Short Answer: Jobs for felons include service industry jobs at stores or restaurants like Dairy Queen, Goodwill, and Lowe’s, as well as opportunities in the travel, hospitality, construction, or trucking industries. There are also re-entry programs designed to help felons to get jobs. Below, we list the companies that hire felons and provide other helpful information for people searching for jobs that hire felons.
The List of Companies That Hire Felons (Typically)
Very few companies disclose their policies for hiring felons publicly. Hiring practices can vary widely based on the job position, hiring managers, and other factors. Many franchises also create their own hiring processes; they don’t necessarily adhere to a uniform corporate policy, and of course, several other factors contribute to hiring decisions outside of a criminal background, such as work experience.
Commonly, companies that hire felons (including those listed below) will consider the type of felony or nature of the crime (i.e., whether it was a violent crime) and how long ago the felony occurred. Most companies are more likely to hire a felon if their conviction is seven to 10 years old or older.
Because of these variables, we can’t guarantee that any of the companies listed below that will hire felons at all locations. But, to help you in your job search, we’ve contacted and researched employee reports for a range of companies to determine their typical hiring practices. Average pay figures are drawn from employee reports on Glassdoor and Indeed. The following employers may hire felons:
- Company’s Specialization: Equipment and tools for home and maintenance projects
- Jobs Available for Felons: Retail Sales Associate, Sales Floor Associate, Department Manager, Assistant Store Manager, etc.
- Average Pay: $10 to $14 per hour
- Additional Benefits: Insurance, tuition assistance, employee assistance program, flexible work hours, etc.
- Find out more about job opportunities with Ace Hardware.
- Company’s Specialization: Grocery store and pharmacy
- Jobs Available for Felons: Courtesy Clerk, Cashier, Manager, Supervisors, Corporate Office Jobs, Supply Office Jobs, Pharmacy Jobs, etc.
- Average Pay: $11 to $15 per hour
- Additional Benefits: Comprehensive benefits package, promotion from within
- Find out more about job opportunities with Albertsons.
- Company’s Specialization: Fast food (burgers, specialty drinks, ice cream, cakes, etc.)
- Jobs Available for Felons: Cashier, Crew Member, Team Member, Shift Leader, etc.
- Average Pay: $9 to $15 per hour
- Additional Benefits: Benefits packages, discounts
- Find out more about job opportunities with Dairy Queen.
- Company’s Specialization: Food delivery
- Jobs Available for Felons: Dasher (delivery driver)
- Average Pay: Varies based on the delivery time, distance, peak times, and other factors; usually around $2 to $10 per order with drivers reporting averages of around $11 to $12 per hour
- Additional Benefits: Commercial auto insurance while on active deliveries
- Find out more about signing up for DoorDash.
- Company’s Specialization: Retail store offering gently used clothing, accessories, and house supplies.
- Jobs Available for Felons: Retail Sales Associate, Assistant Manager, Production Supervisor, etc.
- Average Pay: $9 to $14 per hour
- Additional Benefits: Basic skills development, employment-readiness training, occupational skills training, job placement assistance, and life skills training
- Find out more about job opportunities with Goodwill Industries.
Goodyear Auto Service
- Company’s Specialization: Auto service center and tire retailer
- Jobs Available For Felons: Sales Associate, Alignment Specialist, General Service Associate, etc.
- Average Pay: $9 to $17 per hour
- Additional Benefits: Medical plans, 401k, paid vacations, and certification reimbursement
- Find out more about job opportunities with Goodyear Auto Service.
- Company’s Specialization: Retail store for lumber, tools, and equipment for house and building projects
- Jobs Available for Felons: Team Associate, Cashier, Customer Service Associate, Call Center Representative, Store Manager, etc.
- Average Pay: $12 to $20 per hour
- Additional Benefits: Insurance, paid vacation, sick pay, Lowe’s merchandise discount, free or discounted tax preparation services, etc.
- Find out more about job opportunities with Lowe’s.
- Company’s Specialization: Retail clothing and suits for men
- Jobs Available for Felons: Customer Service Associate, Operations Manager, Store Manager, etc.
