What Types of Jobs Are Off Limits to Felons?


Felons are people convicted of crimes considered felonies by the United States government. Felonies are usually violent crimes or crimes that break federal laws; there are levels of felonies based on severity, but most employers place all felons into one category. For felons being released from prison, finding a job can be difficult as they are less likely to be trusted by employers.

Education Jobs

  • All government-run schools and educational facilities ban convicted sexual predators from working with children. Felons of all kinds will have problems finding jobs in educational fields. If the felony was unrelated to children, schools may hire felons for jobs such as janitors and cooks. Private schools can choose their own employees but most will not hire felons to protect themselves from possible liability. Colleges and universities may hire non-violent felons, depending on the crime.

Government and Licensing

  • Felons are banned from working in most government positions due to perceived lack of accountability. Many states ban felons from applying to the police department. Felons will have difficulty finding jobs in the postal service or in federal facilities. Felons cannot receive many licenses issued by state governments such as licensing for accountants, barbers, architects, interior designers and boxers; however, some states take into consideration the level of felony while some allow felons to acquire these licenses.

Health Care

  • Most states ban felons from working within the health care industry. This applies to positions such as doctors, nurses and pharmacists. These laws exist to protect citizens and to prevent pharmaceutical drug theft. Although these laws are common, many felons work within the health care industry in low paying positions. Felons can often find jobs in housekeeping or as janitors. Sometimes felons find low-level medical positions, such as nursing assistants and dietary workers.

Private Industry

  • Most private corporations and businesses have the ability to select their own employees and to regulate their own hiring regulations. Companies can choose to hire felons for positions and some choose to do this to help the felons ease back into society. However, many employers do not trust felons and will exclude them from the hiring process. Businesses must take their customers' and the public's opinions into account when hiring employees, which often means excluding felons.

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