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Can a Felon Work for The Government?


There is a myth among common people that if you’re registered as a felon, you stand no chance to get employed by the government. That is however far from the truth. The career of a felon doesn’t come to an end after he comes out of prison.

Besides private jobs, a felon can also become a government employee. There are however a lot of restrictions and regulations enforced by the Federal government. This is about hiring ex-felons and convicted criminals.

can a felon work for the government

Most felons are not aware of the scopes and opportunities the government offers. The Federal government offers some employment benefits to felons. This is in cases of specific positions. Most felons avoid government jobs as they don’t want to interact with the government anymore.

This article will tell you about the government opportunities. It will also tell you the eligibility factors for those positions.

Is It Possible For A Felon To Get A Government Job?

The Federal government has strict guidelines. No private organization can reject a felon’s application due to his conviction. The government has also adopted the same policy when it comes to hiring felons.

The department that handles the government recruitment procedures is the Office of Personnel Management. Most organizations haven’t set specific boundaries for felons in terms of Federal recruitments.

A felon can apply for a government job like any other candidate. The exception in the case of a felon is he can’t apply for all government positions. Based on the type of felony, the Federal authorities decide whether the application is valid for a specific job position or not.

What Application Procedure Should A Felon Go Through To Get A Government Job?

The hiring procedure of a felon for a government job is similar to a regular candidate.

Step 1

  • All government job applicants should visit login.gov for initiating their applications.
  • Once a candidate is on the website, he is required to create an account. This can be done by providing his details.
  • Once a candidate creates an account on the portal, he registers himself as a government job applicant.

can felon work for the government

Step 2

  • After creating an individual account, the candidate can check all the government job openings.
  • The candidate can also click on his preferred job profile to check out the details.
  • All the candidates should read the eligibility criteria for each job before applying.
  • Unless you check the eligibility criteria for a specific job, you can’t determine whether you’re suitable for the position or not.

Step 3

  • While applying for a government job on the portal, you will be asked to submit your updated resume.
  • Every candidate also needs to upload some relevant documents that the specific position demands.
  • If you fail to provide any required documents during the application process, your application won’t be considered a valid one.

Step 4

  • The Federal government has also set different questionnaires for different positions.
  • The candidates are required to answer those questionnaires to validate their application.

Step 5

  • Once you complete the application process, you can check the current status of your application whenever you want on the website.
  • A candidate receives notifications from the hiring authority once his application is submitted successfully.

can felon work for government

Step 6

  • If the application gets shortlisted for the position they’ve applied for, they will be called for the next steps in the interview process.
  • Shortlisted candidates usually need to go through two rounds of interviews.
  • This includes a telephonic round and a personal face-to-face interview.

Step 7

  • If a candidate clears all the rounds of the selection process, he has to give consent to the authority to run a background check.
  • After the completion of a successful background check, the hiring authority or the OPE provides the candidate with a call letter and other joining documents.

What Positions Do Felons Get Hired For?

Generally, the Federal government doesn’t allow felons to get recruited in vital administrative positions. Though felons can get appointed to permanent government positions, they are less likely to get posted in higher ranks or positions. The government mostly hire felons for entry-level jobs that don’t demand crucial responsibilities.

Felons also don’t get hired for a position that involves direct interaction with the public. As an example, a felon is less likely to be hired as a public relations representative in a government organization. Instead, the government allows positions that aren’t related to critical security factors.

If you’re a felon, stop dreaming about getting appointed as an administrative official who takes care of confidential data of the Federal government.

Instead, you can target positions that are easy to achieve. You can try to get appointed in positions like:

1 Driving assistant of a high-rank official

2 Warehouse executive

3 Cleaning staff

4 Maintenance manager of a government office and other related positions.

Do All Felons Get Hired?

1 Kind Of Felony

The chances for a felon to get hired depends on the type of felony he had been convicted for. The presence of some strict laws in the constitution prohibits some felons from getting appointed by the government.

Though the majority of felons are eligible for applying for government positions, some serious criminals are banned permanently. If you had a murder charge or you were convicted as a sex offender, you might be banned permanently by the government to apply for jobs.

The hiring authority of the Federal government has all the rights to decline a felon’s candidature based on his crime. The severity of a felon’s crime is the only factor that prevents a felon from getting hired as a government employee.

2 Background Check

The hiring authority of the government, namely OPE, conducts mandatory background checks before hiring a candidate. Hiding your criminal record while applying for a government position is regarded as a criminal offense.

can felon work for government guide

During the background check, the hiring authority of the government comes to know about the entire criminal background of a candidate. If the applicant is found to be convicted of a major crime, the application is rejected.

If you’re applying for a position that involves the security of the country and the public, the hiring authority emphasizes the background check. As every criminal’s record is registered in the FBI database, it’s easier for the government authority to access a candidate’s information.

Why Should A Felon Apply For A Government Job?

Everyone is aware of the additional stability and security that a government job provides. Apart from that, a government job offers a lot of additional perks and benefits as compared with a private job. In addition to that, getting a government job helps a felon lessen the repercussions of his crime.

can a felon work for government

Some of the benefits of a government job include:

  • Better job security
  • Better compensation
  • More paid leave
  • Better health benefits
  • Better retirement benefits


As a felon, getting a government job can be extremely beneficial for you. Even if your applications for different government positions get rejected repeatedly, you should keep on applying. Try to make yourself eligible for a government position to ensure a better future for yourself.

You can also try to pursue higher studies or complete a specialized course to improve your chances of bagging a job as a government employee.

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