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Highest Paying Jobs for Felons

Highest Paying Jobs for Felons

Post a felony conviction, getting your life on track can become difficult. There are many things you may not be allowed to do and certain situations that may make you feel uncomfortable. Securing a job is one of them since most companies are not comfortable with hiring a felon.

The ones that do consider hiring felons tend to pay minimum wages. If you are not comfortable with starting on low pay then it’s important to look for better options that may help you earn more money.

Depending on which state you live in, there are various options for you. You need to understand that unless you are happy with the job you have, it’s not going to keep you in a good place for a long time. Just paying the bills is not a long-term solution system.

While this can be done for a short period once you are out of prison, it is important to look for a long-term career opportunity that pays well and keeps you busy.

In case you are wondering which are the best jobs for felons and how you can earn maximum money then here is a list of the top 10 best-paying jobs for a felon.

1 Welding

Convicted felons usually pick a career as a welder because of the ease of learning the skill. There are various tasks a welder can perform and the best part is you can choose which area you want to specialize in.

highest paying jobs for felon

As a welder, the average pay is approximately $41,000 a year. Although the entry-level pay would be somewhere around $25,000, the industry is vast and you can grow quickly. If you specialize in a particular field that is in demand, you could earn as much as $60,000 a year and sometimes even more.

Job Responsibilities Of A Welder

A welder can use various tools to mend and put together pieces of metal. They can create shapes based on customer requirements. Most welders often take up large projects which include the construction of metal bridges or mending large parts of buildings.

Certain welders also work towards repairing broken metal structures or parts of a building to protect its integrity. A felon needs to complete a valid certification course to become a welder.

Most organizations however offer on-the-job training based on what area you choose to specialize in.

Offshore Opportunities

If you live around coastal areas, you also have the opportunity of becoming an offshore welder. This requires the unique skill of being able to weld underwater. Underwater offshore welders are paid as much as $30 an hour.

This is a lucrative career and is a high paying job. The industry is open to hiring felons which makes it a great opportunity to start your new life.

2 Electrician

Many felons consider becoming an electrician after serving their time. The average pay for an electrician is approximately $55,000 a year. The demand for electricians is quite high and while you may start with lower pay, it is expected to rise by at least 14% each year.

Job Responsibilities

An electrician can choose to work indoors or outdoors depending on what they are comfortable with.

The job can include maintaining, repairing, or installing various electrical systems for homes or commercial purposes. Other jobs would also include working on roads repairing streetlights and other such things.

Electricians do anything from repairing a short circuit to ensuring the wiring complies with fire safety to prevent any hazard.

highest paying jobs for a felon

If you plan on establishing a career as an electrician you need to be prepared for various environments that you have to work in. Many felons think about working as an electrician as they can choose the area they are interested in and pursue it.

If you choose to work with an organization then you can become a specialized electrician for various companies or you can also choose to establish an independent career. You can then consider starting your business which will help you earn a lot of money.

It is important to get your license and complete a course to become an electrician. If you plan on joining an organization you will have to complete their on the job training to learn the skills.

If this is something that interests you then working as an electrician can be a long-term satisfying career. After working with companies for a few years, you can then move on to starting your venture.

3 HVAC Technician

HVAC technicians earn a decent amount of money each year. Felons are welcome in this industry and organizations look forward to filling multiple positions. This makes it an attractive career. The average pay of an HVAC technician is about $47,000 a year. This is based on your experience and expertise.

Job Responsibilities

HVAC experts are required to:

  • Repair or replace heating solutions
  • Maintain air conditioning
  • Repair or replace the ventilation system

They need to understand one or all of these systems based on what they want to establish their career in. HVAC technicians can choose to work independently or with organizations that can outsource their services whenever needed.

These organizations are usually associated with residential buildings, commercial complexes, schools, hospitals, factories, and restaurants.

the highest paying jobs for a felon

If you have a violent charge or you are a sex offender then working in hospitals or schools may be off-limits. You can still establish a successful career as an HVAC technician and work in residential or commercial spaces.

The best part about an HVAC back technician is they are required in almost every home and office space. Whether you choose to work with an organization or work independently you will never be out of work.

Some maintenance companies also offer 24/7 services. While these are a little more difficult to keep up with, the pay is usually higher.