- Average Pay: $10 to $15 per hour
- Additional Benefits: Insurance, Flexible Spending Account (FSA), employee stock purchase program, merchandise discounts, paid holidays, vacation time
- Find out more about job opportunities with Men’s Wearhouse.
- Company’s Specialization: Retail store and salon for pets
- Jobs Available for Felons: Sales Associate, Groomer, Pet Stylist, Salon Manager, Store Manager, etc.
- Average Pay: $10 to $15 per hour
- Additional Benefits: Insurance, paid time off, associate discount, tuition assistance, adoption assistance
- Find out more about job opportunities with PetSmart.
TradeWinds Island Resorts
- Company’s Specialization: Leisure, travel, and tourism
- Jobs Available for Felons: Bartender, Maintenance, Kitchen Helper, Front Desk Agent, Valet, Line Cook, etc.
- Average Pay: $11 to $12 per hour
- Additional Benefits: $2,000 signing bonus, internal promotions
- Find out more about job opportunities with TradeWinds Island Resorts.
- Company’s Specialization: Air travel and service
- Jobs Available for Felons: Transportation Agent, Security Agent, Transportation Lead, Ground Services Crew, etc.
- Average Pay: $12 to $20 per hour
- Additional Benefits: Travel benefits, insurance, bonuses, wellness program, paid time off, social clubs
- Find out more about job opportunities with United Airlines.
- Company’s Specialization: Cell phone communications service
- Jobs Available for Felons: Sales Consultant, Retail Sales Representative, Field Service Technician, etc.
- Average Pay: $11 to $21 per hour
- Additional Benefits: A matching gifts program, discounts on Verizon products, performance-based incentives
- Find out more about job opportunities with Verizon.
Before applying for any jobs, you may want to polish your resume; see our ideas for personal accomplishment examples to include on your resume. Looking to make money while you wait to hear back from those job applications? See our research on how to make $100 right now.
Local, Regional Jobs That Hire Felons
Not only large national brands are willing to hire felons. Smaller, “mom-and-pop” type businesses may also hire you, especially if you have a personal connection with someone who works there. These places are less likely to have a blanket ban on hiring people with felonies as a corporate policy (which, again, is rarely disclosed upfront).
Some of the industries that are known to most commonly provide jobs for felons are fields relating to construction, sawmills, restaurants, and retail. Although these may not be the jobs you wish to hold for your entire life, many felons have been able to start in entry-level positions and work their way up to management. You can work toward securing financial stability and hone your professional skills in the process.
Truck driving is another industry (which, thanks to a national shortage of drivers, can be extremely lucrative) that offers opportunities for felons; we’ve provided a list of trucking companies that are known to hire felons, including those that offer paid training to help you get started in the industry.
Programs for Reentry After a Felony Conviction
If you’re receiving rejections or are having trouble finding jobs to apply to in your area, you may be able to work directly with a program that helps felons reenter the workforce. Many states provide reentry programs, as do numerous religious organizations. For example, PACE Indy in Indiana offers workshops and other resources for finding employment for felons. Catholic Charities USA is a nationwide organization that provides opportunities for people with all backgrounds and records. Search within your state or city for opportunities to gain more training and explore new avenues for finding a job.
Are There Any Felon-Friendly States?
It is a common assumption that some states must be more friendly to felons than others. Unfortunately, there is no list of “felon-friendly” states. However, some states do have more strict policies than others regarding multiple felonies, such as California’s “three strikes sentencing law,” where people with prior felonies can face more severe sentencing than first-time offenders. On the other hand, many states have pledged to “ban the box” and offer fair hiring practices for people with criminal records. The National Employment Law Project provides a list of states/localities that participate in “ban the box” initiatives.
Rather than focusing which states are the most “felon-friendly,” consider the availability of job opportunities and the cost of living in each state. Generally, Midwestern states have more job opportunities and lower cost of living; Southern states also have a lower cost of living, but fewer job opportunities. New York, on the other hand, is a state that has both a high cost of living and a large population, meaning high competition and low job opportunities. You should also consider where your social support lives — a high cost of living may be outweighed if you live near family members who can help you out during times of need.