, charities and non-profit organizations are willing to accept the help of ex-cons who want to volunteer their time for a good cause.  If you demonstrate that you are reliable, hard-working and honest, then you’ll be able to establish great references, which are critical when applying for jobs as a felon.

7. Be strategic about the jobs that you go after.  Temp agencies or companies owned by your friends or family may present fewer hiring obstacles.  It is often easier to get hired for positions that don’t involve face-to-face interactions with customers.

8. Keep a thick skin and stay optimistic.  Persistence is the key.  Focus on how you have grown and what you have learned from your experiences.  Eventually, you will receive an opportunity.  When you do, take it and do not look back.

Jobs for Convicted Felons:

Welders earn an income of $25,000 per year without much experience, average $41,380 per year with experience and $60,000 per year with increased skills.  As a welder you use shapers, cutters and welding equipment to join pieces of metal.  Some welders create new materials, build bridges, and help construct large buildings.  Also, you could work in an automotive repair shop.  If you have no welding skills, some companies will train you on the job.

Qualified electricians earn an average of $55,000 per year.  As an electrician, you install, maintain and repair electrical systems for homes, businesses and government buildings.  Also, you could help repair short circuits and prevent fire hazards.

As an HVAC technician, you can expect to earn an average of $47,100 per year.  HVAC experts install, replace and repair heating and air conditioning systems in a variety of settings.  You could work in homes, offices, schools, factories, hospitals and more.  Also, HVAC experts often work on weekends and during unusual hours.  You can go to a trade school or you can opt for on-the-job training to become an HVAC technician.

As a carpenter, you can expect to earn an average of $46,509 per year.  Working as a carpenter, you work inside and outside in a variety of weather conditions, ranging from hot to cold.  Some carpenters work with small tools to shape and mold plastics and other materials.  You help install cabinets, hallways and other structures.  Also, you work on homes, apartments, offices and government buildings.

If you desire to pursue a military career with a felony conviction on your background report, you need to speak with your recruiter.  If your recruiter wants to hire you, he will interview you and take a range of factors into account during his decision.  Your recruiter can grant a waiver that allows you to join despite your criminal background.  Some crimes disqualify you from getting a waiver, and they include sex crimes, assault with a dangerous weapon, kidnapping and credit card fraud.  No matter your past crimes, most recruiters will automatically disqualify you for lying on your application.

In oil field jobs, rig operators earn an average of $50,000 per year and many support positions earn similar wages.  This career requires you to travel and work a range of hours, including nights and weekends.

The average wage of a truck driver is $43,690 per year.  Many truck drivers stay away from their home towns for days or weeks before returning.  That is why truck driving is not just a career but it is a lifestyle choice.  Always review the terms of your employment contract before signing up for a commercial truck driving position.

Marketers earn an average of $132,000 per year.  As a marketer, you help companies create sales materials that connects with their target audience and compels them to buy.  You perform research to learn the demand for the products or services your employer sells and you learn the needs and desires of their intended customers.  Using this information, you improve your companies profit by creating advertisements that get results and gain attention.

Being an entrepreneur means you are responsible for each success and failure you experience along the way.  This option could be a smart choice, if you have a high risk tolerance and enjoy helping other people.  There are no state or federal laws preventing a felon from owning a business. A felon may be prohibited from owning some based on the type of business and the licensing requirements. Licensing and bonding may be affected by a felony, such as a surety bond.

To Get the Most Advanced & Comprehensive Training Platform in the Industry for Building a Business, Click Here

Programs for Ex-felons:

Work Opportunity Tax Credit – The Work Opportunity Tax Credit is a federal government program offering a tax credit to encourage employers to hire ex-felons.  Ex-felons must be hired within one year of their release or the end of their parole or probation. The WOTC program provides employers with a credit up to $9,600 each year, for every employee that meets the criteria to qualify under the credit.

Federal Bonding Program –  The Federal Bonding Program helps felons find employment by reducing the risk of hiring them.  The program sells employers an insurance policy safeguarding them against potential theft, forgery, larceny or other intentional losses of value caused by at-risk employees covered by the policy.  The bond lasts for six months and usually covers $5,000 of damage, though businesses can request coverage up to $25,000 in some cases.  Coverage is issued by the Department of Labor and begins the first day of employment.  Once the six-month period is up, employers may pay for additional coverage going forward.

Second Chance Jobs for Felons – Second Chance Jobs for Felons was founded in 2016 and provides free services to felons.  Their database of companies includes over 275 employers across the country that will hire applicants with criminal records.  Also, it provides a searchable database for apprenticeship programs allowing felons to access on-the-job training and classroom education at no cost. In addition, the database provides information about obtaining a commercial driver’s license for truck driving, relief and legal assistance attorneys, and tattoo removal for free.

Second Chance Act Program – The Second Chance Act Program allows Bureau of Prisons to place a prisoner in home confinement instead of in a half-way house.  It insures that a prisoner serving a term of imprisonment spends a portion of the final months of that term (not to exceed 12 months) in a community correctional facility (half-way house) that will allow the prisoner a reasonable opportunity to adjust and prepare for reentry into the community(home detention).


Getting a job as a felon is often a difficult task.  Many of the jobs you find offer on-the-job training and many others only require a certification from a trade school.

Many large corporations, as well as medium-sized companies from a range of industries, have a hiring policy that does not discriminate against applicants who have felony convictions.

Yes, convicted felons can get a second chance.

“America is the land of second chance, and when the gates of the prison open, the path ahead should lead to a better life” – President George W. Bush, 2004 State of the Union Address

If you have any comments or questions about this post, please submit them below and I will respond to you, as soon as possible.

All the Best,


Founder of Hartland Marketing Solutions

Leave a Comment