To become a successful HVAC technician you need to complete a course and get certified. Some organizations provide on the job training where you can specialize in a certain area such as repair work or heating and cooling for ventilation systems.

4 Carpenter

Many felons choose to establish a successful career as a carpenter. The average pay for a carpenter is approximately $46,000 a year however it could increase based on the skillset. One of the best things about becoming a carpenter is it is a stable career and you will always have work.

Job Requirement

Becoming a carpenter requires a lot of hard work and dedication. If you are ready to put in the required effort you could go a long way.

A carpenter needs to be prepared to work in any circumstances and under any kind of weather conditions. From crafting major wooden furniture to becoming creative with fine pieces of home decor, you can choose what you want to specialize in based on the skills you have.

the highest paying jobs for felons

Almost all states require carpenters to hold a license. You can choose to work for an organization or independently depending on what you prefer. The perks of working for an organization is you get onsite training and you become confident with your skills.

The ideal career path for carpentry is to work under someone and hone your skills and eventually start your business.

5 Military

Many felons shy away from serving their country because they believe that the conviction on their record will not get them the job.

Unlike most other organizations the military is open to hiring felons on a case-to-case basis. Various factors are taken into consideration when the military looks to hire felons and your felony may not affect the chances of you getting a job if you qualify on the other factors.

Job Responsibilities

There are several branches in the military and based on the job and rank you are at, your salary is determined. Your rank also determines whether you qualify for military housing. Married individuals stand a higher chance of receiving military housing as compared to those who are single.

the highest paying job for felons

The first step towards getting a job in the military is to speak to your recruiter about your conviction. Be honest and open up to them about the situation.

The military looks for individuals with high moral standards. Although your felony may reduce your brownie points, various other factors could increase your chances.

Certain offenders are not allowed to join the military. These include:

  • Credit card fraud
  • Assault with a dangerous weapon
  • Kidnapping
  • Sex crime

If a felon is looking to join the military they would require a waiver. If you are involved in any of the above crimes, your waiver is automatically canceled.

6 Oil Field Job

Although going green is becoming popular these days, the need for oil and gas is not diminishing in any way. If you are ready to put in a lot of physical labor then oil rig companies are on the lookout for individuals and they do not mind hiring felons.

An oil rig operator can earn up to $50,000 a year and this is just the beginning. If you stay in the company for a long time, you will eventually get promoted. You can then choose to become a petroleum engineer and earn $65 an hour.


You can also complete certain courses and grow to higher positions. Petroleum engineers are required to hold a bachelor’s degree. If you do not have one, you may want to consider completing your studies while working as a rig operator.

You should know that this line of work requires a lot of physical strength and endurance. Once you advance higher up the ranks, your work becomes more relaxing.

7 Truck Driver

People enjoy purchasing merchandise online and this means items need to be transported inter and intrastate. The demand for commercial truck drivers is at an all-time high and organizations do not pick and choose their employees based on felonies.

A commercial truck driver is required to work long hours and should be open to traveling across states. The standard pay in this industry is approximately $43,000 a year. If you drive for longer hours you will be paid overtime however you cannot drive for more than 14 hours a day.

highest paying job for a felon

This is a stressful job but it makes for substantial earnings and long-term income. You can start by driving another person’s truck and get paid a salary. You can eventually move on to purchasing your truck and grow your commercial truck driving business.

To become a commercial truck driver you must have a commercial driving license. You should have not been convicted for driving-related felonies or be charged for DUI.

If you are on parole then you cannot become a commercial truck driver because the job requires you to leave the state. You also need to be prepared to stay away from home for days and sometimes even weeks at a stretch. If you enjoy driving and you know that you will not get into any negative habits while doing this then this is the right career for you.

When hiring a commercial truck driver the company will be open concerning the number of hours and days you will be required to work. If there is overtime needed they will also inform you regarding the pay per hour. Companies will also prepare a contract and the required paperwork when the truck driver is required to cross state borders.

8 Marketing

Marketing is one of the most lucrative industries and one of the highest paying when it comes to jobs for felons. Individuals in marketing can earn as much as $132,000 a year. This is a competitive industry and you have to know your way around words if you want to be successful.

Job Responsibilities

As a marketer, you will have to be aware of the competition and market trend so this means you will constantly have to conduct research and study what is trending.

It is also important to understand the latest trends on the internet so you can use them to your advantage while marketing your products.

From designing creatives to planning the advertising budget and even deciding the target audience, there are various roles a marketer has to handle. If you are not comfortable working for an organization then you can also choose to become an affiliate.

highest paying job for felon 2023

This gives you the chance to sit at home and promote products or services from other companies. The good thing about this is you don’t have to worry about any background check and you can take home a good amount if you put in the right effort.

There are various courses available to teach you the latest marketing trends and you can also choose to hone your skills by reading articles online.

9 Entrepreneur

A felon is known to have the most creative mind. While you might have put it to use for the wrong purpose in the past, you can now use your creativity to do something positive and benefit from it.

Becoming an entrepreneur is a refreshing start for a felon and the best part is you won’t have to worry about any background checks. In case you are wondering how you can become an entrepreneur then here are a few things you can begin with:

  • Check your skills and figure out what you are best at
  • Research about the industry and see where you fit in the best
  • Check out the market to analyze the competition
  • Prepare a business plan and follow it step by step. Always make sure you have a five-year plan in hand.

Job Responsibilities

When becoming an entrepreneur, remember to start small. While you may be enticed to go all in, this is not a good idea. The best way to make more money is to invest as little as possible and let your business provide maximum profits. You can then re-invest a part of the profits and grow along the way.

highest paying job for the felon

It is important to be dedicated to one particular industry or niche so you don’t drift away and fail in everything you do.

Keep polishing your skills by taking up new business courses and read up on what successful businessmen around the world are doing. The more passionate you are about the field you choose, the higher the chances of your success are.

Before taking the plunge to become an entrepreneur, understand what you want to do and how you will do it. Once you have a plan you can go ahead and begin executing it. A successful entrepreneur can earn more than six figures each month.

10 Freelancing

As easy as it may seem for people to say that you need to own up to your crime and talk about it, there are still various felons who are not comfortable speaking about their past mistakes.

If you are one of them and you do not want to get into the corporate world for fear of a background check, then becoming a freelancer is a great way to earn substantial money.

highest paying job for the felon 2023

Freelancing jobs are available by the dozen and if you have the skill to perform the task then all you need is a computer and a working internet connection. Some of the most popular jobs as freelancers include:

  • Virtual assistant
  • Customer service agent
  • Graphic designer
  • Writers
  • SEO expert
  • Web developer
  • Video editor or creator

The amount of money you can make as a freelancer depends on how good you are at the job. The best thing would be to enroll in a certification course so you add a feather to your hat.

Begin by offering your services at a minimal amount and gather reviews for the jobs completed. Once people see how talented you are, they will be open to paying for your services.

There are various platforms where you can take up work. If you are honest, hardworking, and good at what you do, you will never be short on work. If you are worried about getting negative reviews then always offer free revisions to each of your clients. Make sure your client is happy with the result because they will:

  • Leave a good review
  • Come back to you for repeat business
  • Recommend your services to others

How To Decide Which Industry Is Best Suited For You?

If you thought that there were limited opportunities for a felon, then you couldn’t be more wrong. As you can see above, there are multiple options available and it could get daunting to [ick the right career path.

One of the best things to do would be to speak to a career counselor and ask them for advice. These counselors sometimes conduct aptitude tests and based on the results they suggest an industry for you.

highest paying job for felons 2023

Once you are out of prison, the important thing to remember is to focus on the positives and not let your past get in the way. If you had a group of friends that had a negative influence on you, it would be best to stay away from these people.

While you may be embarrassed discussing your felony charges with your loved ones, they are probably your biggest support system. Not only will they help in lifting you when things are not going your way, but they will also ensure that you do not go astray.

It is important, to be honest, and have open communication with your loved ones. Some might even have jobs that might interest you. There is no harm in speaking with them to see if they could provide you with a job or refer you to one of the companies to help you get a job.

Final Thoughts

Taking the first step is important once you are out of prison. The path you choose once you take the step determines your future. Make sure you choose the right path. You need to understand what you want to do and how you want to get there. As we mentioned, do not pick a job just because it pays well.

Pick a job because you are interested in it. This will take you far. Your success depends on the effort you put in. Even if you don’t pick a high paying job, you can work hard and earn increments.

Now that you know which jobs pay the maximum for felons, you can consider this and see if your interest lies in any of them.

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